As it turns out, I forgot to take screenshots of Chapter 1. So bear with me as I provide a series of artist’s renditions of how it might have looked.
As thainesmith noted, the first thing you notice is the HUD is wtfHUGE:
That is no exaggeration. It’s brutal, and I’m even playing on a fairly large monitor. I don’t even want to think of that that looked like a 13 inch CRT. I said in an earlier post Bioware diligently tried to recreate the DnD experience, and I assume this is a part of that. So much of DnD is shuffling through a stack of papers or staring at your paper doll I guess that didn’t want to shock players with the excitement of seeing more than 50% of the Candlekeep.
Somewhere along the development process, someone thought You know what? 50% really IS too exciting. Let’s scale this back a bit. So what you do see is this:
Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A little frustration of being lost mixed with what’s-over-that-hill wonder is surprisingly refreshing. Many modern AAA titles titles do all they can to make objectives clear and confine exploration. Not to say those games aren’t fun or well-made, but they feel like theme parks. Go to this town, collect all the quests from NPCs with giant ?’s over their heads, X marks the spot on your mini-map, collect XP and loot, and move on. Baldur’s Gate won’t even give you a map in the tutorial. You appear outside an inn, told to find Gorion, and off you go into the dark.
As you’d expect, the tutorial is pretty tame. No real choices to make, so no chaotic-neutral insanity yet. I sassed some nobles, searched barrels and hay bales for missing scrolls, and became a gladiator for a bunch of lazy cats:
I told Imoen to get lost (fully expect to meet her again) and skipped town with Gorion only to have him murdered before my very eyes (nnnnnnnnooooooooOOOOOoooooOOOOO) by the guy in the loading screen . The chapter ends with poor Stylist the Bard dropping his lute and running for his life.
Thus ends Chapter 1. I promise screenshots next time, or the very least better drawings.