Eurogamer: Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 Retrospective
Editorial - posted by Crooked Bee
on Sun 4 March 2012, 09:39:30
Tags: Baldur's Gate
; Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Riding on the wave of hype surrounding the impending release of Bioware's Mass Effect 3, Eurogamer's Paul Dean looks back at the first two role-playing games that Bioware made
I didn't imagine it could live up to its hype. I'd long since lost interest in the PC's role-playing games, which had become either tedious dungeon crawls, spreadsheets of magic items or action-focused bash-'em-ups. ... I rolled the game's dice. I built a character. Then, I found myself standing outside the door of a Tudor-style inn, the wind brushing the trees and birds singing as the most beautiful music I'd ever heard in a game began to play. I stepped through the doorway. I spoke to the innkeeper.
"MY 'OTEL'S AS CLEAN AS AN ELVEN ARSE," he bellowed.
Everything after that is a blur.
Or rather, the two role-playing games that made Bioware into what they are now.
While Baldur's Gate set my inspiration alight, its sequel forever changed the way I looked at roleplaying games, at the characters within them, at how they do (or don't) solve their problems. At the climax of Baldur's Gate 2, my adventuring party took a moment to speak with me, to reflect on all that we'd done together and to tell me how they felt about me. It caught me entirely off-guard, a moving moment with a horrible sense of finality, as if I'd never have another chance to speak with my companions again. No video game had ever engaged me like this before.
After all, emotional engagement is what Bioware do best.
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