Adventure & RPG
The original Baldur's Gate was released for the PC in 1998 and enraptured gamers with its engaging storyline, rich visuals and a massive world to explore. Baldur's Gate was set in the Forgotten Realms, the official universe of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition rules. Mac gamers chomped at the bit for this killer RPG, and we finally had our prayers answered last summer when Baldur's Gate debuted on the Macintosh.
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is the sequel to arguably the most successful role-playing game ever. Developer BioWare took on a near-impossible task: make a ground-breaking RPG even better. And BioWare did just that, not by simply re-inventing the wheel but by taking a proven formula and making it better. And now, courtesy of MacPlay, Baldur's Gate II will appear on the Macintosh less than a year after the game was announced last October. Baldur's Gate II is also hitting the Mac less than a year after its initial release on the PC. Considering the gargantuan size of the game, MacPlay has pulled off a near-miracle.
The biggest draw of Baldur's Gate II is continuity: Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast and Baldur's Gate II link together seemlessly like chapters in an epic fantasy novel. For RPG fans, this is a dream come true. You can create your 1st level character in Baldur's Gate, let him or her gain even more experience in Tales of the Sword Coast and then take their over two million experience points in Baldur's Gate II. Don't fret if you don't own the original game, however-- Baldur's Gate II can be played as a massive standalone adventure.
Mac heads familiar with either Baldur's Gate or the pen-and-paper role playing game D&D will find Baldur's Gate II instantly familiar, and those new to the series should be comfortable with the majority of game mechanics after an hour. BGII still uses the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition rules, but BioWare wisely integrated a few key features of the just-released D&D 3rd edition rules. For starters, gamers can now choose to play with the new 3E classes like the Barbarian, Monk or Sorcerer. Old classes can also be enhanced by using kits; for example, a Ranger can become an Archer, or you could take your Paladin and make him an Inquisitor or Undead Hunter by using a kit. The new classes and kits give much more control to the gamer by allowing near limitless customization.