Baldur’s Gate 3 by Larian Studios has been making waves in the gaming space as of late, and for good reason. With an impressive 40 hours of gameplay only focusing on the main story and multiple endings, the replayability of this game is downright impressive. I played through Baldur’s Gate 3’s initial release and returned to give it another look now that it has been released in its entirety. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the first couple hours of Baldur’s Gate 3.
You all meet in a spaceship.
The opening moments of Baldur’s Gate 3 have you awake from an alien sleep pod after a mind flare has put a parasite inside you. The ship is crashing and being attacked by dragons and demons alike. The opening level serves the plot well in establishing the game’s overall tone. The controls are somewhat easy to pick up; anyone who’s played an MMO before will definitely have an easier time. The game encourages exploration of the environment as well as interacting with NPCs.
I need to stress exactly how versatile and free Baldur’s Gate 3 can be. A lot of games will force you to make a choice of a very predetermined path that will ultimately lead down to either an A or B scenario. A good example of this is Mass Effect. A single action is very spelled out and has a very distinct repercussion or consequence. Another game might be The Telltale series, where your actions lead up to a final result that ultimately doesn’t impact the plot too much outside of Shades of Gray.
Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t do that. Actions have reactions, and actions have consequences. You can ignore NPCs, attack important figures, walk away from a scenario entirely, and it’s okay. These actions may result in your character dying, but you are still free to do so.
All roads lead to Baldur’s Gate
You can choose to ignore the party members that are put before you, and choose to strike out on your own if you so wish. It will make the game harder in some areas, but maybe not impossible. Of course, as a level one character, you’re not going to be beating a mind flayer. But nothing is keeping you from not freeing bound characters, or ignoring someone else’s call to action. Regardless of what path you choose, the Baldur’s Gate intro sequence ends with you escaping from the crashed ship.
From here, you just do whatever you want. You can explore with any party members you may or may not have. Or you strike out on your own to see what you can find, or just look for trouble.
The game will not make you miss an opportunity completely, but it will not penalize you for not walking the expected path. If you play smart, you can avoid combat altogether in some cases or talk your way through a lot of social engagements.
A Multiverse of possibilities in Baldur’s Gate 3
I myself have played through the Baldur’s Gate intro at least three different times. I wanted to see how deep and how varied my options were. Sometimes I invited every party member that came my way, or I was picky about who I let join. One time I just killed everybody because I felt like it.
There is no right way to play. There is an efficient way to play, but the game won’t push it. It does nothing other than a slight suggestion to influence your actions.
Race and class options actually have effects on gameplay as well. I am very surprised that the dialogue options differed based on what I chose initially. Being a Dragonborn and a fighter gave me different options for what I could do than if I were a tiefling warlock.
How do you want to do this?
As it stands right now, I would recommend Baldur’s Gate 3 to anyone who has the slightest interest in fantasy video games. If you’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons before, go for it. This game doesn’t need you to have played to enjoy it. If you have played Dungeons & Dragons before, you will be delighted by how much there is in the world and the characters you create, and the relationships you forge.