Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition Review

elvor0

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PedroSteckecilo said:
I picked this up myself desiring some nice Old School RPG Action and I must agree... 2nd Edition Rules are the worst thing about the game. At times you cannot strategize, cannot plan, cannot even manage resources and thus the entire outcome of a battle depends on a few randomly generated numbers, this never stops being frustrating. But at least the setting and general gameplay are still awesome.
"Oh just a random dude, this'll be"- KABOOM TRIPLE CRITICAL on main character- "WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?!"

As much as I love Baldurs gate, the second edition rules were fucking brutal. I have memories of playing back in the day, having a goblin charge at the party, fumble and triple crit his own head off.
 

BartyMae

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The Crotch said:
Kekkonen1 said:
You think they dropped the ball? Just curious, not trying to be confrontational, but what would you have liked them to do? I myself was just happy to get Baldurs Gate in all its glory with some tweaks for playability and HD-resolution without having to mess with mods and stuff. Otherwise I'm quite happy with the way the game is, I'm having MUCH more fun with this (in the little time I have to play) than I ever had with "accessible" games such as Dragon Age and Mass Effect, and I can't wait for BG2:EE.
Can't speak for the other dude, but a more intuitive, hotkey-friendly interface would have been cool. And multiplayer that doesn't shit itself with groups of three or more.
Erm, the game is already pretty hot-key friendly...every button on the main interface is bound from F1-F12, and you can custom-bind any action you want in the keybindings screen...
 

Yojoo

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AldUK said:
People complaining about the assassin fight outside of the Friendly Arm - really? It's not difficult at all, he is a level 3 mage. You can quite easily hit him before he casts mirror image and then, you've won. It's that simple. He has no armour class and even just with the PC and Imoen at level 1 it's not a difficult fight. Quicksave as you enter the Inn courtyard and if you get unlucky a couple of times, so what?

Much, much worse than Tarnesh awaits you down the road, if you can't handle one low-level mage, then maybe you should go back to Dragon Age and other hand-holding RPGs.
I clearly said that I think it's bad design to toss an enemy like Tarnesh into the game at the point that he's at for the sake of newer players. I obviously know how to handle him myself, I've beaten the game several times.

I'm all for not hand-holding. My point is that, while later in the game fights can get much harder, if you fail at them you have many ways to adjust your strategy. You can totally re-write your spellcaster's spellbooks, adopt a different formation, focus on a different target first, etc. In an early-game challenge like Tarnesh though, your options are limited. I know that if you manage to interrupt his mirror image then you're good to go, but that doesn't always work, and if it doesn't, he can easily CC your whole party and 1-shot the main character.

The way I see it, there should be a THEORETICAL possibility of getting through this game without needing to reload. Obviously nobody would, but hear me out. This isn't PS:T or Dark Souls where death is an expected and understandable result of any given action. While Tarnesh and subsequent assassination attempts are very much winnable, Tarnesh in particular is an enemy that a new player will NOT be able to handle without reload knowledge. Show me someone who wasn't immediately killed by Tarnesh in their very first playthrough, and I'll be extremely impressed.

More modern games are better about avoiding situations where the player can't possibly win without dying a few times first. This is true in modern RPG games like Dragon Age or KOTOR, as well as in the Icewind Dale games and BG2/TOB. You and I don't care about the difficulty personally because we know how to adjust to it, but this enhanced edition didn't make the game more accessible to new players. Because of this, the future of a BG2EE and maybe eventually a BG3 are threatened, because they aren't going to make the big bucks re-selling a 14-year-old cult classic game to people who have already played it.
 

AldUK

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Yojoo said:
The way I see it, there should be a THEORETICAL possibility of getting through this game without needing to reload. Obviously nobody would, but hear me out. This isn't PS:T or Dark Souls where death is an expected and understandable result of any given action. While Tarnesh and subsequent assassination attempts are very much winnable, Tarnesh in particular is an enemy that a new player will NOT be able to handle without reload knowledge. Show me someone who wasn't immediately killed by Tarnesh in their very first playthrough, and I'll be extremely impressed.
First of all, I found PS:T to be easier than BG1 and I've never played Dark Souls so I can't judge that. Secondly, I killed Tarnesh on my first attempt 13 years ago because my first character was a Ranger with longbow specialization and the second his circle turned red, my PC hit him with an arrow, cancelling Mirror Image. The 2nd PC I made was a Cleric, I had remove fear memorized and cast it just before the Tarnesh fight, rendering his fear spell moot, the guards waded in and he was down. The 3rd PC I made was a Mage, I chose the spell 'Shield' to begin with, saved it until that fight, my PC saved against the fear, then shield nullified the magic missiles.

My point is, Tarnesh is an easy fight, appropriate for 2-4 low level adventurers to handle. Use your head, use the tools available to you and he will go down unless you are very unlucky, hence quicksave. (Even if you don't quicksave, the game still auto-saves on map transition, so you'll never be put too far back.) If you choose not to actually research your chosen character's abilities and simply charge in blindly to every fight in BG1, you deserve to die. I don't believe it's bad game design at all, I believe it's great game design. Apples and oranges.
 

Yojoo

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AldUK said:
Yojoo said:
The way I see it, there should be a THEORETICAL possibility of getting through this game without needing to reload. Obviously nobody would, but hear me out. This isn't PS:T or Dark Souls where death is an expected and understandable result of any given action. While Tarnesh and subsequent assassination attempts are very much winnable, Tarnesh in particular is an enemy that a new player will NOT be able to handle without reload knowledge. Show me someone who wasn't immediately killed by Tarnesh in their very first playthrough, and I'll be extremely impressed.
First of all, I found PS:T to be easier than BG1 and I've never played Dark Souls so I can't judge that. Secondly, I killed Tarnesh on my first attempt 13 years ago because my first character was a Ranger with longbow specialization and the second his circle turned red, my PC hit him with an arrow, cancelling Mirror Image. The 2nd PC I made was a Cleric, I had remove fear memorized and cast it just before the Tarnesh fight, rendering his fear spell moot, the guards waded in and he was down. The 3rd PC I made was a Mage, I chose the spell 'Shield' to begin with, saved it until that fight, my PC saved against the fear, then shield nullified the magic missiles.

My point is, Tarnesh is an easy fight, appropriate for 2-4 low level adventurers to handle. Use your head, use the tools available to you and he will go down unless you are very unlucky, hence quicksave. (Even if you don't quicksave, the game still auto-saves on map transition, so you'll never be put too far back.) If you choose not to actually research your chosen character's abilities and simply charge in blindly to every fight in BG1, you deserve to die. I don't believe it's bad game design at all, I believe it's great game design. Apples and oranges.
By the PS:T example, I meant that, since Nameless One is immortal, dying as a means of information gathering is fine. A situation where death is inevitable isn't a problem in PS:T, and is often valuable to further the storyline. The same is essentially true in Dark Souls, as the main character is expected to die numerous times throughout the game.

In my first time getting to the Friendly Arm in BGEE, I was playing a fighter/mage. Since I didn't have shield memorized, my only defense against getting 1-shot by magic missiles would be to interrupt Tarnesh's cast. A couple misses later, and I was dead. I know how game works, but at such a low level I was reduced to very few options. In your examples, your first character was uniquely suited for taking down Tarnesh, and your subsequent two characters benefited from your foreknowledge of the encounter. A new player rolling a standard fighter or paladin armed with melee weaponry is going to get stomped by this guy.

Telling me that Tarnesh is actually a wholly beatable encounter is all well and good, but how many new players aren't reading your advice for how to take him and the rest of the assassins down? I DESPERATELY want BG2EE and BG3 to be made (and made well!), but for that to actually happen, this first attempt at resurrecting BG1 needs to succeed financially. I haven't seen the numbers, but I don't see BGEE as a product that people who never played the first game would either be interested in, or remain interested in several hours in. And this upsets me.
 

Milanezi

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cynicalsaint1 said:
Any word on how well the iPad version works?
Apple didn't allow them to release it yet because it has not achieved their criteria of quality or something, I must say I'm with Apple on this, seeing how many of the PC gamers are complaining about a few bugs and stuff. They had to postpone the release of the game originally because of bugs, now they released it for PC, but Apple isn't satisfied and wants it better, that's for the iOS, for the OS it seems the matters are much worse... I want mine for iPad and I want it working without bugs, I'm ready to wait if it means a smooth running game.
 

Vhite

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While we at the topic of enhancing old DnD games. How about Neverwinter Nights? Is there at least some mod that makes main story not suck?
 

Andy Chalk

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I think most of these reviews are kind of missing the point and Reviewing "Baldur's Gate" as a game again, which almost everybody can agree was wonderful and can still be gotten from GoG [http://www.gog.com/gamecard/baldurs_gate_the_original_saga] or even as a Dungeons & Dragons Anthology [http://www.gamersgate.com/DDB-DBAMC/dungeons-and-dragons-anthology-the-master-collection] together with Baldur's Gate 2 + Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale 1+2, Planescape: Torment and Temple of Elemental Evil.
Everybody knows that the was and largely still is rather beloved: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-11-08-game-devs-favourite-is-baldurs-gate
Another Review of "Baldur's Gate", 14 years after it came out is something I think the world doesn't need.

What would be far more interesting would be appraising the "Enchanted Edition" on what it has to offer by itself, instead of letting it rest on the laurels of ages gone by with a game that everybody can still buy in its original form.

And personally, I was surprised by how much Overhaul managed to screw this up. They had what initially looked like a winning formula. Just take Baldur?s Gate, an award-winning game still beloved by a great many people, make it HD, maybe add some fixes and rake in the dough.

Instead they decided to screw it up royally in every way they could possibly think of. First they couldn?t get the original high-res art since apparently it ?doesn?t exist? anymore (sure, as if an EA studio would simply hand them over their means to let them make money off of without getting anything in return).
Following that they introduced the amazing Blur-filter they put most of the game through (not even a resolution option, really?):


and that gold-edged excuse for an interface:


This was also one of the screenshots of an area they had designed themselves, a horrible blurry mess with stretched textures over 3D terrain showing they have no grasp of how the previous areas were designed (or simply don?t care):



And because they were so popular in recent BioWare games, hey let's add some new romances: http://i.imgur.com/EPukq.png http://i.imgur.com/aix59.jpg despite Baldur's Gate never having those and being better off without them.
And the only new content aside from that is some sort of arena that?s supposed to last for hours, all of it sounds like it?s custom-designed to rape the legacy left behind by the original games.

There was also an interesting incident with their new in-game map, that first appeared in this article: http://www.pcgamesn.com/article/baldur-s-gate-enhanced-edition-everything-we-know and had like 4-5 spelling mistakes, pretty much summing up most of the development of this ?Enhanced Edition?: http://images1.pcgamesn.com/baldurs-gate-map.jpg
Since it brought them some bad PR they suddenly decided to make it disappear and pretend like the guy doing it doesn?t exist instead of admitting mistakes, they even deleted the thread talking about it instead of an apology or clarification: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/4832/updated-version-of-baldurs-gate-map/p1
Despite him apparently being an artist doing professional work and him previously stating that he was commissioned for it: http://www.mugwortdesigns.com/baldurs-gate-map

Not to say that most (like 90%+) of the ?fixes? they?ve made to the game directly stem from Mods that people had already made and they?ve asked for permission to use/implement, of course they will likely not get any reimbursement for their work and worked for free, but at least they have the "honor" of having worked on Baldur's Gate in some official capacity.

They even used people and their passion for the game to translate it into different other languages for free, why do it yourself or put any money behind it if the Option exists?: http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/11/16/baldurs-gate-contains-close-to-a-million-words-of-dialog-and-how-fan-translations-helped-the-enhanced-edition/

It?s like a bunch of children got handed a Pissarro and they decided to take their paintbrushes and paint all over it because they know they can make it better?

It reminds me of that old lady who tried to restore a century old Spanish fresco and it became an Internet meme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuPuVEPgtjc


Not to mention that they even changed the Cinematics out of some incomprehensible reason, likely because they didn't want to pay any licensing money to RAD Video Tools/Bink.
Original:
"Enhanced" (beautifully hand painted animated cinematics):

There's also a lot of Bugs that have been reported, from some of the new quests for the new characters not working right because the scripting seems to break, to a Bug that apparently skips the Ending-Cinematic entirely (people apparently didn't know if they didn't make one and cut it out or if it's a Bug).
The game doesn't even start on PCs with Intel graphics or Macbooks and a few other configurations and they're trying to distribute it only through their "Beamdog" Online-Shop.

Want to know why there's no iOS/tablet version yet? Apparently it's because Apple are constantly not approving their "App", and they've been decline at least 3 times until now:


It's just generally a joke it seems and it's sad that the quality of the initial game that came out 14 years ago is being used to justify this "Enhanced Edition", and the GoG-Version with BGT or the Big World Mod would Fix a lot of things that this did, with a lot less Bugs and better, also possibly adding more features if you so choose.
http://www.shsforums.net/files/category/38-bgt-weidu/
http://www.shsforums.net/files/category/72-big-world-project/
 

tautologico

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It's disappointing that they haven't improved the old clunky interface, that was my top wish for the EE.
 

The Madman

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Vhite said:
While we at the topic of enhancing old DnD games. How about Neverwinter Nights? Is there at least some mod that makes main story not suck?
Not really. NWN's singleplayer campaign is boring, no mods can fix that. Hordes of the Underdark, the games third expansion, is pretty good however and Neverwinter Nights 2's Mask of the Betrayer is fantastic, probably the highlight of the entire NWN franchise as far as singleplayer is concerned. But the original campaign for Neverwinter Nights? Bleh.

If you like however I'd be happy to recommend a bunch of fantastic singleplayer modules for NWN, many of which aren't just better than the OC, which isn't that hard to do admittedly, but some of the best rpg story out there. It's the fan content that makes NWN worth the purchase.
 

Vhite

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The Madman said:
Vhite said:
While we at the topic of enhancing old DnD games. How about Neverwinter Nights? Is there at least some mod that makes main story not suck?
Not really. NWN's singleplayer campaign is boring, no mods can fix that. Hordes of the Underdark, the games third expansion, is pretty good however and Neverwinter Nights 2's Mask of the Betrayer is fantastic, probably the highlight of the entire NWN franchise as far as singleplayer is concerned. But the original campaign for Neverwinter Nights? Bleh.

If you like however I'd be happy to recommend a bunch of fantastic singleplayer modules for NWN, many of which aren't just better than the OC, which isn't that hard to do admittedly, but some of the best rpg story out there. It's the fan content that makes NWN worth the purchase.
I'd love to know some. Only thing I was playing since month ago I bought it from GoG were premium modules and second expansion.
 

The Madman

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Vhite said:
The Madman said:
Vhite said:
While we at the topic of enhancing old DnD games. How about Neverwinter Nights? Is there at least some mod that makes main story not suck?
Not really. NWN's singleplayer campaign is boring, no mods can fix that. Hordes of the Underdark, the games third expansion, is pretty good however and Neverwinter Nights 2's Mask of the Betrayer is fantastic, probably the highlight of the entire NWN franchise as far as singleplayer is concerned. But the original campaign for Neverwinter Nights? Bleh.

If you like however I'd be happy to recommend a bunch of fantastic singleplayer modules for NWN, many of which aren't just better than the OC, which isn't that hard to do admittedly, but some of the best rpg story out there. It's the fan content that makes NWN worth the purchase.
I'd love to know some. Only thing I was playing since month ago I bought it from GoG were premium modules and second expansion.
Be happy to. The place to look is the Neverwinter Nights Vault, that's where the majority of NWN fan modules are hosted.

-Revenant I always recommend first since for whatever reason the person who made the module decided not to allow voting on it, meaning it wont be on the 'top' lists for NWN vault and will only show up under searches or links like the one I provide. Why they did this I don't know because the module is fantastic. Probably one of the most unique and well executed premise for a module or even rpg period. You are a revenant, an undead monstrosity out to avenge your own murder. Whether you choose to be the monster many in the game will treat your character as or something else entirely up to you, some great roleplaying opportunity here and tons of replayability. Great module!

-Tales of Arterra and Tales of Arterra The Awakening are a much more traditional rpg experience but also really well done. Essentially it's what you might have hoped and expected the OC would be in the first place. Not the most inventive module as its pretty heavily influenced by other rpg in terms of story, namely Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment, but that's hardly a bad thing and it's done quite well here. Good length too. Like I said, this is more like one would have hoped the OC would have been to begin with. I liked the characters, I enjoyed the story, gameplay was entertaining, can't really complain.

-These two are more like Revenant however in that they approach things a bit differently. Elegia Eternum is a pretty short but interesting module on its own, but its the sequel Excrucio Eternum that just goes nuts and makes this little series so memorable. Again, short module, but it packs a damned good punch for its length and is definitely unlike most rpg experience you would fine elsewhere. Extremely heavily story based so you wont get much in the way of combat scenerio here as that's not really the main focus, but the story is more than interesting enough to make it worth playing.

-So far these have all been pretty narrative driven modules though so I'll also recommend Tortured Hearts II as one of the more massive and open-world modules out there. This one is huge, just genuinely massive. Probably on its own packing more content than the OC and an expansion combined, maybe both expansions. Hell this module pretty much is an expansion for all the content it delivers, it just also happens to be fan made and free. It's just massive, we're talking hundreds of locations, thousands of lines of dialogue, hundreds of unique items made specifically for this module, and even its own unique crafting systems and the like put together by a small team of developers working together.

And those are just some recommendation from the ones I've played, there are more modules out there for NWN than I care to count. Neverwinter Nights 2 also has a ton of em. The entire series is just fantastic in that regard!

Most of the modules are pretty easy to install, with the last one there I suggested probably the most difficult since there's so much to it. But overall it's just a matter of cope and pasting the right things to the right place. .hak go in the hak folder in your NWN directory for example, campaign go in the campaign folder, etc. Easy stuff. NWN 1 and 2 were built around the idea of player modules after all.

Have fun!
 

Andy Chalk

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26 hours of attempting to get this thing to work and still nothing. so i give up.

it honestly amazes me that that managed to make a 14 year old game less stable and harder to get working
 

thiosk

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I've purchased the IOS version. I havn't played pc baldur's gate in years, but its exactly the kind of game I wanted on my ipad. So far, aside from a little trouble getting the party to GO IN THE DOOR DON'T JUST STAND IN THE DAMN DOORWAY, its quite intuitive and I havn't grossly misclicked anything yet. My wrists hurt a little bit, so carpal tunnel victims should stick to the pc version.

My mage:

17 str
18 dex
15 con
18 int
15 wis
7 cha


ooo rah. I saw that roll and was like MINE. This chick is gonna go all the way through bg2 with me, once that gets released.
 

Strazdas

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The Crotch said:
It's no so much that BGEE is bad, and they are putting patches out at a rapid pace it's that it's $20, and you can buy both Baldur's Gate and its sequel for that price on GOG, and with a bit of pretty painless modding, get an experience that is equal at worst and superior at best.
Basically this, this echanted version is quite pointless now as we have mods that make graphivs even better, world much larger, gameplay much more extensive and all for free (or cheaper if your still buying the original). Since its been a long time by now modders have done a better job than the developers themseves did.
On the other hand, this will make some new blood come and meet this ame perhaps. you know, people who were too young to game when the original came out and misssed it.