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Viqor's gameplay for Baldur's Gate (PC)
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Viqor played Baldur's Gate

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Viqor said...
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I'm having trouble thinking of a good way to describe this particular game-play session in Baldur's Gate. It started off very badly, with me fighting the same battle over and over again for about two hours, finally winning with a combination of luck and cheap tactics (trying to lure individual enemies away from the group, using monster summoning to force the mages to waste their spells). Then, not 20 minutes later, I run into a couple of Greater Basilisks, who, by the way, can kill your main character (and thus end the game) instantly with with a stone gaze. After trying various methods, and much frustration, I finally used a potion of Mirror-eye (which I didn't know that I had at first), and defeated the enemy. I'm not sure if I got the potions in the dungeon, but I would have been completely screwed if I did not have them, since Candlekeep's Catacombs is one of the very few dungeons in the game that you cannot leave once you enter. After exiting the dungeon, joy of joys, I headed back to Baldur's gate, fought a couple of easier boss battles and dungeons, and was doing extremely well. I do have to note, however, that the objectives in this last part of the game are not very well laid out and I had to consult a strategy guide several times in order to figure out where I needed to go. Otherwise, I was having a great time. I entered the final dungeon riding on a high, thinking that I could easily beat the game tonight. Turns out the "easy" part of that assumption could not have been more wrong. The dungeon itself is a maze: twisting and turning corridors full of traps, oozes (which are easy) and skeleton warriors (which are insanely difficult). I finally made it through that section after spending at least an hour on a single area only to run into a group of extremely powerful enemies. Again, I spent the better part of an hour slowly figuring out how to beat them (hint: it wasn't fairly). When I finally did, four of my party members lay dead, and I had to venture back through the dungeon to get them back. The maze took an annoyingly long time to navigate back through (ten minutes of watching your characters navigate back and forth through identical, empty corridors is not fun) and I had to repeat the process after reviving my party. Finally, I reached to final battle: my hopes were high, as I tend to do quite well against individual opponents. Unfortunately for me, it turns out that the final battle is actually against four enemies, not one. My early attempts were comically short: I would die within 30 seconds each time without killing even a single opponent. Clearly I needed to rethink my strategy. At first I had trouble luring the minions out of hiding without alerting the main boss, and activating all of the opponents at once. Eventually, I struck upon a strategy that would successfully draw out the first minion, who I managed to dispatch after a couple of tries. My next hurdle was facing off against the final two minions at once, as they seemed to activate together no matter what I did. This was particularly difficult because one of them was a powerful mage who, along with his many resistances, liked to induce status effects on my characters, rendering them useless, or worse, enemies during the fight. It took me a while, but I did eventually finish the two off. Finally I took on the last boss, who managed to kill two of my party members during the fight, but actually went down on my first try fighting him alone, allowing me to complete Baldur's Gate. In some ways, my final hours in Baldur's Gate is indicative of the game as a whole: a roller coaster of extremely good design, a well told story, poor difficulty balance, and sometimes cheap opponents. When it's all said and done, the positive in the game definitely outweighs the negative, and only makes me look forward to playing Baldur's Gate II even more, as that game seems to be much more fondly remembered than the one I just completed.
Baldur's Gate

Baldur's Gate (PC)

Genre/Style: Role-playing/Isometric Action RPG
Release Date: 17/NOV/98
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