Final Thoughts on Baldur’s Gate

I must say, I didn’t expect one of the main ideas behind this blog to hit this hard in the first game.  When brainstorming blog names, we decided that we needed a theme – some kitschy thing that sums up what we’re about.  We came up with “Does it suck?” which was a derivative of, “How does it compare to modern games?”  We’ve seen a lot of talk about that with Baldur’s Gate, but, now, within days of the meeting, I’m terrified.

I’m terrified because this game sucks.

Yes, it didn’t suck when it came out, and look at all that we have now because of it.  But, if I’m sticking true to our motif, I have to be honest.

I was excited to play Baldur’s Gate, even after dying repeatedly.  Old games are hard, I told myself.  You’ll get better at it.  Then my reputation started dropping for unexplained reasons, and my good-aligned party members began insulting me.  I spent over an hour trying to get into Baldur’s Gate City from the bridge level (“hidden” doesn’t begin to describe the entrance to Baldur’s Gate), and, when I got there, I realized that I had absolutely no idea why I was there.  Then I got framed for murdering some guy.  They threw me in the prison in my hometown, and some wizard said he could transport me to the catacombs beneath the town (not outside the walls, mind you), where I could twist and wind my way out.

I had a moment then, where I just stared at the screen.

NO!  I said.  I don’t want to twist and wind my way through catacombs, I’VE BEEN BEEN TWISTING AND WINDING SINCE I INSTALLED THIS CURSE OF A GAME.

The UI that doesn’t let me see anything sucks.  The boring and long-winded sprites masquerading as townsfolk, allies, and villains suck.  I couldn’t even find a story, so that sucks.  Travelling from town to town takes forever, and everyone hates me, even though I saved their iron, killed a town of bandits, and saved all of the kittens from all of the trees.

I enjoyed exactly two things:

1. I could pause the game during combat to assign battle commands to each of my party members.

2. My party members said funny things when I clicked on them.  (“Butt kicking for goodness!”  “Onward, to futility!” “Click on someone your own size!”)

So, yes, Baldur’s Gate sucks.  Here at Gaming Graveyard, historical context means nothing.  We play old games with current game standards.  Granted, I have those standards because of games like Baldur’s Gate — an important fact that I will not refute — but that doesn’t mean it was made to withstand the test of time.

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About tiamonster

Gamer. Reader. Writer. Tea enthusiast.
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2 Responses to Final Thoughts on Baldur’s Gate

  1. Philly Jacobs says:

    Yes, I agree with everything you are saying. I will update my blog soon. Not sure I can say it as eloquently as you, but I will certainly try.

  2. notdb says:

    A quick google search for exactly that phrase in quotes (“Baldur’s Gate sucks”) led me here. Thank goodness I’m not alone in this feeling. All I ever see are nostalgia-enslaved drooling fanboys calling themselves variations on Drizzzzzzt on forums talking about how great this game is, how it cannot be outdone, how it is eternal and immortal perfect gaming. Yet, it sucks.

    Yes, there are good things about it. We know what they are, and at least one is mentioned in this article. But let’s admit it, already: the rest sucks. The plot sucks. The endless grinding and grinding — a trait that destroys game reputation nowadays — sucks. FFS, if it is the grandfather of grinding, is that something worthy of praise? No, it’s not!

    The problem for me is, I’m a completionist. I like to finish things I started (Hi, Morrowind!) even if they are lame and tired and tedious. I have the better (I hope) games that followed BG in the sidelines waiting, waiting for me to slog through, all backed up behind this turd of a game.

    For context: I am 44, and I have been (digital) gaming (everything from Pac-Man to Ultima to countless SSI gold box games to Thief to Uplink to Everquest to LoTRO to STALKER to Spacechem to Richard Burns Rally to Timber & Stone to…. the point is, a wide variety of game types and styles) since I was at most 11 years old. Played and loved tabletop D&D from age 6 to mid-twenties. All the more reason BG’s suckage comes with such confusion to me.

    Baldur’s Gate sucks, man. Play something better with your time.

    Oh, I wasn’t saying that to you. I was telling myself that for the umpteenth time.

    But hey, that goes for you, too!

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