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BALDUR’S GATE 3

Taking initiative and rolling critical success

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“EXPERTLY BALANCES WORLDALTER­ING HIGH-FANTASY STAKES WITH BEAUTIFULL­Y REALISED CHARACTERS.”

We could fill many tomes banging on about the things we love about Larian’s latest expansive RPG: the music; the gorgeous rendition of multiple Dungeons & Dragons locales; and turn-based combat that borrows heavily from immersive sims with often-explosive results. What we would like to highlight first instead is our personally prodigious love life and the journey it leads us on across the Sword Coast.

Okay, yes, mindflayer­s have set their sights on Faerûn, implanting illithid tadpoles in many unwilling hosts, and that’s all dire but have you heard about an elf called Astarion? All joking aside, Baldur’s Gate 3 expertly balances world-altering high-fantasy stakes with beautifull­y realised character writing. After all, what good is saving the world if you don’t care about any of the people in it?

The efforts of Larian’s fleet of writers, coupled with the heartfelt performanc­es of a small army of motion capture actors, ensure that you not only care about your questing comrades, but that you do so deeply (though it’s worth noting hatred too can be classed as an intense kind of ‘caring’). Hate them or, more likely, love them, this adventurin­g party goes down in history as a bunch of weirdos we’re looking forward to journeying with again and again. We don’t know about you, but we’ve already rolled up character sheets for at least two more playthroug­hs of this 100-plus-hour RPG – and doesn’t that just say it all? In addition to Origin protagonis­t playthroug­hs bringing you closer to that core cast, the Dark Urge offers a bloody remix of familiar plot beats for future playthroug­hs. There’s only one thing left to say: roll initiative.

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