list Baldur’s Gate 3 is the Perfect Example of What AAA Games Should Be

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the Perfect Example of What AAA Games Should Be

Baldur's Gate 3 Triple AAA
By | August 9th, 2023 | Categories: Baldur's Gate 3

After finally launching its complete form on August 3, Baldur’s Gate 3 is officially out of Early Access. But the question is, does the return of the classic CRPG series live up to the hype? Has the studio that developed the modern CRPG hit Divinity: Original Sin 2 exceeded expectations?

I don’t think you need me to spell it out for you. It’s been clear for the past week that the hype for Baldur’s Gate 3 is real, with the game reaching epic proportions and hitting all the right notes for TTRPG and CRPG fans alike. Baldur’s Gate 3 is so popular right now that it dethroned Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in concurrent players on Steam during the weekend. Why are players and critics alike praising Larias Studios’ latest work? And what makes it so special?

The Power of Choice

At this time, Baldur’s Gate 3 is entertaining more than 150,000 viewers on Twitch. The game’s Steam page currently has an ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ rating to boot. True to its tabletop origins, what makes the game so dazzling is that there’s a remarkable number of potential outcomes for each situation. You’d know about this phenomenon if you’ve played Dungeons & Dragons or other similar TTRPGs before.

More often than not, video game developers have set adventures in the fantasy worlds within Dungeons & Dragons. However, they’ve struggled to compete with the actual tabletop’s freedom. For example, in a tabletop setting, when someone wants to burn down the tavern they’re in, instead of talking to the bartender about the local gossip, the Dungeon Master—who’s equal parts director, storyteller, and narrator—can merely improvise on what will happen next. Meanwhile, video games can only accommodate a certain amount of “results,” which game designers have predicted for the players.

BG3 is the Best Baldur’s Gate Game Yet

Baldur’s Gate was one of the first games that aimed to reach for the freedom that tabletop D&D has. Instead of fighting, you can talk your way out of the situation. Tired of searching for keys? Simply smash the lock with your weapon! Moreover, your quest choices can send your party into different story branches. While the possibilities weren’t endless, it was the first step to implementing flexibility that video games had not offered before.

Baldur’s Gate 3, on the other hand, is on a whole other level. Larian Studios has built a world that can respond to every choice you make. For example, if you play as a wizard, you can transform into a cloud of gas and pass through narrow gates, bypassing the challenge of getting ambushed by guards or breaking out of a room. Play as a Druid, and you can turn into a bear and speak with any animal you encounter, effectively letting you learn clues from a chatty squirrel that other classes couldn’t access.

Depending on your gender, race, class, and the decisions you’ve made in the story, the NPCs in the world will talk to you in radically different ways. It often feels at times that the game has been purposely built to reflect the decisions you’ve made.

Prepare to Crunch Some Numbers

It’s not a D&D session if there aren’t any numbers. Whether it’s attacks, damage, spell damage, abilities, spell negation, or carry weight, there’s no escape from math here. That’s because almost every aspect of interacting with the imaginary world is done through dice rolls. Numbers rule the outcome in most cases, but there are situations where the Dungeon Master might bend the rules a bit and be willing to toss out a bad roll to keep the campaign interesting. But even with the various rules, numbers almost always play a central role.

The same can be said for Baldur’s Gate 3—minus the Dungeon Master part. Even though it looks like it doesn’t even exist in the game, the dice rolls can just be barely won or lost, even in dire situations. Baldur’s Gate is no slouch when it comes to displaying and using the same set of numbers you’ll find in a real-life D&D game. Damage bonuses, travel cost, passive checks, skill points—the list of every system ruled by numbers is lengthy, and Baldur’s Gate 3 embraces it all.

That doesn’t mean everyone will love it, though. While some will love the complexity and how the various systems react in many ways to their character’s choices, others might find it a tad intimidating or boring to constantly just watch numbers switch around. Larian Studios has already streamlined this process for us, but there will still be a lot of trial and error if you want to discover how exactly things work—especially if you’re still new to all this.

Not Rushing Things Pays Off

Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t happen overnight. It took 400 developers worldwide six years, adding layer after layer of tailored responses and possible actions players can do. And for three years, the game was on Early Access, with thousands of players offering feedback on what could be improved, pushing developers to add more possibilities and encounters.

For Larian Studios, it was essential to craft such content, to make it impossible for someone to see everything the game offers in one, two, or even a hundred playthroughs. The huge team of artists, writers, coders, and designers poured their hearts and souls onto scenes many players may never see, but that’s where the magic lies. Creating an imaginary world that you can believe is free and flexible as the one you’re playing around a D&D magic isn’t easy.

Buy The Game, Get Everything

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the epitome of what AAA titles should be like. Amid livestream games, microtransactions, and pay-to-win mechanics, Baldur’s Gate 3 is a breath of fresh air for many, simply because you can pay full price and get the entire game. That’s right—the game lacks the usual season pass or the nickel-and-dime microtransactions we see in other prominent games.

In a world of companies using predatory tactics, such as EA and Ubisoft, an independent studio like Larian tells us how video games should be. Baldur’s Gate 3 did something different in the face of an industry that feels stagnant. If you’re tired of the gaming industry’s half-baked developers and monetization pitfalls, Baldur’s Gate 3 is the type of game that would make you fall in love with video games all over again.

One Comment

  1. Corny Dad August 9, 2023 at 12:30 am - Reply

    My wife said I should do lunges to stay in shape. That would be a big step forward.

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