Why, hello there, I see you’ve made your way onto my debut post. I’m Patrick Rose/Paddy Rose/The Sewer Rat (don’t ask about that last one, it’s a long story), general editor at How To Play and a gaming geek. I’ll be writing stuff about games that you may have heard of. I’m also English, and, goddammit, I’m using my spellings whether you like it or not.
The world of gaming has changed an awful lot over the past few years, with that game-that’s-really-a-film COD selling millions of copies, the e-sport Koreanfest StarCraft getting its sequel a mere 10 years after the original. For some strange reason I can’t fathom, I’ve been ignoring the current releases and playing Baldur’s Gate instead.
Baldur’s Gate was the 4th or 5th game I ever experienced properly, and it came out when I was 7 or 8. I have very fond memories of my Dad playing it while I watched. I’ve not touched it since that time (which I guess is about 7 years ago. Christ, now I feel old. God help the rest of you) because I sucked at it back in the day when I couldn’t sing low notes. If you aren’t aware of how the world works and think it works the same way Doom does, you will suck at it too.
But that’s not the point. The reason I’m playing it again now is that it was cheap on Impulse (and DRM free), and with Skyrim on it’s way I’d been getting an RPG itch which Oblivion wasn’t able to scratch. Add in that I’ve never got anywhere past the second chapter of the 5/6 in the game while my Dad was prancing around in the endgame, and you can understand why it had to be bought and finished, just so I could say I’d finally beaten the damn thing.
For those who aren’t aware of the setting of BG, it’s based in the Forgotten Realms on the Sword Coast, close to the city of Baldur’s Gate. You being in the city of Candlekeep and are asked by your foster father Gorion to get ready to leave urgently.
Surprise, surprise, Gorion is killed by an armoured figure (who in every playthrough gets damaged when Gorion dies, much to my confusion). You’re on your own in a world where there are all sorts of creatures that try and kill you.
This was the first game to use AD&D second edition rules, with minor modifications to make it work in real time. I’m not a massive D&D nerd, and thus I don’t know what changes were made, but basic things were taken. When this was released, critics everywhere were enamoured. This game set the standard for the rest of RPGs. You can see the influence that it has in Dragon Age and others even 12 years on.
If you are looking for something to sink your teeth into then this will fill your appetite and then some. It’s aged very well, and if you’ve got the sequel you can run it with that engine with the Tutu mod. Give it a shot. You won’t regret it.
*As an aside, the Icewind Dale series’ creator said in an interview that it took 2 weeks of phone calls to work out where in the Realm hadn’t been earmarked for other projects.
Patrick Rose is a Computer Science Student at Sheffield University and is the general editor of How To Play. You can follow him on Twitter where he masquerades as @DrugCrazed, or bug him on Steam: Drug Crazed Dropkick