Light theme

Baldur's Gate III review
Exceptional
by xXWoodinatorXx

Concise Review:
Really great characters, encounters, writing, world building and story telling. Deep and engaging game mechanics and systems. A challenging and versatile combat system. 

A bit clunky to control on PS5. A bit confusing and overwhelming as to how everything works. Why is there no pause for a single player game! It’s so annoying.

Performance is bad. It hitches almost everytime you go in the menus, which is a fuck ton, and during a lot of the fights it’s stalls for a long time on enemy turns. The performance overall for a game like this is disappointing (on PS5). I had to stop playing during ACT 3 because it became unplayable due to crashes every 5 minutes. It really killed the momentum.

Journal:

I’ve been excited and interested to play this one because of the amazing reviews it received. I don’t think I’ve ever played a CRPG, not like this, not that comes to mind so I really have very little idea on how much I’ll end up liking it.

5 hours in and I like the start. There’s a lot to read and learn and decide early on but so far I’m enjoying learning about the different game mechanics and systems. Also the opening cutscene was really good and I like the story set up. 

This is giving me a bit of Witcher 3 vibes early on. The world building and the quests and dialogue so far remind me of the Witcher 3 which is a huge compliment. I’m enjoying the combat too. Strong start for BG3.

BG3 moments: I stumble across some goblins who have tied a gnome to a wind mill and they are spinning him around. I convince the goblins to leave him alone by saying they should go get something bigger than a lowly gnome. They listen. I go to release the gnome but instead of clicking the brakes lever I click the release brake lever which made it go faster and the gnome got sent flying super far into the forest. I’m sure he’s dead. It was hilarious.

Lol then I opened a barn door with some suspicious sounds to find this giant monster looking female orc getting railed from behind by this smaller normal orc. It was funny. They were upset and attacked me.

I’m about 12 hours in based on my save file time but that doesn’t account for all the times I’ve died and retried things. I’d guess I’m closer to 14 hours. I’m really liking BG3. Currently a low A- but it could end anywhere. I will say, it’s hard not to compare against at Starfield and I have a couple of issues with the community dialogue between these two games. I’ll start by saying the voice acting and the dialogue is definitely better in BG3. No arguments there. But, I think that BG3 is pretty much just as clunky as Starfield. It’s a different style of game obviously. But for all the criticism Starfield got for unrealistic NPCs just standing around and the awkward staring at the camera during dialogue I expected BG3 to be better, but it’s pretty much the same. Sure the camera moves a bit more naturally but your characters responses are still some weird facial expressions and you just look at him standing silently. Idk. It doesn’t seem that different to me. Plus the world is more stiff in BG3 because of the type of game it is. To be clear I really like both games and don’t think they should be used to attack each other, but since they are being used to attack each other I feel like it’s worth mentioning that I don’t think BG3 is as modern and immersive as I was expecting. Opinions subject to change as I’m still very early. And again, I’m not going to search for the flaws in BG3. I’m fully aware you can search for flaws in Starfield and find so many. Just my initial thoughts.

Astarion is my fave character so far, with karlach as my second fave. Astarion has some great lines though and the voice actor is hamming it up in a good way. I also love my character I created for the guardian role. He is honestly way cooler than my main guy which I kind of regret. 

Holy shit. Fighting my way out of this goblin camp mission has been nuts. I went in sneaky at first but I wanted to kill the first goblin lady sneakily but it got loud… then I had to fight my whole way out. Probably like 5 hours of combat because I failed so much. The final section which was the main front area that you enter from a door already pinned in, it was so hard. Took me 2.5 hours. But I figured it out. Honestly it was reminding me of like Elden ring, of the soulslike struggle of trying to figure out what is the best way to tackle this situation. I loved it.

I’m shocked with how challenging I have found the combat encounters to be to start. I’ve been enjoying the difficulty though. I’ve tried out a bunch of different strategies to drastically different results. I also wonder if I’m making it harder on myself because I “should” have talked my way out of situations more often. I definitely didn’t need to kill every goblin in the whole goblin camp, but I tried to be sneaky but failed and I’m trying not to do too much save scumming just for things I don’t like.

I have found myself googling things a few times already. Mostly from getting lost and not knowing where to go but knowing there must be something else in the area, once to solve this puzzle I was fucking clueless on. And then once because I knew there was a quest line that I wanted to progress but the two guys who started the quest died in combat before I could really talk to them. I know the game doesn’t intend for you to see everything in a single run, and I’m sure I’m still missing lots, but I’m trying to see as much as I can right now. I hope I don’t over do it early on and then get burnt out by the end. I don’t think I will though. I might take a break at some point and play a little filler game in between though. 

Minor complaints: I wish you could actually pause the game. If I’m offline then I should be able to pause and it’s super dumb when games don’t let you. I don’t get. Second, I wish I could freely move the camera around. There are some cool places but the camera is so limiting on what you can actually see.

Save file is at 26 hours, I’d guess I’m closer to 29 or 30. Really liking this game. My main squad is karlach, the gith, and shadowheart because I think they are the best all around and I need them for combat. I wish I could play with Astarian more as he is my favourite personality but he is also a rogue elf and he just feels like a worse version of my character. He doesn’t fit well with the squad and having a tankier healer or a high damage fighter is much more valuable for my squad. I’m really starting to get them set up with more weapons and gear that suits their builds too. There is a lot depth to this game. I’ve really enjoyed figuring out how to beat some challenging combat scenarios that at first seem impossible. Game is a mid A- and rising. It’s already my favourite turn based strategy game ever, but granted, that’s not my favourite genre and I haven’t played too too many of em.

I think I spent almost 4 hours trying different ways to beat this big devil fight for Raphael. It was a blast. I’d guess I’m around 45 hours at this point. Save file says 38. Loving BG3.

BG3 moment: I’m in this dark dungeon. There’s a rat sitting on a throne with some other rats. I decide, why not take a potion that lets you talk to animals and see what’s up. They start calling me unworthy and shit and they pick a fight. They are just normal rats though so they have 1 hp. I kill them and don’t think anything of it other than wow what a cool little interaction then later another rat pops out to me and there’s this other really cool interaction with a backstory about a guy who’s soul is split into a bunch of rats and as a whole they are him. It was awesome.

I love Balthazar. Great voice actor. Great character.

My save file is now close to 58 hours but I honestly have no idea what my real time is at this point. At least 65. Maybe even 70. I just beat the Balthazar fight and freed nightsong but I accidentally did it with Gale instead of Shadowheart because I’ve found Gale to be way better. But then Shadowheart got all pissed and left the party because that was like her soul purpose. So I reloaded to before entering the pool so I could do it with Shadowheart. I want to see how it plays out with her.

I decided I’m respecing Shadowheart. Changing her from a cleric to a sorcerer because she hasn’t been that great in combat and her healing and support abilities aren’t good enough, or I just don’t know how to use them well. But I’m testing out a sorcerer build. It’s going to mess up all her gear though. I want to get her proficient in medium armour so I don’t need to change all her gear.

I should say that the performance in BG3 has overall been quite bad at this point. And I am
Shocked I didn’t hear more about that during the initial BG3 wave but maybe it runs better on PC. My game stutters and mini freezes all the fucking time. It’s annoying.

I’m loving BG3 still. Save file is at 65 hrs (but probably more like 75ish). I just started the third act and I’m right outside BG. But unfortunately my game has become so laggy and delayed that it’s unplayable. Try to open a door, it freezes for 20 seconds. Try to have a conversation, nope get frozen for 30 seconds. Try switching characters, too bad it’s going to freeze. It really sucks. I’m very into the story and wanted to keep playing but I’m going to need to wait for a patch at this point. Fuck. I really don’t know how this game has had such bad performance and game breaking issues yet it still got 96 and I didn’t hear anybody talking much about the issues. My only theory is that everyone reviewed on PC and the people voting and that give scores would have been playing on PC because the PS5 version came out a month later, plus it’s a super long game and the issues really only mildly started in the second act and really fucking ramped up during the third act. So they probably weren’t there yet. Sneaky Larion Studios. Very sneaky strategy. Well, rant over. Guess I’ll google when a patch is coming to fix this.

Still mad it’s not fixed.

A patch came in and it did improve the response time for actions. It no longer takes forever. But unfortunately now the game itself just crashes. Had 4 crashes in about 20 minutes sooooo that’s still not playable. I’ll check in again after the next one.

Wyll is a bitch.

I loved the Raphael fight. The music was epic. I thought it was going to be impossible but then I beat it pretty quickly all things considered.

I beat Orin and her grandfather, Astarions Vampire master, blew up the steel watch, and then got that Hag Ethel. I’m on a roll of finishing long questlines. They have been great and also I’m realizing now that my party is so strong. It’s a mother thing BG3 did a great job at. A feeling of consistent progression where how 100 ish hrs in I still find improvements that feel impactful. It’s like a completely different game with this level of gear, spells, potions etc compared to the first two acts.  It’s very hard for a game to pull this off at the scale BG3 did. 

I’m bumping BG3 up to an A. It’s top tier. I’ve had an incredible time and I’m still not done.

The final stretch has been really fun. I’m loving it. 

Beat it. Loved it. Awesome final sequences. I completed so many side quests I had so much support. It was fun. What a great game.

Final Score: A

Other reviews13

10/10
«Can’t stop playing»
One of the greatest games of all time. Even with an unfinished and unpolished third act/ending, this is an industry-defining experience. Will come back to this one for decades to come.
«Blew my mind»
A pleasant surprise.

This game, at least for me, came out of nowhere with a ton of hype and expectations. What could go wrong? Well... A lot of things. Most 2023 games are launching incomplete, with terrible optimization. And that's only the technical matters. Only multiplayer/online, bad plot/dialogue, useless lore, hollow gameplay are pretty common nowadays. Fortunately, Larian Studios is different.

First of all, the game is absolutely playable. 4K High settings with Balanced DLSS made me so happy. My 2060 + Ryzen 5 1600 are still good when the game is well optimized. Also, the HDR looks amazing, and the gameplay with a controller is impressive. I mean, that's a turn-based RPG and, somehow, it works beautifully.

But what about what matters the most? Plots in video games are rarely as good as some top-tier movies, even when the focus is the campaign. Seeing genuinely good characters' backgrounds, with solid development and plausible dialogues, made me feel so lucky to have the chance to experience it. They look so real, with motivations, ethical/moral clashes, ambitions, etc. Also, their dialogues are rich with subtext content. Along with what is most explicit about the sentence are elements that complement their culture, feelings, and motivations. It reminds me of "A Song of Ice and Fire" dialogues. If I am comparing BG3 to GRRM's writing, you know that the game is good. I cannot forget about the voice acting. It is so good that it made me like characters that I usually would not like just by their voice (Astarion and Laezel at first). Also, their development comes mainly from personal quests - which are amazing. And talking about them...

That's probably the first time that a game made me play the side quests from the adventure itself. I really don't give a damn about the rewards - and that's an amazing complement, since the game is challenging, and you have to pay attention to those types of stuff. I almost 100% it, and I still want more. They were memorable, fun, sad - all of those feelings together sometimes.

The gameplay is challenging, immersive, and pretty variable. I never thought I would like a turn-based RPG so much. It's crazy how much you can do differently just by having another approach. Also, I loved the bosses.

BG3 made me feel a lot of things. I felt manipulated, happy and sad about outcomes, characters' destiny, excited by some fights, in love with the OST, intrigued with the world-building, and, most of all, a true fearless wizard fighting for his and their friends' freedom.
Read more...
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
You will find in it all the best that video games can give in principle
«Can’t stop playing»
«Better with friends»
I genuinely don’t understand why a lot of people keep singing Baldur’s Gate 3’s praises and it surprises me that criticism of the game is so hard to find. 
I played on PS5 for about 15 hours and I did not have fun, because of a lot of frustrations with the controls (camera controls in particular), awkward menus, mechanics not getting explained and general UI issues. In addition, I don’t find the game enjoyable to look at; textures are bland, there is a lot of pop-in (textures and assets), audio is weirdly mixed with some voices having (presumably) unintended reverb/echo, areas are incredibly dark, so much so that I had to put brightness at max, which whited-out the entire screen (perhaps something wrong with HDR) and I just have to squint at the screen all the time to make out what’s happening. I also had a couple of bugs with menus not appearing and the game not responding correctly to my inputs, which actually led to me killing a companion instead of talking to them after which the game autosaved, preventing me from fixing it. 
I don’t care about the story/characters so far, which is okay, I can imagine appreciating it/them over time, but I just don’t want to play anymore. I wasted my weekend and 70,- euros. 

If you liked Divinity Original Sin 2, you’ll probably like Baldur’s Gate 3 more than I did. 
Read more...
meh
«Boooring»
I went in with medium expectations after trying it in early access. After 1 hour, I was completely hooked. Now, after 70h, I finished my first playthrough. It was amazing. I don't often do many playthroughs, so for many that's enough. However, there are so many things that I know that I didn't see. If you like DND (especially the newer version 5e), this game is that 100%.
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
It's a goddamn good <s>coffee</s> game

Better than most of AAA releases.
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
This game in early access is more flushed than most AAA games are in their end form. I already have over 300 hours in the game and i can't wait for the full release