In the high fantasy medieval world of Forgotten Realms lies the continent of Faerun. Baldur's Gate is one of the biggest and most important trading towns and city-states on the continent. The young ward of mystical monk Gorion, whose name, sex, race and class are defined by the players, lives in the keep of the monk order Gorion belongs to. He or she has never been outside or known anything about his/her parents. One night, the ward has a disturbing nightmare. In the morning, Gorion sends the ward away for his/her protection. The ward is joined by her/his best friend Imoen, a skillful thief. Their adventure soon takes a dark turn when they witness Gorion's murder by a strange man in the forest. After some adventuring, the ward meets Jaheira, a half-elf fighter and druid, and her beloved husband Khalid, both of whom are old friends of Gorion. They offer help and a goal - to investigate the suspicious shortage of iron ore that has befallen the land recently and made everyone paranoid that it's actually a sabotage by the neighboring city-state that's supposedly about to invade them. The ward's party soon meets other joinable characters like the amusing heroic and not-quite-sane ranger Minsc, who has an imaginary deadly pet hamster and best friend Boo, and who's on the quest to save his beloved mage wife Dynaheir from a villain, as well as prove himself worthy of the title "heroic". There are also evil joinable characters like Edwin Odesseiron, an evil mage who wants to see Minsc's wife dead. Besides iron ore shortage, the ward must also deal with constant attacks on his/her life. Eventually, it becomes clear that these are in fact actual assassination attempts and that someone very powerful doesn't want to see the ward live much longer. All clues point to Baldur's Gate as the place to look for answers. The town has recently been plagued by mysterious disappearances, important people starting to act really strange and uncharacteristic and all around eerie atmosphere at night. There's even talk of a secret war between supernatural and hellish foes. The ward and his party must get to the bottom of things, help or hinder the people who need their help and choose their own path of heroism or villainy.
The main character, ward of mystical monk Gorion, whose name, sex, race and class are defined by the players, leaves his order's keep for the first time and starts a journey to discover his true identity. But Someone wants him dead.
With its complex plot, huge game world and memorable characters, BG is the worthy heir of the Ultima series. This gem is an isometric, party-based, real-time-with-pause RPG following the D&D rule-set.
The story starts with the (fully customizable) main character living in the monastery-library of Candlekeep, adopted by wizard Gorion. When mysterious assassins show up, Gorion realizes Candlekeep is not safe anymore.
I love so many things about Baldur's Gate. I love the ominous introduction. I love the initial sense of being utterly lost in a big, dangerous world (this had more freedom of exploration than all other BioWare games). I love how different locations, from the city of Baldur's Gate to the Cloaked Wood, are huge, detailed and full of atmosphere. I love the feeling of menace when you come back to Candlekeep and realize the place has changed.
My only real gripe is the ending: after the final battle, the epilogue is abrupt and underwhelming (as in "twenty-seconds cutscene"). Thankfully, the sequel picks up where this one ends.
Along with the even superior sequel, this is a milestone no RPG fan should miss. It feels almost weird to review a game that was made almost 10 years ago, but the fact that it still holds a place as one of the best games I've ever played speaks volumes of it's qualities. The story, the game-play, the very world you play in are all parts that make up this masterpiece. In this game, and it's even better sequel, BG 2 - Shadows of Amn, I AM Talle, an orphan from Candlekeep, whom is forced to leave his home and try to survive in a beautiful and at times dangerous Faurun. Few games has made me feel so involved. In fact the only games that compares are the above-mentioned Shadows of Amn, Planescape Torment and Fallout 1 & 2, all products of Interplays daring and artistic vision. With risk of sounding like an old man I have to say it's a shame they don't do games like these anymore. 646f9e108c
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