Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition (PC) Review
Alec Levine / Dec 27th, 2013 No Comments
For many gamers, Baldur’s Gate is where they found their start. That is why the release of Beamdog’s Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition has had so much hype surrounding it. Coined as having one of the greatest plots in all of gaming, Baldur’s Gate II(and by proxy Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition) is still one of the most memorable RPGs of all time. With the newly released Enhanced Edition, newer gamers can experience the joy that older gamers experienced when they first played Baldur’s Gate II. However at the root of it all, Baldur’s Gate II is over 13 years old; so is Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition a revitalization for the game or just another simple gaming cash-grab?
The sound and visuals of Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition are somewhat hard to judge as the original version of the game released over 13 years ago. It is obviously going to look incredibly dated when compared to modern titles. With that said, Beamdog did go in and remaster a lot of the textures and models. Furthermore, the game now supports higher resolutions and widescreen, which ensures the game looks nice on bigger screens. All in all, the game retains its classic Black Isle feel while still gaining some notable improvements.
The in-game sound recieved an entire overhaul. All of the sound effects and voices are much crisper and sound like they were recorded on modern equipment. Luckily, the game did not suffer any sort of voice-actor change. Fans of the original game will be happy to know the same voice-acting is back, meaning they will not have to hear their favorite character ruined with a new voice.
Gameplay and Controls
Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition plays like a lot of classic RPGs – as a tactical RPG. This puts the player in control of their entire party at once and they are set to micro manage each character in each fight. The game controls are very basic to accomplish this task, with minimal hotkeys. This can make performing certain tasks take a lot longer than one would expect. It is rather disappointing to see that Beamdog did not add a layer of hotkeys to modernize this game.
It’s nice to see that after all of these years, Baldur’s Gate II is still a lot of fun. The gameplay has withstood the test of time, and adventuring with your party is still an exciting task. The addition of several mods to the base game, only enhances the already enjoyable gameplay. Furthermore, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition includes the base game, the expansion and a bit of new content for players to explore and enjoy. However Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition is only Baldur’s Gate II with a new coat of paint slapped on it, so newcomers to the game may not enjoy it. Still, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition is a very enjoyable experience.
Here is where Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition truly shines. With countless combinations of party members and dozens of different thematic characters to create, the creative will find a lot of replayability in this game. With different ways to approach events and entirely new ways to play the game, each new character makes the game feel brand new. This is very refreshing in an age where games only have one or two playthroughs in them before they get old.
All in all, Beamdog definitely hit the mark with this re-release. Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition feels just like the original did – for better or for worse. The games graphics and sounds have aged well. However the same cannot be said for the controls. But what matters most is that the game is still incredibly fun to play and offers eons of replay time. Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition is definitely worth a look for RPG and classic game enthusiasts.
tags: Baldur's Gate , review , rpg