In anticipation of the release of Baldur’s Gate three, I got the idea to talk about various Dungeons and Dragons properties. I chose the new source book about Giants, my duets adventure that I wrote for me and Quinn, and Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2. When I missed my deadline last month, I moved it to this month and added the new Phandelver source book as well.
Even with the extra time, I only played through about 15 minutes of both games. Hey, what can I say? I’m still a busy gamer dad who can’t always drop everything to play these games. But, I always make an effort. Besides, if I only play through enough for first impressions, that gives me a chance to revisit sometime in the future. It’s all about content, y’all!
Baldur’s Gate 1
The first thing I noticed after starting the game was the full featured character creation system. It felt just like rolling a new character in paper and pencil Dungeons and Dragons. You pick a race, class, roll your stats, set your profile picture, and pick your proficiencies. If you are a magic user (I usually pick mage/cleric), then you get to pick your spells.
After character creation, you start the game. It starts with an involved narrative to set the stage and prepare you for the adventure to come. This one starts off a bit slow. You go through the opening area, picking up basic quests and fighting off minor enemies.
Baldur’s Gate 2
I much prefer the beginning to the second game. Less initial narrative means the action starts much more quickly. And, boy, is there some action to start! You wake up in a dungeon after being tortured by some sadistic jailer. When I first played through, I sped out of that cell and to my death.
The second time, I explored the prison more and found two additional companions. Surely this barbarian can only help me survive longer during this game. I did survive longer, but that’s only because I explored longer to find the key to release one of my companions. Once I got to the same spot as earlier, I died again. Admittedly, I died slower, but still dead. So, I have some figuring out to do on this one.
Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 reminded me just how unforgiving early level Dungeons and Dragons can be. You roll some dice and if you roll badly, you end up in the dust bin of history. Roll well, though, and eventually all the power of the universe at your fingertips. I’m willing to go back and risk it all again for that.