Gaming Writer Amy Crawford reviews Baldur’s Gate 3 finding it to be the ideal way to play Dungeons and Dragons

Written by Amy Crawford

One hundred and ten hours into Baldur’s Gate III, my two friends and I wrapped up our first playthrough. I sat back for a moment, an increasing emptiness setting in. The feeling that something really had just ended. Not just the game, and not just that expansive feeling of playing it for the very first time – nothing spoiled for us, no clue what we were doing, no idea where we might end up – but the feeling that we were putting to rest characters that were at least a little part of ourselves now.

The very next day, I loaded up a new save for myself, made a new character, and started an entirely new playthrough.

Baldur’s Gate 3 breathes newfound life into the world of Faerun

Maybe that’s the thing that truly captures the essence of Tabletop Roleplaying Games in Baldur’s Gate. The idea that, no matter how much you’re loving your current character, or system, or arc, you’re constantly thinking about what you’re going to do in the next one. And Baldur’s Gate 3 is yet to get stale on my second playthrough. Simply a couple different choices, or wanting to impress a different member of the fantastic cast of NPCs, can take you on a totally different journey – to new corners of the Sword Coast.

As a Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) fan – something I’ve been becoming increasingly hesitant to admit, as Wizards of the Coast crash the brand into the ground quicker than your player character will crash the Nautiloid in the game’s epic opening – I’ve found that Baldur’s Gate 3 breathes newfound life into the world of Faerun. It makes the world feel full – sometimes so full it’s impossible to know which side quest to tackle first. It makes you wonder to yourself ‘why don’t I play DnD more often?’

But, I think it’s fairly safe to say, Baldur’s Gate does what is pretty impossible around a gaming table with your friends, who’ve maybe given the Player’s Handbook a skim if you’re lucky. Baldur’s Gate III makes DnD-style turn-based combat interesting. It makes mechanics smooth. Easy. The dice are rolled for you, with no awkward pauses for stumbled calculations, and it makes a world of difference to the flow of encounters. At last, you can soak in the atmosphere, consider how to make things cool, and interesting. It’s not to say that combat in Baldur’s Gate isn’t challenging either, although it does often take a backseat to the story, and it’s more than possible to reach Level 12 in the game and realise you’re kind of a god now. Until you roll the next Nat One, at least.

It makes mechanics smooth

As I start declaring Baldur’s Gate 3 as my game of the year, I’ve realised that my experience was enhanced because I treated it like a TTRPG. I filled the blank slate of my player character with a stupidly detailed backstory. I mused on their epilogue when we were done. And in the end I said goodbye to my half elf bard, Calliel, knowing him almost better than I know myself. People I’ve spoken to that connected less with the game, I think, limit themselves when they choose to treat it only as a video game. For my friends and I, it was just like any other time we’ve sat around the table and traded our reality for an imagined world of heroes, great civilisations and sorcery. The more you immerse yourself, the more you’ll get out of it.



Now, as awards season approaches, Baldur’s Gate 3 seems to be in the running for most things. It’s a testament to the absolute labour of love that went into making the game. It’s a promise of what DND is capable of, when in the hands of people that really care. People that still, months on, are releasing game patches weighing in at 30GB of new content. For that alone, it’s easily a 10/10 game.


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