This game ‘sucks’ and was ‘universally panned’? Come on.
No contest, play BG2EE. Even if you stack it against any modern rpg it will likely come out on top. Such an incredible game, I recently went through it (multiple times) and I was floored at how focused the design structures of the world and quests were. Absolutely incredible, I don’t know if I’ve ever played a game with such scope that was so focused, and with so little filler.
Out of curiosity, have you played BG2 before?
@gurugeorge: high five. I thought I was the only one on this forum who hasn’t played PS:T, lol. It’s one of my gaming sins that I still haven’t fixed. One day, maybe. I did enjoy the new Torment though, but never finished it before I got sidetracked with other games.
I should have mentioned that I have played Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 when they came out. I have both enhanced editions too, which I’ve played neither of. So, it’s been a long time since I’ve played the Baldur’s Gate games. I mistyped before too. I would play BG1EE before BG2EE.
I too have never played PS: Torment.
Do you think I’ll enjoy Baldur’s Gate 2 if I hated the first one with the passion of a thousand suns?
For reference, I loved PST, Icewind Dale, KOTOR, Mass Effect, Neverwinter Nights 2. I thought the first Dragon Age was kind of mediocre in comparison to those. And the first Neverwinter Nights was boring as hell.
I would guess no, but it has been so long since I’ve played them. I think BG2 is more similar to BG1 and DA:O then it is to the other games you mentioned.
That’s a tricky question, do you remember what turned you off the first Baldur’s Gate?
I never really loved (and didn’t finish Baldur’s Gate 2), found the Bioware style storytelling a little oppressive. I specifically remember grinding my teeth during the bit where you go to the mage prison. But I really loved the first game, possible because it was the first Bioware style RPG I played.
Well, I did hear that Bioware learned from what Black Isle did with Planescape and improved on BG1 in a number of areas where they were weak.
One of the main things I hated was that your party was made up of empty character husks who were no more than their four or five lines that they spewed out constantly. Minsc was amusing for the first hour, and then he was the same for the rest of the game. Same with all the others, really.
In Planescape I could actually talk to my party members and I found a lot about them in long, deep conversations. I could have detailed conversations with NPCs in the world to find out more about the world and about various factions and characters. You couldn’t really do that in BG1, but I heard they changed all that in BG2. That you could talk to your party members at regular intervals and have long detailed conversations with them. That you could have much deeper conversations with NPCs out in the world, and find out more about the Sword Coast than the cursory stuff from BG1.
And since you weren’t low level characters anymore, I heard there was a lot less saving and loading required, which is the activity I did the most in BG1. If I were to describe BG1’s core gameplay, it would be hearing my party members say the same lines over and over and saving and loading and watching a rotating hand turn to dust. That was 90% of BG1.
Okay, well I’d guess you won’t like BG2 much then! It’s no where near the depth of party interaction as Planescape: Torment, although it’s more fleshed out than BG1 as I remember.
The only way to play BG1 was to play Candlekeep repeatedly, murdering as many guards and grabbing their chestplate armor and longswords as you could before finally getting taken out (even if you murdered everyone in town, it was impossible to leave without talking to Gorion, who would attack you immediately, and his lethal damage-worth of Magic Missiles would continue casting and fire off even if you killed him before the spell was complete).
Then you’d just sell the loot by exporting your character and reimporting into a new game ad infinitum until you were rich enough to actually maybe not immediately bite it the first time a Gnoll nicked you with a shortsword outside of the Friendly Arms Inn.
Okay, in fairness, I was 12 and that game was really fucking hard.
I never thought vanilla BG1 was all that hard. The Tales of the Sword Coast expansion though, that has some serious fights in it!
Level 1 wizard in AD&D 2nd ed. rules was basically just a crapshoot of survival till you leveled up. Hello 4HP and shitty AC. Early game could be tough if you “lucked” into a bad random travel encounter in the first couple of hours of gameplay.
Well I certainly died my fair share of times. But I never felt I wasn’t progressing. And when you reload, you might not get that random travel encounter. Also, Magic Missile is so utterly over powered in those games, wizard life is the only life.
I strongly disliked BG1 and BG2 is my favorite game of Bioware’s, period. And one of the best CRPGs ever made. Are the NPCs quite up to Planescape standards? No, but they are fully fledged people who chime in with conversation and opinions and banter all the time. They have personal quests. They care how you act and will leave if you piss them off. BG1 doesn’t hold a candle to BG2 on the NPC front.
I found Icewind Dale to be too hard. I got to a point that I was being killed and no way to change the outcome. So I quit and never went back.
A lot of people like Baldur’s Gate 2, I’m definitely in the minority.
I’ve not played the Icewind Dale games, but I’m under the impression they push the combat more as a focus, and require you to min-max your party from the beginning.
Definitely, IWD has more focus on combat and is less about story-telling and relationships (honestly, I couldn’t even tell you a character’s name or what the story was about now, unlike with the BG series). However, there is no way you’d need to min-max your party. Creating your party to fit their classes in the normal range for D&D is good enough.
About Tides, I really think it’s a done deal at this point, and I’m unlikely to ever revisit it. It was just not so enjoyable to entice me to give it another try, even with new content.
Have to say I’m surprised by the metacritic. All the impressions I read some time back said the writing was average at best, which is a bit of a deal breaker for a game/light novel.
If you get BG2 off Gog, you can roll back to one of the earlier patches which removes fanfic npcs/quests by the update team. Sort of like taking your own guitar to an Eric Clapton concert. But it it keeps all the remastering.
It’s a funny old game if you’ve got a spare 80 hours. Has a great scope and sense of adventure in the opening chapters. PoE really missed out on recapturing that, but its hard to reduce to a formula.
PoE really got that in the very first sequence (with the caravan, then the first dungeon), but lost the focus of it pretty quickly, after the first reveal of the pylon thingy. It introduced the big bad villainous thing too early, it should have continued with the “starting small” feeling.
I think that kind of CRPG is all about the “starting small” thing, like in Tolkien where you have the hobbits starting off from the Shire, and it still feels big to them, but it’s quite small relative to what comes afterwards. i.e. there are hints of weirdness, but things only get actually weird quite gradually (and only start getting really weird by the time they get to Weathertop).
Same with BG1 - it’s something about starting off with a comfy, cosy feeling, and venturing forth from that (also reference the Tolkien song about the thousand mile journey starting with a single step, or whatever it is). If you can capture that feeling, then you’re golden.
I just beat this over the holiday break.
Coming off of playing this and Planescape: Torment: EE back to back I think this was a worthy thematic successor to the Torment series. I definitely appreciated that you can get away with less than a handful of combat sequences in Torment : ToN vs. Planescape where there were scores for un-fun forced combat sequences.
I think both of these games are best approached as an interactive novel vs. an standard RPG - combat is definitely the weakest link in both games.
Just finished this too.
I think the main areas where it definitely falls short of PST is the characters and lack of humor. I would also add pacing as the game feels like it is too much “only reading” even when compared to PS:T which always had random fights here and there between the walls-of-texts to break up the monotony. Tide is 95% town crawls.
I think I only did like 5 fights the entire game and I think only 2 or 3 are required because the plot demands it. And those plot “fights” were a breath of fresh air (except for the time the game essentially soft locked in the middle of a long ass fight during an AI opponents turn…end your turn you son of a bitch AKA always the worst bug in turn-based games!)
The lack of interesting characters is the real killer though. That was arguably the best thing about PST. One character has a nice twist right at the end of the game but all their backstories(or lack thereof) and personalities and quest lines are kinda meh and I couldn’t care less.