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Baldur’s Gate DVD

Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Interplay
Developer: Black Isle Studios
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 6
Genre: RPG/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics in Baldur’s Gate are top-notch rendered sprites on gorgeous rendered and hand-drawn landscapes. They look great, and the height mapping matches perfectly. The three-quarters view sometimes obscures doorways, but once you get in the habit of moving the cursor around to look for entrances, it’s a minor hindrance.

The sounds are groovy, with music that becomes more “battlish” whenever combat nears. It has that spiffy symphonic sound as well. The sound effects are top notch, if a bit repetitive at times, but since you can alter the number of times that they play and whatnot, you can’t really complain.


This is as close to a literal port of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons that you can find in the gaming universe. The experience awards are accurate, the races and classes are accurate, the rolls to hit are accurate, and alignment matters. I don’t know how they did it, but it’s like pencil and paper RPGing without all the bickering. I must admit, I can sit for hours and just piddle with Baldur’s Gate, not even bothering to advance the plot, just toying with all the options that AD&D gives you; tons of spells, tons of weapons, tons of classes, tons of characters in your party at once. If you like variety, then this game is definitely your bag. If not, you can just limit yourself to the crazy things that you do. Just remember that if you don’t act like you should (good characters shouldn’t go around slaughtering innocents, mind you), you can have penalties as your alignment changes. Never has it been so... realistic is the closest word that I can come up with.

And then there’s the story. Epic in length, involving all your favorite major players from the Forgotten Realms setting; this game has story in spades. Mostly non-linear, stacked with a gazillion side quests gameplay at that. Mmm.


What you’d like it to be. If you play Baldur’s Gate “true” AD&D style, be prepared to die plenty at lower levels -- much like real AD&D games. Well, actually, in real AD&D, the D.M. fudges all the rolls when you start the game off, but the computer’s not quite as forgiving. Prepare to die. But when the game gets going, you can become a super-duper butt-kicker. All in all, the game’s relatively difficult, but not mind-bogglingly so. You’ll like it, and you can adjust it if you don’t.

Game Mechanics:

Baldur’s Gate plays smoothly. There are lots of buttons that you have to remember what they do, and at first that’s a bit confusing, but Interplay and Black Isle were nice enough to give you a quick reference card to speed you along your way. And to think that the slight bit of unintuitiveness will be fixed in the next game... it’ll be perfect gaming perfection. But as it is, it’s easily one of the best computer RPGs in years, if not the best for a while. And since it’s on DVD, you don’t have to swap the five CDs! You must have this game.

Installation: Yet another click “Install” and let it sit. No problems here, although 550 MB for the full install makes me wonder just why I got a DVD drive -- isn’t it so I don’t have to install half a gig of data to my hard drive for a game?

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 95/98, P166+, 16MB Ram, 300MB Hard Drive space, DVD Rom, 2MB SVGA video card, keyboard, mouse

Test System:

K6-III 450, 256MB RAM, ATI Rage IIc, SB Live!

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated