Black Isle Studios appealed in the late 1990s, early 1990s. Between 1998 and 2004 they released two different games from Baldur’s Gate, two extensions, Icewind Dale I and II, and Planescape: The torment. All these games are based on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2 Edition. Now Bimdog takes Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II at the counter. Note that these are games originally released for PC, not the console versions originally released for PS2.

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Baldur Gate is located in the Forgotten Lands. Entered by the Wizard Gorion, you’re an orphan and his department. You live in the fortress library of Candlekeep and lead a quiet life until Gorion asks you to accompany him urgently. Without much explanation, you reluctantly accept and say goodbye to your friends. At one of the exits of the city, you and Gorion are ambushed by an armoured figure looking for you. Gorion says you have to run, then he’ll be killed, leaving you barely enough time to escape. The next morning you see your faithful friend Emoen wandering around in the forest where Gorion was murdered. As soon as they met, they went away from the candles, because it wasn’t safe there anymore.

Research of this area showed that there was an iron deficiency. But the worst thing is that iron objects rust and rot. You and your friends decide to try to find the cause of this strange event and so your adventure begins.

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Baldur’s Gate has twenty-five playable characters who can join your group, but only five can do it at a time. Each character is unique and has different personalities, classes and characteristics. Emoen is a tramp, someone who knows how to hide in the shadows, find traps and open closed doors and safes. Early, Mage and Cleric can join the group, but only if you let them. Beware of assassins and conspiracies to kill you, because it’s obvious someone wants you dead.

Baldur Gate II: The shadows of Amnis are also in the Forgotten Lands. This game takes place in the land of Amn. This is a direct continuation of the first game, so you have to play them in order. Shortly after the events of the first game, the party takes over and the wizard experiments with the main character. His camp is being attacked by a guild of thieves. In a diversionary manoeuvre, Emoen manages to free you and the party makes its way through the underground complex to freedom. As soon as Emoen comes out, he sees the wizard and attacks him with spells. Unfortunately, it is forbidden, and he and the wizard are imprisoned for using magic.

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After Emoen’s arrest, the party starts looking for ways to bring her back. Two different organizations offer to help you rescue, but this offer is very expensive. The two groups have different approaches to things, and it’s up to the player to decide which guild he chooses.

Baldur Gate I and II play with an asymmetrical view from top to bottom. Everything is pre-determined, from the beautiful cards to the player and the monstrous goblins. The games look 15-20 years old, but the developers have made sure that they are definitely up to date. The animations of the spells are beautiful, except those that have a permanent effect. The biggest example of this is the tangle spell, which makes the vines grow and drops people in a ray. Many of the vines are animated from the ground, but there are only five or six different animations, which gives the impression that they are very old.

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Speaking of spells: Be careful what you do, when and where you do magic. Large area spells will strike and injure your group if they are within range. I have died several times by friendly fire. It is also difficult to revive people when they are unconscious, and in more difficult playing conditions characters can die permanently. Newcomers would probably want the difficulty to come back.

The music fits well with the game, as do the background noises. As you enter the taverns and inns, the music turns into live music with flutes and violins, where, just like outside in the city, the atmosphere is slower and more harmonious. Battle music starts when enemies are visible on the field and the game stops by default to warn you that enemies are nearby. This is very useful because the player can zoom in and out with the D-pad. If he zooms in too far, enemies can only become visible when it’s too late. In addition, the player can strategically consider using special abilities or spells to deal with bullies.

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The operation can be a bit awkward, especially until you are used to selecting multiple characters with the ZL button. Using the L and R keys, the player can scroll through each character and select their special abilities, but must then select all group members to move the group again. The fight is fast and the game can be interrupted at any time to give orders to all party members simultaneously or individually. The ZR button is used to open menus, such as inventory and spell check, as well as game options.

The text of the game is quite small, especially on television. The manual mode is much easier for the eyes to read the mountain of text that the game throws at you. There’s an option to enlarge the text in the game, but I didn’t think it was as useful as it could be. This game is fun when the switch is in the home position and even better when it is in manual mode.

The Gate of Baldur and the Gate of Baldur II: Enhanced Editions is a fun but exciting addition to the Switch library. AD&D veterans will find familiar territory, while newcomers should find the plot and surroundings interesting. The steep skill curve of the game can be frustrating, even in normal mode. If players can get over it, there are some really good games here.

Baldur door and Baldur door II: Overview advanced editions

  • Graphs – 7/10
  • Sound – 9/10
  • Gameplay – 7/10
  • Last call – 9/10

8/10

Final thoughts: GRAND

When you’re ready for the challenge, the Gate of Baldur and the Gate of Baldur II: Extended editions are a great experience at the Switch. It’s easy to find more than 100 hours of entertainment here, and although they both look a bit old-fashioned, I really enjoyed playing them on a handheld computer.

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Chris is passionate about video and board games. JRPGs are close to his heart and he loves to listen to quality soundtracks for games!

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