Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

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Critical Success: “Baldur’s Gate 3” Review

A review on the RPG game “Baldur’s Gate 3”
Ben Bailey

“Baldur’s Gate 3,” released by Larian Studios on August 3, 2023 for PC and September 6, 2023 for PS5, is a video game that takes place in the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) universe. It is a high-fantasy turn based RPG that follows your character on an adventure through the world of Faerûn while trying to discover a cure for a parasite in your brain before it turns you into a horrifying creature called a mind flayer.

This game was easily the most anticipated game of the year since early access began three years ago. Throughout the early access process, Larian Studios was constantly making changes and improvements. While I didn’t play early access myself, I was no stranger to hearing about this game constantly. And how could I not hop on the “Baldur’s Gate 3” hype train when I heard what it was going to accomplish?

Adapting a tabletop roleplaying game like D&D is no easy feat, and few have done it successfully. That being said, there’s simply no other RPG that adapts D&D like this game has. The gameplay is almost exactly how actual D&D is played, from the way skill checks are done to the way combat is played. Not to mention the lore, which expands upon  many D&D sourcebooks. When it comes to adapting the source material and making it their own, Larian Studios has done so flawlessly.

However, that does raise the question: can you play this game if you don’t know anything about D&D? Absolutely! This game requires no knowledge of D&D, or any tabletop mechanics for that matter. If the fantasy genre interests you at all, you can pick up this game and catch on fairly quickly.

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An aspect of the game I think is seldom talked about is the music. The composer, Borislav Slavov, has been nominated for multiple awards, including for his work on “Baldur’s Gate 3.” The music from this game is iconic. All of the music fits the story so well, especially within combat and the story’s more emotional moments. The adrenaline rush that hearing the combat music gives you is something that many composers would kill to accomplish.

But the best part of the game is the voice acting, by a landslide. I don’t know how Larian Studios did it but they have perfectly cast every single character, from the main companions to the NPCs with only a handful of lines. Of course, I can’t talk about voice acting without mentioning Neil Newbon’s performance as Astarion. You may know Newbon for his work as Karl Heisenberg in “Resident Evil: Village” or Gavin Reed and Elijah Kamski in “Detroit: Become Human.” In my opinion, neither of these performances live up to his performance as Astarion. It is  such a life-like performance that I was brought to tears watching parts of his storyline. 

On that topic, the companion storylines are absolutely phenomenal. As you adventure, you pick up companions along the way who will join your party. From there, you can interact with them as little or as much as you want to gain their friendship, and even romance them if you’re inclined. You naturally progress their storylines as you work through the three acts of the game. They are absolutely worth completing because they add so much depth to the story and let you see your companions for the people they are. Personally, my favorite storylines were the Astarion and Shadowheart (Jennifer English) ones, because I feel that they change the game’s story the most in the long run.

A unique part of “Baldur’s Gate 3” is that every playthrough is different. The character you create, the party you choose and the choices you make affect the story in a way that makes it so no two playthroughs are the same. For my first playthrough, I played a drow bard with an insanely high charisma stat, which gave me the option to talk my way through a lot of scenarios instead of fighting. For my second playthrough, I’m playing a dark urge half-elf barbarian with a pretty sad charisma score. Even though I’m just starting it, the differences in the story are apparent, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the game progresses. “Baldur’s Gate 3” also has a multiplayer feature, and although I haven’t played it myself, I can only imagine it adds even more to the experience of character making.

Now that I’ve gotten all the praise out of my system, it’s time to talk about things I didn’t like so much. First, the price. Right now, “Baldur’s Gate 3” goes for around $60 on PC and $70 on PS5. On top of that, a normal playthrough can take hundreds of hours to complete (my playthrough took ~130 hours.) A lot of people don’t have the money or time to play a game like that. 

Second of all, the ending. Without spoiling it, I found the ending to be a bit dissatisfying after playing hundreds of hours. There’s an ending with a specific companion that made sense story-wise, but still made me feel a bit underwhelmed.

In conclusion, I would rate “Baldur’s Gate 3” a 9.8/10. It definitely has a learning curve, but after you understand the mechanics of the game, it is easily one of the best gaming experiences you can have. Although I’ve docked points for the price, I do wholeheartedly believe the game is worth it if you have the money to spare. I highly, highly recommend this game.

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About the Contributor
Sophia Smith
Sophia Smith, Co-editor in chief
Sophia Smith is a senior and second-year reporter. This is her third year in the journalism program and she has competed in UIL journalism writing. Outside of her time writing for The Roar, Sophia is an active member of the LHS theater department and International Thespians Society. She enjoys shining the spotlight on her peers with her feature stories. In her free time, she trains in Brazilian jiu jitsu, attends concerts and draws. After high school she plans to attend CSU and pursue a career in tattooing. 

Comments (3)

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  • W

    WOct 11, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Very cheap for a quality game like this. Others charge much more for much less value

  • L

    LelahOct 11, 2023 at 9:21 am

    Awesome story! Gotta play this ?

  • H

    Haley HausamOct 11, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Wow! Great story, I’ll have to play.