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Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for Mac relies heavily on nostalgia

Chris Holt | April 3, 2013
Fifteen years ago, BioWare launched Baldur's Gate, an opus that redefined what it meant to be a deep, open-ended, and epic role-playing game. Now, Overhaul Games has remastered the original plus its expansion Tales of the Sword Coast, and relaunched the package as Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for the PC, Mac, and iPad.

Which pieces of equipment are the most powerful isn't immediately apparent, so you'll initially scratch your head at the dozens of 'Bastard Sword' and 'Leather Armor' items you keep finding. That's a larger issue with Baldur's Gate: You get a lot of loot but nothing seems particularly useful at first, and swapping it out on your character is a pain.

Despite some clunky interface issues and my larger complaint about the difficulty, Baldur's Gate may be worth playing for its writing alone. The plot isn't particularly noteworthy--something about a conspiracy and your father figure Gorion being slain, revenge, mystery, blah blah blah, but the dialogue is exceptional.

Though it'll slow down your journey considerably, talking to everyone you find is usually worth your time. Not only is it a great way to meet new party members and get side quests, but you'll also meet some truly interesting and amusing characters. Bickering bandits, a bipolar mage, and a miniature giant space hamster named Boo are just some of the characters you'll find along the way. The game also gives you the option to be as big a jerk as you want to be. Steal, kill, mock, and confuse at your leisure.

Bottom line

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is mostly a nostalgia buy for dedicated RPG fans who will enjoy the old-school gameplay, brutal difficulty, and subtle enhancements over the original. New players may not care much about the characters that aren't available aside from the Enhanced Edition, instead stumbling over the game's unimpressive graphics and the initial slow start. Overhaul Games gets credit for remastering a classic title that deserves to be remembered for its influence and creativity. If you're just a regular Mac gamer who is curious about dungeons, space hamsters, and annoying characters named Noober, hey, it's only $20.

 

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