From what I read, there is zero downsize to using them, and not using them simply makes your characters “weaker.” But there are plot/character reasons for why the game pushes you to use them, or why to not use them.
My character isn’t using them for character/RP reasons of course. Hell, I avoid even use the Illithiad option in dialog. This isn’t a problem at all though. The game is easy enough already and totally viable without using any of those powers.
Baldur’s Gate 3 reminded me of something. I loath cutscenes that trigger during gameplay. But it’s probably more accurate to say I loath a MASSIVE abundance of cutscenes. I’m getting Max Payne 3 flashbacks. That was a game utterly ruined by cutscene triggers during gameplay. I can tolerate it way more in BG3, but it still isn’t the way.
I’m with you. I really can’t stand cutscenes and often find them jarring and disruptive. It’s not too bad for me in BG3 but in general it’s something that I’m desperately trying to skip past so I can get back to playing the game.
I’m clearly a minority, but damn. When I want to watch a movie or a TV show that’s what I do. When I’m playing a game it’s because I want to be playing a game, not watching a movie inside my game.
Nothing like Metal Gear Solid 4 for those cutscenes. I mean, that was absolutely like watching a movie. After that, I think I became far less affected by them.
I feel that BG3 might get a pass from many people because of how the cinematic dialogue builds an experience where the player becomes used to interruptions in their gameplay. The definition of cutscenes may vary, though. I put them into the category of something that is outside the normal rhythm of gameplay, often times CGI, not even using the game engine. I love it when devs keep the scenes grounded in the same engine that drives the regular play of the game, as the transition feels less jarring.
Then again, Diablo 4 cutscenes were some top-notch cinematics, even if outside the game engine, and well worth watching. But they aren’t frequent, even if they are long.
But yeah, grabbing control away from me at crucial moments in order to enact a particular scene is a bit annoying and my annoyance level is in tune with how much I’ve enjoyed the game at that point (less I enjoy the game, the more my annoyance level is up).
[Edit] And those patch notes are a monster. To do that much work in the time they’ve had is insane. Provided they didn’t introduce any new issues, that is some serious polish.
Finally the game is out of early access*! If anyone has any tips on making the camera + movement less awkward on a MacBook using the touch pad, please let me know, it’s a bit off-putting as it is. (Tried the game briefly on a Steam Deck, and moving with console-like controls felt great.)
One annoying issue, before I rebound the default keys - holding down Command to highlight some of the nearby items, whilst also using Q and E to rotate the camera - Command-Q will shut down your game without saving! (Found out the hard way)
My exciting Fri evening after meeting the wife for dinner at our favorite local mexican restaurant and then walking Sir Comet around the neighborhood tonight is to watch this video. I’ve never watched any stream of a group playing a PnP game, but the cast has hooked me. Might not finish it tonight but definitely will this weekend.
But it’s not very cinematic, isn’t it? It often looks mocaped but the direction is terrible. It’s always a static camera looking at the character from the same angle. I’d even prefer Bethesda first-person stare context at least it’s immersive. Compare this game to even Mass Effect 1 or better 2 and you’ll see a huge difference. Very few cutscenes have characters doing more than standing straight at one place and camera not being nailed at one place. Can you remember talking to a sitting person in this game, which is a natural position for a person to take if they don’t do anything? There was one instance of that in a scripted cutscene. Also half of complex cutscenes had huge bugs for me - like camera being obscured by a wall or all participants were flying above the ground. Which explains why they didn’t do a lot of cutscenes, but I’m surprised this game gets praise for conversations while being significantly worse at their technical side than 15-years old game.
The idea that you’d prefer a Starfield design over BG3 ruins your point. The number of times in Starfield that the camera was blocked or the NPC had their body facing one way while trying to turn their head like they were possessed instead of just moving naturally far outnumbers anything wrong in BG3. I may have been lucky, or perhaps there was too few to remember, but BG3 dialogue problems didn’t even blip my radar.
I very much approve of the mocap in BG3, too. Gestures and movement in conversation is far more immersive than a talking head. It feels natural and worked well to help convey emotion, something sorely lacking in Bethesda games like Starfield.
I’m liking my Starfield play, but BG3 feels like a game from the future in comparison.
I haven’t played Starfield. I played Skyrim and Fallout 4. Both had an immersive conversations system where the world continues to operate around you and you can look around while talking to someone and IIRC even just walk away. BG3 being a top down game can’t really do that, I understand, but it should have done something else instead. Fallout 4 has optional cinematic conversations camera and it works much better with varied angles, NPCs having generic routines apart from standing straight and the world actually being alive around you.
The quality of facial expressions captured only throws everything deeper in a the uncanny valley. There are just a few cutscenes in the game where it all looks cohesive. Like anything with Raphael: he only has scripted appearances so he always feels present in the environment - and he’s the only NPC who can talk to you while sitting (also Mol, but she’s in the same conversation). Everyone else emotes while being paralyzed below their chest, and long conversations standing straight in front of each other are so, so immersion breaking.
It might sound like I’m nitpicking but I truly, sincerely felt like in many regards it’s a very bad looking RPG. It has a nice technology behind it but the art design is the least inspired I’ve ever seen, and the conversations are like that too. Tens of hours of this game is looking at people behaving extremely unnaturally while doing their monologues. Immideately after BG3 I’ve played Paranormasight, a visual novel that knew how to use camera movement and effects to make static 2D images more expressive. It’s all conversations, and it never made me want to move my sight from the screen. I’ve watched a video of Greedfall, a mediocre cheap RPG that has primitive tech compared to BG3 but it still manages to not look as wooden. Then I’ve randomly clicked a video of Mass Effect 2 and in some companion conversations people walked around, looked at each other or away, stood up and approached each other to underline a point. Compared to BG3 it’s like watching a Globe theater performance or something.
What I want to know is when did Tieflings become much more devilish? Skin color, eyes, horns, a tail, the works!
My image was they appeared mostly human, elven or whatever, but with like couple demonic or devilish features. Maybe they had horns, maybe they had hoofs. But they still had traits from the other dominate race. My image of a Tiefling was always much more subtle then what is shown in BG3.
I never played tabletop but NWN2 talked about it as if the appearance depends on luck. Nisha had visible horns and tail, I think, but it wasn’t necessary. Understandably devs didn’t want to spend a lot of time to make just one race much more diverse than others.
I think the better comparison for cinematics would be The Witcher 3. There’s still a lot of reserved and straightforward dialogue, but it has enough camera and character movement to keep things interesting.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is weird because they put so much time and money into a dialogue system that ultimately doesn’t have a big payoff, at least for me.