Baldur’s Gate III PS5 Review – It’s not every day you can go into a game and realize that what you’re playing may never be replicated again. Baldur’s Gate III is one such game that reaches for the stars and gobbles each one up when it reaches them. It may not wish to be, but Baldur’s Gate III is now the flag barrier for all other RPGs and one that I will hold in high esteem for years to come.
Baldur’s Gate III PS5 Review
A Tale Of Might, Magic, And Everything Else You Can Thing Of
Baldur’s Gate 3 is Dungeons & Dragons through and through. You begin your journey by creating your character from various classes and races. Want to be a wizarding Orc or a Dwarven shapeshifter? You are more than welcome to do so. The choice is yours, much as it is in D&D.
The character creator isn’t as vast when manipulating every aspect of your character’s facial features, but it’s large enough and unique enough. To provide you with a unique character that stands out.
Once your character is created, your adventure begins with a bang. Along with what will become the majority of your party, you are kidnapped by Mind Flyers and implanted with parasites trying to turn you into a Mind Flyer yourself but also providing you with unique abilities.
During the opening, the Mind Flyer ship attacks the city of Baldur’s Gate but is thwarted by an army of soldiers riding dragons. A battle ensures the ship travels through portals to other regions and dimensions. The battle rages on, and the ship is damaged, freeing you from captivity.
As you seek to escape, you’ll encounter other characters captured and implanted with parasites you can free and join forces with. The ship eventually crashes and lands in a valley outside Baldur’s Gate, where a mysterious force saves you. You aim to find a cure, remove the parasite from your brain, and save the world.
Trust Everyone And Trust Nobody
I won’t go too much into the main story as it’s a vast and open experience that unfolds based on your decisions, and some people may not even experience events that others will. On your journey, you’ll encounter plenty of colorful characters to recruit to your party or let go at it alone. Hell, you can even choose to fight and kill them. The choice is yours.
Baldur’s Gate 3 introduces some of the most thoughtful and well-written characters in modern times. Not everyone in your party will get along with each other. A Vampire elf isn’t trusted much on your team, nor is a Goblin, but you can rectify that. There are plenty of scenes when you camp on your adventures where characters squabble and sometimes try to kill each other.
You can try and play peacemaker, but sometimes, decisions you make in the world will affect your party to the point where they can leave your group or completely turn on you and try and kill you in your sleep. Every decision you make has consequences, even if it’s talking and being friendly to a specific race — a race that’s the arch nemesis of someone in your party.
Every Decision Has An Impact And Consequences
You’ll have to make many choices during your time with Baldur’s Gate III, and some bigger ones will stretch into other game acts. Earlier, you have a choice between Druids, Tieflings, and Goblins. Goblins are set to attack a settlement inhabited by Druids and Tieflings.
The Tieflings want to join forces with the Druids and stop the Goblins. The Druids are channeling a powerful weapon that will kill the Tieflings and the Goblins and demand that the Tieflings leave the settlement, which risks them being killed by Goblins outside. You are left with a choice that will affect the course of the story.
You can join the Goblins and wipe out the Druids and Tieflings, earning a powerful Goblin army to aid you later. Or you can wipe out the goblins before they launch their attack, saving the Druids and the Tieflings.
You can earn or lose all potential allies depending on your decisions. There is never a choice where everyone goes home happy, and you have to accept that whatever decisions you make could cost you party members who have been with you on your journey for hours.
All of this comes together beautifully with fantastic writing and voice work. Not only is the writing funny and witty, but it’s also emotional and will fill you with anger and sadness when it wants to. Some of the best moments come from your companion’s quests, and I highly recommend you do as many of them as possible.
Defeating Your Foes Is Only Limited By Your Imagination
You not only have a choice in your story decisions but also gameplay. True to the D&D formula, everything you think you can do, chances are you can do it. If you want to murder an entire village and leave it as a ghost town, you’re more than welcome to. If you want to kick a perverted party member in the testicles, then go right ahead.
When it comes to combat and exploration, your choices truly shine. You can walk up to an enemy and push them off a cliff. If you’re unsatisfied with that, you can pick up a barrel full of oil, throw it at the enemy, set it on fire, and watch them burn to death.
Like the rest of the game, turn-based combat allows you to do whatever you want to achieve victory. There’s a wealth of opportunities at your disposal, such as using your environment to shoot down beams holding up boulders to flatten your enemies or bringing down chandeliers to crush them.
You can, of course, ignore all the environmental hazards and play through it like a typical RPG. Each character has unique abilities and skills. Finding the perfect blend of party members for an encounter goes a long way to achieving victory.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
I chose to play as a Sorcerer, lending my magic from a distance while my party mainly consisted of close-range fighters and supporters. I can provide buffs for my team and pick off enemies from a distance. However, players may sometimes find it annoying because the game follows the D&D rules. You can’t constantly spam your most powerful abilities. Magic, though powerful, has its limits. You only get a set number of usages with your spells and special attacks.
Once you’ve exhausted your usage, you won’t be able to cast the spells or use the abilities until you rest at camp, which also requires resources to fully regain your HP, spell and ability usage. If you don’t have enough supplies, you’ll only recover a partial amount of your HP and skill usage.
It’s these kinds of mechanics that may leave some players somewhat frustrated. It wouldn’t be such a problem if there were tutorials explaining many of the mechanics, but unfamiliar with D&D rules will surely suffer for a few hours until they begin to learn the mechanics and start to understand how to conserve their more powerful abilities.
Plenty Of Options To Take Down Your Foes And Maybe Your Friends
Each character has three actions: a movement, an attack, and what I like to call a free action. Move and attack are self-explanatory, but the free action allows you to loot a dead body or push or pick up an object in your way.
Positioning your party strategically is critical to gaining the advantage in combat. One of my favorite things to do is bottleneck enemies, forcing them to try and reach my party. I then post up my tanks and melee fighters in front as I pick enemies off with magic from a distance, not giving them any place to hide.
Rogues whom the enemies haven’t spotted can hide and wait in the shadows, laying traps for enemies and luring them to their demise. Every action has a check the player has to go through. Some enemies are better matches than others. If a melee fighter tries to attack a thief, for example, they have a higher chance of missing the attack due to the thief’s high dexterity.
Most of these checks are handled in the background; all you need to know is the information the game provides by telling you if a particular attack offers an advantage or a disadvantage to say to you if it’s lucrative to pull off the attack.
The amount of abilities and skills available to you is staggering. There is so much you can pull off during combat, it truly feels like an open sandbox. Baldur’s Gate III is packed with instances where you can use abilities that you may never use in other RPG, such as putting enemies to sleep and charming them.
I love putting enemies to sleep and then killing them in their sleep with a rogue or turning enemy beasts to fight on my side against the enemies. You can even resurrect the dead with necromancer abilities and have them join your ranks; the options are limitless.
Plenty Of Puzzles And Dungeons To Explore
Exploration is just as expansive and free as the rest of the game. There are so many moments where you find ruins or hidden paths, as well as destructible walls or ledges and rooftops that seem impossible to reach.
Exploring dungeons is fun and requires real-world thought or tools if you don’t want to figure out where to locate a key to enter a specific room. No problem, you can bash the door down or burn it down with magic. If you can think of a solution, you can use it to reach your destination. Can’t find a way up a building? Find a bunch of boxes, stack them up against the building wall, and climb them to reach the rooftop. When there is a will, there is a way.
Visually, Baldur’s Gate III is a treat. The fantastic character models boast a ton of details in them, and even your regular NPCs offer nearly as much graphical fidelity as the main cast. The locations are also detailed, like flora running rivers and people in cities, making it feel like a living, breathing world. The city of Baldur’s Gate itself is the biggest treat. It’s such a massive city that you can spend hours exploring it and still not find everything it offers.
The soundtrack is epic and feels like a true adventure. There are some tranquil compositions during quieter moments, but these are complemented with the rousing themes of epic boss battles and encounters. Sometimes, it feels like you’re in an epic battle like in one of the Lord of The Rings movies.
Long Loading Screens Can Interrupt The Experience
Baldur’s Gate III isn’t without its share of annoying bugs. Throughout the game, I encountered objects I couldn’t interact with, like doors or chests to open. I also had a few instances where dialogue was utterly silent, but these issues were few and far between.
The most egregious issues came in the Third Act, where I got stuck in the environment, and some frames dropped when too much was going on on screen. My biggest issue was the long load times. It can sometimes take up to forty seconds to load back into a game after dying or even fast-traveling from one point to another on the same map.
Overall, Baldur’s Gate III is a crowning achievement in this generation of hardware. Larian Studios’ latest offering may become one of my lifetime’s significant, if not the greatest, RPGs. It may sound like a bold statement, but it’s one that I will stand by. This is how you create a true open sandbox where every crazy idea you may have, you can pull off. Baldur’s Gate III is the future of RPGs wrapped up in a present-day package.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is out now for PS5 and PC.
Review code kindly provided by PR.