Baldur's Gate 2 Review

For PC

By Contributing Writer Chris George

Rating: Awesome
   Baldur's Gate 2 is better than its predecessor in every possible way, 
which is quite a feat considering the original's high quality.  The gameplay
proves to be familiar for anyone who has played any of Bioware's previous 
RPGs, but it never crosses over into the realm of being a re-hash.
   As great as it was, the original Baldur's Gate could also be a bit 
tedious at times.  In BG 2, the amount of dull exploring that's required to 
complete tasks has been drastically decreased, which prevents the game from 
ever getting boring.  Your character is no longer a complete wuss at the 
beginning of the game since he (or she) starts out with a decent number of 
experience points.
   Baldur's Gate 2 is a mammoth game if there ever was one.  It took me 
about 80 hours to complete, and I didn't even come close to doing all of the
side quests.  The side quests that I did take part in made the game as a 
whole all the more intriguing, and they made me want to go through the game 
again so that I could play through the ones I missed.  Even if you never 
complete a single one of the optional side quests, the main story will suck 
you in even more than it did in the original.
   The graphics are slightly better this time around, with a maximum screen 
resolution of 800x600 instead of 640x480.  The graphics aren't top-notch by 
any means, but what the game lacks in graphical prowess it makes up for with
superior gameplay and stellar sound.  The music is skillfully-crafted, the 
sound effects fit in with the game's atmosphere, and the voice acting is 
much better than the usual crap that passes for voice acting in video games.
   As with any game, there are some negatives in Baldur's Gate 2.  There are
glitches in the Artificial Intelligence of certain characters.  For example,
I once made myself invisible in order to get around a golem that wanted to 
attack me.  Instead of being able to walk right by the golem, it followed me
around the map even though I was supposed to be invisible.  The game also 
crashes from time to time, although this can be said of almost all PC games.
   Will Bioware ever make a bad RPG?  They haven't yet, and I'm beginning to
think that they never will.  Baldur's Gate 2 is a remarkably deep game that 
cements Bioware's hard-earned status as one of the top PC RPG developers in 
the world.

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