Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeUncategorizedA Single Video That Shows Why ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’ Deserves 2023’s GOTY

A Single Video That Shows Why ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’ Deserves 2023’s GOTY

Baldur’s Gate 3

Larian

There is currently a deeply stupid debate going on about how Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t deserve to win GOTY with its point and click TTRPG-ing as opposed to a bombastic action game like Spider-Man 2. And yet I do understand that there are probably a number of people who have not played Baldur’s who do not understand why it was so dominant at The Game Awards and elsewhere this year.

On its face, if you were observing Baldur’s from a distance, you would just a see a bunch of character conversations and then zoomed-out, extremely slow paced tactical, turn-based combat. From that alone, it’s a little hard to get a picture of exactly why people like the game so much, or why they’d bother sinking 300 hours into a playthrough.

For me personally, I couldn’t do it. I just cannot stomach turn-based combat and 45 minute long fights, and I do prefer the bombastic action of games like Spider-Man. However, playing the game as much as I did, I do understand why it’s getting so much praise, and why, objectively, it really is an incredibly feat in game design.

I cannot really describe this well on the page, but someone else has, in video form. This clip from Mo Mo O’Brien is going a bit viral, and for good reason. It helps explain to the uninitiated the bounds of creativity that can be unleashed within Baldur’s Gate 3 and its various missions and story beats. In the video, O’Brien takes the example of one early quest, where you’re meant to infiltrate a goblin camp and free a prisoner, and the absurd variety of ways the encounter can be taken on:

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As for me? I did the poo-faced thing she talks about, and then once I got made fun of enough, I freed the bear druid and murdered everyone else in the place in a fairly old fashioned way. No drink-spiking or goblin seducing required. But as you can see in the video, this could have unfolded in one of a dozen plus different ways.

And that’s true for so many quests in the game! It’s not just about Baldur’s great character cast, which also won awards, but the sheer creativity that has been baked into the game’s design, channeling what makes something like Dungeons and Dragons great, creating these wild scenarios that embrace experimentation and thinking outside the box.

Even if you don’t like the gameplay itself, which I did not, you can recognize just what an achievement it is to design a game that can be played like this. I can’t say I can recommend Baldur’s Gate 3 to everyone, but if this video has you fascinated than yeah, maybe you should in fact give it a shot.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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