Baldur’s Gate 2
Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn took everything that was great about the original Baldur’s Gate and made it just a little bit better.This is considered one of the best role playing games ever made, and has won numerous awards and recognition. RottenTomatoes.com gives it a rare 100% rating and Gamespot.com put it on their ‘Greatest Games of All Time’ list. Actiontrip.com named it one of the ‘Ten Most Influential RPG’s of Our Time’. Needless to say, if you haven’t played this yet you are missing out.
Features and Story (5 out of 5)
This game is mostly based on the 2nd edition rules of the Dungeons & Dragons game, but it does introduce a few elements of the 3rd edition ruleset, including some new character classes. Other than that, it plays just like the original game. You start out by making a character or importing the one from the first game, then you begin with some sidekicks that you’ll recognize from the first game. Along the way, you’ll eventually pick up some more players and have options as to who you want in or out of your party. Unlike the first game, you won’t start out at first level, so you can grow to be a more powerful character than ever before. This means more spells, better weapons, and more powerful monsters to encounter.
The story begins with your character and a couple of others being held prisoner by a wizard. You eventually break out and wind up in a big fight. The rest of the adventure has you travelling all over the place in search of vengeance, plus there’s a lot of rescue missions. You even get to visit the Underdark, and Drizzt Do’Urden makes a cameo. Too bad he can’t join the party. The plot of this game is too detailed to spell out in any kind of brief manner, but there are plenty of twists to keep things interesting.
Best PC RPG Ever? (5 out of 5)
So why is this game considered one of the best RPG’s ever? Simply because it is wide open and there’s tons of stuff you can do. The way the missions and quests are designed give you all kinds of freedom to explore, so you have a lot of control over what you do in the game. Like all great RPG’s, you have main quests, but also tons of side quests you can do for extra experience and items. This is a very immersive game world filled with colorful characters, and lots of great writing that makes it a truly entertaining gaming experience. Not only do you get to live out a very good story as you play, but you’ll be able to utilize all kinds of weapons, items, and magic. This is the kind of game that lets you do a little bit of everything, and it all blends incredibly well.
Graphics (4 out of 5)
Although this game uses the Infinity Engine, it introduced several new improvements to the graphics engine that made it look a lot better than the previous Baldur’s Gate. At the time, it would let you go up to an 800x600 resolution, whereas before you could only do 640x480. The game also makes use of 3D acceleration to help enhance some of the visual effects, especially when it comes to spells and ambient environmental graphics. These subtle little touches help it to stand out better than the original game.
Overall (5 out of 5)
Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn truly is one of the best computer role playing games ever made, as was the original _Baldur’s Ga_te game. If you want something with less story and more action, you may also want to check out the Icewind Dale series. They look and play very much the same way, but are much more hack and slash, as well as more difficult.
An expansion pack for this game called Throne of Bhaal was released in 2001, as well as a book based upon the story.