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.
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.