June 19, 2018
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Publisher: GraphSim Entertainment    Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: Not Supported    CPU: 601 @ 200 MHz    RAM: 64 MB    Hard Disk: 340 MB    4x CD-ROM    Graphics: 640x480 @ 16-bit

Baldur's Gate
October 17, 2000 | Matt Diamond

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Baldur’s Gate is a computer-based role-playing game (RPG) where you create a character and explore the fictional fantasy world of the Sword Coast. As you acquire new abilities and equipment you gradually become a force for change in the world, while wrestling with questions about your identity. The answers lie in the city of Baldur’s Gate.

The game Baldur’s Gate is quite complex, but it is based on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D), the original and most popular roleplaying system. This makes much of the game instantly familiar to those of us who have played AD&D before, as well as giving the game developers a fully-realized fantasy world and a large but balanced set of game rules. At the time it was published for the PC, Baldur’s Gate was the most complete and faithful adaption of the Dungeons and Dragons rules ever in a computer game. The number of character classes, races, weapons, armor, magic spells, magic items, and monsters in the game is simply astounding.

Getting Started
You start the game by creating only a single character, but you are free to choose any race, alignment (good or evil, lawful or chaotic,) and specialty (fighter, magic-user, and so on) provided the combination is allowed by the AD&D rules.

The story begins in Candlekeep, a monastery. If you explore this area you will find some small quests and some practice battles, a useful way to learn the basics of playing Baldur’s Gate. Experienced players can quickly leave this place to jump into the game proper.

You will not get far in the game without adding other characters to your party, and this is one of the game’s strengths. Although the main storyline personally concerns your main character, the other characters you meet each have their own biography and agenda. In extreme cases the characters of your party may bicker among themselves and even fight. A more harmonious group will follow your orders and guard your back, but if you don’t help them complete their own quests they may leave you (or in one case go into a bezerk rage.)

Speaking of quests, there are a lot of them. Most are found by talking to people you meet. Some are major undertakings that propel the storyline forward, and you are forced to do these in a particular order, but other quests are optional. Thankfully, the game does not require you to explore every map coordinate to finish it, an artificial trick used by some game designers to increase the apparent value of their games by inflating the number of hours it takes to finish. Some people estimate that Baldur’s Gate can be finished in 60 hours-- but only if you avoid many of the side quests! If you explore the game in more detail it will take much longer.


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