Baldur’s Gate 3: A Dive into Western Fantasy

Author: Greg Lozano

I feel the need to preface a few things before diving into this review. I grew up in a generation of video games that began with the NES, ColecoVision, and Atari 2600. My introduction to fantasy was through Final Fantasy, a Japanese title that echoed many elements of Western fantasy but leaned heavily on a pre-defined narrative. This game shaped my perception of orcs, imps, and dragons in a way that made Western interpretations seem less imaginative. The allure of flashy screens and high numbers in games like these overshadowed the subtle narrative cues of a tabletop dungeon master describing a 6 damage critical hit. This early exposure instilled a bias in me, one I wasn’t aware of for years. I always preferred witnessing a narrative unfold with established heroes rather than crafting a backstory for a character of my own creation.

Despite my efforts, Western RPGs like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Skyrim never truly captivated me. However, Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3) has been a delightful exception.

BG3 masterfully emulates the feel of a tabletop RPG, where dice rolls shape your journey. While I don’t always feel immersed as the protagonist, the plethora of choices and their tangible consequences keep me engaged. The game’s vast lore, from deities to racial feuds, offers a rich tapestry for exploration, even if I’m not always familiar with every thread.

However, this depth comes with its challenges. The game’s inventory system can be overwhelming, and the sheer number of spells and abilities unlocked at times feels daunting. It’s a dense game, but for those eager to immerse themselves, the rewards are plentiful.

For those curious about Dungeons & Dragons or the broader fantasy realm, BG3 serves as an excellent introduction. Long-time fans will also find a fresh narrative in a beloved universe. While it may not align perfectly with my RPG preferences, my time with BG3 has deepened my appreciation for the genre.

Rating: 3.8 / 5

Have you played Baldur’s Gate 3? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below!

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