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Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition is out (UPDATED)
(NesCartesius, 18:22:06 - 11 Dec 2012 - / )

I am happy to announce that Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition (BG:EE) is out and currently installed on my PC. I have allready progressed as much as my limited free time and attention span allow, and would like to share my thoughts.

The sum of it is that the game is pretty much the same, but improved. The major differences are high-res graphics (otherwise not changed) and the fact that the game engine has been replaced by the BGII engine. Also a few recruitable NPC's with their own quests have been added.

As far as the graphics are concerned i can verify that the blurry images I suffered when running ages old BG I on my modern pc are gone. The game runs in 1920x1080 res, and it looks beautiful. I was buffled, however, by some hardcore modders in the game forums, that claimed a certain widescreen mod looked better (it simply increased the resolution without changing anything). I won't argue about it here, but the comparison shows exactly what I meant to say: same graphics (which is good, by my standards), only smoothed out to look better in hi-res, new and matching user interface, and no glitches.

The game engine is, as i said, the BGII infinity engine. This means that gameplay is just that bit different, you can cast spells like "find familiar" and choose races like half-orc and classes like sorceror or wild mage, even class kits, that where not originally available in BGI. In fact, the engine is so unchanged that i was able to edit my character's stats with Shadowkeeper, the same tool I used with BGII, back in the day. Some may recall that i posted a while ago about a mod that allowed us to play BGI through the BGII engine. BG:EE is similar, but a bit more than that, as it makes full use of the upgraded engines potential without the glitches and the incompatability errors found in the mod.

The new recruitable NPC's are so far very enjoyable, especially the wild mage, Neera. Most people never bothered with that class, either because they thought wild surges were too much of a hassle or because they imported a normal mage from BGI (like me). This time though, not only is the player enticed to experiment, but Neera is also a possible romantic interest for the player. They actually managed to bring something new in the game without altering the plot, hooray!

All in all, what you get is Baldur's Gate as you remember it, but improved and upgraded to run smoothly in modern pc's and feel like it was made just now. Is it worth it if you own the original BG game? Of course it is, as long as you liked the game and wish to play it again and don't mind paying. If you are a die hard fan like me, it's a must buy. BG:EE provides a smooth and most enjoyable gameplay experience, and, after all, it's at the moment probably the only DnD 2nd edition rules good game out there.

UPDATE (SPOILER ALERT): A controversy has arisen concerning the game. It appears that one of the male Npc's is bisexual, and may engage in a romance with the male character if certain converstation choices are made. Some people have expressed their distress, and a furious debate is taking place, including a very long thread in the BG:EE forums after some comments made by Ed Greenwood about sexuality in the forgotten realms (if you have to ask who Ed is, he created the forgotten realms, duh..).

 
jlucard's picture
jlucard
 
21:43:01 - 12 Dec 2012
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Somehow I knew you got that game - I felt the disterbance in the force. I will have a go at this new version too at some point. It has been so long since I played the original I can hardly remember anything about it. As such it is going to be like playing a new game. Having a bad memory can be a good thing :)

Chain smoking makes you thin

NesCartesius's picture
NesCartesius
 
21:59:00 - 12 Dec 2012
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You remember little because you played the game in multiplayer, if my memory serves me. No NPC interaction. No involvement with the plot. No immersion. But you won't be able to do it this time. The multiplayer feature is officially still Beta, and it is so bugged at the moment that some (impatient?) people actually demanded their money back.

jlucard's picture
jlucard
 
23:02:59 - 12 Dec 2012
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Oh yes, you are right. I remember now. It was in that 5 day long, 20 hour gameplay a day LAN party I went to. Come to thing about it, it was actually 6 days long as we spend an entire day just rolling our characters and attempting to update someone's computer. It was still fun when nobody was shopping - if you entered a shop the others would simply have to wait as the game got paused. It can be a bit of a problem if all you can do is eat your nails while another party member spends your loot. Hope they fix that - would be good if the rest of the party could explore, or even better shop at the same time.

Chain smoking makes you thin

NesCartesius's picture
NesCartesius
 
05:42:00 - 14 Dec 2012
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Out of curiosity, when entering a shop at multiplayer, did the leader/shopper have access to the directories of the other party members? Or did people have to take turns? Could he spend all the money or a portion? And how did looting and giving items to other party members work? Did you designate a loot officer?
I woudn't know because i always played infinity engine games single player, but i do think it's kind of interesting. From a "where did the mmorg trade between players" thing originate.

jlucard's picture
jlucard
 
05:44:00 - 15 Dec 2012
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It has been a long time but as I recall the multiplayer was in essense the same as a single player game with the same storyline: leader dies - game over, leader sets who controls who, leader only can pause and save. Experiemce points gained were shared among the party members as it would happen in a single player game and money was a shared resource (one money bag accessible to everybody). Other players were simply an alternative to the scripts that could be assigned to control party characters. Who got what item was typically decided by nagging your co-players to death - the most annoying person always ended up with the best equipment or a boot to the head. As such it could be said that the LAN capabilities of Baldur's gate1 were rather exagerated.

Chain smoking makes you thin

NesCartesius's picture
NesCartesius
 
23:57:17 - 16 Dec 2012
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It seems pretty hard to play unless all the party members are in the same room, so that they can call to the leader to pause etc. It works well for a LAn network, but i don't know how it will work over ip. Maybe this time they will implement a voice communication system. Or people will use some other client that will run parallel to the game.

 
 
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