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Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition iPad Review

By , on December 12, 2012


Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Baldur's Gate in all its glory and then some; new NPCs to join your adventure and an all-new campaign to test your skill.
  • Deep and complex mechanics encourage players to think carefully and invest in their characters.

CONS

  • Imprecise touch controls; hard to match the accuracy of a cursor on the PC, especially when dealing with hidden/small items.
  • Tutorial races through the basics without giving the player a chance to understand each ability's worth.

VERDICT

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition knows who it's aiming for and hits the mark almost perfectly, but as a result, gamers yet to enjoy the deep complexity of such an RPG may be quickly overwhelmed and even put off by its clunky design.


  • Full Review
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Some of you out there may be old enough to remember purchasing Baldur's Gate when it first hit the PC in 1998. It came with many goodies, not the least of which was a large vertical sleeve to hold the five CDs required to play the game. Later improvements in compression and technology made it less unwieldy, but the original embodied the content held within - an epic tale of adventure based on the 2nd Edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. It was bold and it was brutal, but by gosh it was fun.

Flash forward to 2012 and we've come a long way since the sprite-driven and ancient mechanics that ruled much of the Western RPG scene. The quests are no less epic, but instead of large, clunky, button-driven interfaces the games either slip in to a somewhat more tactical design or eschew the neckbeard-like fussiness of number crunching for immediate and non-stop action.

As such Baldur's Gate is a relic of its age, and despite visual enhancements to fit the diminutive original on to larger screens, the Enhanced Edition wears its clunkiness on its sleeve. Nothing is handed to you on a silver platter and you'll have to work for your success by talking to everyone you can; exploring every nook and cranny, no matter how obscure; pilfering as much as you can; and in general, taking the time to micro-manage every step you take.

It's laborious, but that was the fun of the original game and subsequent titles based on the Infinity Engine, as you came to invest yourself entirely in the struggles of your adventuring party.

As such, fans of the original can jump on board without a moment's hesitation, tapping away to issue orders and collecting all new NPCs such as a Monk, a Wild Mage, and even a dreaded Blackguard if you happen to prefer things to get messy.

Of course the latter two will need to be purchased to become playable, but while you're in the store you can also pick up a portrait pack from Jason Manley. For those looking to customize their characters it's a great addition, along with all new voice packs.

Lastly, those looking for more action can delve in to the Black Pits, a new and separate campaign where you'll get to customize your party of six to face deadly waves of enemies.

While it's great to see Baldur's Gate handled with such care, keeping the game so close to the original also hampers its chance at appealing to a new audience, especially one unwilling to delve in to such a dense game with deadly consequences around every corner.

That said, for old-hands and RPG fanatics it's a boon and an easy recommendation.

Screenshots

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Comments

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Chesco 9 months ago

*Update: Glad it's back! :D

Bookmarked for a $.99 sale!

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Chesco 1 year, 3 months ago

GONE!

Removed from the appstore due to licencing issues. :(

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DarkScience 1 year, 3 months ago

Really? Is it gone for good? We're you able to download? There is another game that is similar for sale at the mo, I'll have to look it up though, I'll post a reply shortly. If not try knights of the old republic, such a great version of real time strategy and rpg!

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DarkScience 1 year, 3 months ago

Yep your right, just looked it all up! you can try this game: Avadon: The Black Fortress HD it looks very similar, the offer has finished on it though. for me it was choosing between the two, I think Baldurs gate was a more recent port? Have to check out some reviews of it I guess!

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TheAspieFox 1 year, 3 months ago

^^That sucks! I wanted to download it at. Some point and give it a whirl on my iPad! Dx

^KOTOR is an amazing game. Cx
I'm on a new playthrough, attempting an unarmed character. xD

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DarkScience 1 year, 3 months ago

Did your play-through with pistols work well then? Are there actually any good guns in the game or is it all about skills feats and upgrading guns?

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TheAspieFox 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes, it worked pretty well, actually. It's kind of a mix between feats and a good gun. If you have Master Flurry, a bunch of Dexterity modifiers a base Dexterity of at least 16, the Sith Assassin Pistol that you get from Saul Karath, the Zabrak Tystell Mark III, a Mandalorian Heavy Pistol, and/or Cassus Fett's pistol- I guess it's just a matter of preference; they're all similar in damage output, with the Heavy Exoskeleton armor and the Vacuum Mask, you're good to go.

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DarkScience 1 year, 5 months ago

I took the plunge on this game about a month ago, having never played this game the first time round (non PC gamer though old enough to have been!) I Love the retro look of the game and am a fan of detailed RPGs like this one. After watching the videos I decided to go for the rather large price tag, and I'm so glad I did! I have been completely taken by the intricacies and the satisfaction you get coming from a successful battle - early on battling even a simple wolf is a challenge! The world seems very believable and the environments look so good its easy to loose hours playing this game. I have not had any real issues with the touch interface - maybe this is because I have never know the accuracy of mouse control with the title. I really cant recommend enough - its not a quick fix game at all, you need a good free block of time to get into it, set up your squad and push on. It is a game thats made me put down my xbox remote, and not many iPad games have done that.

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Chesco 1 year, 3 months ago

tnx for your review! :)