Baldur’s Gate, the 1999 PC role-playing game epic from legendary development houses Bioware and Black Isle Studios, is the quintessential 1990s computer RPG experience. It delivers a masterful blend of atmosphere, narrative, gameplay, and a graphical style that is both iconic and inimitable. Think the original Fallout series or Diablo and its immediate sequel. These PC games were moody, dark, and some of the best games ever released for the platform. Gamers seeking a deep Western-style RPG experience and who also love old-school difficult should give Baldur’s Gate and its various spin-offs a playthrough.
How to Download Baldur’s Gate
You can now download Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition which features high-resolution graphics and contains the original expansion Tales of the Sword Coast. The game is available on GOG or Steam. There is also a downloadable Official Soundtrack of the game. If you like the game you should also check out its sequel Baldur’s Gate II and the official expansion Siege of Dragonspear set between the two games. There is also a small DLC called Baldur’s Gate: Faces of Good and Evil which just ass three male and three female character portraits to the game.
The Game Review
Published by Interplay Entertainment, this fantasy RPG takes place in the Forgotten Realms universe of fantasy lore with gameplay based upon the 2nd edition of the popular tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons.
Those unfamiliar with the D&D rules set need not worry about taking up Baldur’s Gate as the game makes its systems somewhat understandable for the tyro player. This doesn’t mean you’ll have the kind of tutorial provided by modern games nor will you have the kind of tactical clarity about things you would probably like but, given its age, there is more than enough information on the Internet to guide you through your quest in the game.
Almost essential to the experience of playing an RPG is that of creating your own in-game avatar and Baldur’s Gate is more than happy to oblige in this area. As players make their way through the world they will naturally add to their party through encountering other adventurers, each of which comes with his own backstory and agenda. Though the narrative bears an ostensibly basic premise – you are dispatched to investigate an iron crisis plaguing the Sword Coast region – the narrative quickly delves into the twisted and nitty-gritty world players of 1990s PC role-playing games loved.
The magical combination of a book’s narrative and Dungeons and Dragons gameplay is a potent force in the game and helps underscore much of the game’s action.
Played from an isometric perspective, Baldur’s Gate evokes other titles of its era as well as modern games like Pillars of Eternity. While the graphics have a bit of a washed-out appearance by today’s standards, they are nonetheless detailed and properly convey the level of darkness appropriate to this game’s world.
Exploration is an essential component of the game though players may find this difficult not least of which is because of how vague things can sometimes be in Baldur’s Gate. Players accustomed to modern, hand-holding experiences might find this RPG bewildering in its scope and lack of direction.
Combat, on the other hand, remains incredibly solid – likely due to its basis on a classic ruleset from the D&D world. Gamers who love traditional Western RPGs and enjoy a challenge will find themselves sinking hours in Baldur’s Gate and its various related franchises.
- Incredibly detailed RPG world with an awesome story and lore
- Old school role-playing game combat and strategy
- A believable world with well-realized characters that have the accessibility of a video game with the depth of a novel
- Old school hard – this role-playing game is not for the faint of heart
- Often difficult to figure out what to do next or what other content lurks in the game without the help of a guide
- Tough to choose the first game over its sequel which fixes many of Baldur’s Gates’ flaws