I was aware of Baldur’s Gate when it originally came out. I was in the throes of a severe StarCraft addiction at the time but I had several friends who played it. I loved RPGs back then, it was and still is my favorite genre, and that was also the year that Dungeons & Dragons really became a thing amongst my group of friends.
But I never played Baldur’s Gate back when it came out.
Several of my friends got addicted to it. Heck, our band teacher would sit in the back of the room at the end of class and play the game obsessively on his school issued laptop in between class periods. My entire social circle was addicted to that game and I had a brand new shiny laptop that was just begging for a sweet new graphically awesome adventure that would suck a few hundred hours of study time.
And yes, Dungeons & Dragons, band, I was as huge a dork back then as I am now. I still let that flag fly proudly.
I stayed away from the game for one simple reason: I wanted to play it, I knew it would snare me, and I was still well aware of what happened to my grades back in the first six weeks of 5th grade when Wing Commander 2 brought me down at least a single letter grade in several classes, though I wasn’t clairvoyant enough to see into the future and the several college semesters I’d spend either in Dark Age of Camelot or World of Warcraft depending on the year.
I know. I’m still not helping my case on the dorkiness front. To be fair I was dating my lovely future wife during that time, maintaining grades, and keeping up an active social life outside of those games.
So I bought the enhanced edition of Baldur’s Gate on Steam last night.
I’d been thinking about it for awhile. I played Dragon Age: Origins and loved the combat in that up until the point that I beat the hardest voluntary boss on the most difficult setting, decided it was all downhill from there, and stopped about halfway through the game because honestly were you paying attention to that engrossing epic high fantasy story said absolutely no one who played Dragon Age Origins.
I tried buying Baldur’s Gate on GoG a few years ago but found that the old vanilla version designed for the best computers could offer in 1998 was a little lacking on the high definition widescreen best that computers can offer today. And I’m not saying that from the perspective of a graphics whore who only plays a game because the graphics are shiny and new. I love me some gameplay over graphics. The problem is that a game designed for 640×480 with no widescreen support literally looks like absolute crap on a modern machine with two modes: postage stamp or stretched into oblivion.
Then I bought the Enhanced Edition last night on Steam.
I have a feeling I’m going to get pulled into this game for awhile.
Imagine my surprise this morning when I downloaded Retronauts and they were doing a show about Baldur’s Gate. If I hadn’t bought the thing the night before that episode then I sure as heck would’ve picked it up this morning. I have a feeling I’m about to cross the event horizon of an RPG awesomeness black hole that will suck away all of my gaming time.
Fifteen years late, but it’s gonna be fun.