User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 385 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 385

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  1. Mar 18, 2011
    10
    'Legendary' is a term much bandied about these days but this game is one than genuinely deserves the adjective. Many people consider this game to have single handily have saved the single-player RPG genre on the PC just when it looked dead. It represents a definite turning point in the history of gaming. This can be hard to appreciate today because even I'll concede that the graphics are dated. But the truth of the matter is that RPGs have never been about graphics anyway. What made Balder's Gate innovative it was the first RPG to actually use NPCs to advance the story in a mission critical way. It put their stories, their personalities, their goals on a footing that was equal to your own. What made it show-stopping was the nature of those personalities. They were all different, all unique, and they all didn't necessarily care about you. You had to not just manage combat but manage people if your little band was going to finish the game.

    Yes, the combat can be unbalanced at times. There are a few bugs. But if you cannot laugh when Minsc shouts, "Go for the eyes, Boo" there is something wrong not with the game but with your life. If you want, you can break this game down and find all it's flaws; they exist. But if you don't cheer sitting in your chair when Minsc shouts, "Butt kicking for Goodness!" you have no heart. This isn't just so much a game as it is an experience. That, it seems to me, is what an RPG is all about. It's about creating experiences; it's about making memories. It's playing your role to the hilt and loving it. Baldur's Gate might not have been the best, some people argue the sequel is better, but it was the first to offer that immersion in a way no other game had up until that point in time. If you haven't played this game you should. Because this is where it all began.
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  2. Jun 24, 2011
    8
    This was my first CRPG, so the rose tinted glasses are firmly on.

    Baldur's Gate combines an epic storyline and tactical, party-based combat with an explorable open world, in a way few future games have: most have either become more linear in their pursuit of story (future Bioware games) or focus on the open world at the story's expense (Elder Scrolls). Combined with the hand-drawn style
    world map full of areas that only appear on it when you walk off the edge of a zone in a funny direction, this results in a remarkable feeling of existing in a real world that's bigger than your own tale.

    Baldur's Gate (plus its expansion, Tales of the Sword Coast) kept me engrossed for a whole month, playing solidly, and even then I hadn't found or seen everything.

    It has its problems of course: being based on the D&D 2E ruleset, it has ridiculous mechanics like resting (which means you don't want to use your best magic, for fear of it being unavailable later), and I wouldn't recommend playing a pure fighter or other non-magical character: all you can do with those characters is point and click during combat, so you'll feel disconnected from your own character as a result of spending most of your time with NPC spellcasters.

    Save up your consumables for the end: the final encounter is a large difficulty spike.
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  3. Oct 7, 2012
    9
    This game demands a SERMON from the grot: Reverance for this game is NOT nostalgia. Aside from the fact that the graphics settings do not scale properly with modern monitors, this game still earns a healthy 9/10 in 2012 on the basis of brilliant design. This game has great writing, great art, great style, great writing, and FANTASTIC character development. How many modern gamers have even played dice and pencil D&D with a good Dungeon Master? Baldur's Gate brought the core experience into the digital age. It will soon be released again, in open sale competition with Diabolo 3 and Guild Wars 2. Enough said. Newer games do it different, but very few have done it better. The real mystery is how after 14 years no team has had the ability to better this game. Maybe someone will finally realise that it is a whole lot of fun to have a class system that allows about 30 completely different builds. Maybe they will also note that when each characters can be built in 30 ways and you have 6-8 characters in a party, that the possible combinations, will naturally be LIMITLESS. Those who would fly need an open sky. Designers all, heed this profound observation and learn from it. Diversity eliminates the possibility of boredom. Simplifiying games cannot make them better, because the human mind is a bright and curious thing, that demands higher challenges. It's not perfect. It's not the best D&D based computer game. Low level D&D is not always fun. So it scores 9?10 not 10. Despite that this game holds many secrets as to how much better games could be made if designers studied here. If they learned the secrets Of Baldur's Gate and improved on them. So we pray! So may it be! Expand
  4. Jun 3, 2011
    9
    whether your talking about gameplay, storyline or hours of entertainment this game has it all, Along with the original 2 Fallout games this game is among the top 3 rpgs of all time.

    If you like rpgs you like Baldurs gate.
  5. Oct 24, 2011
    10
    Wanting to give BG2 a 20/10, this would at least be a 19/10... I liked the sequel better, it was bigger, flashier, prettier, funnier, just better in every sense of the word. But that does not mean that this isn't a game that should be on every gamers shelf. I still have the old 7-cd pack on my shelf, and every time i see it it stirs some fond memories. Even if I was only 12 when it came out, I understood enough to enjoy the game for what it was, even though I probably would have enjoyed it much more had I been older. I will agree with DantheMan, this game, as number 2 aswell, is legendary. Expand
  6. Mar 6, 2012
    5
    Bioware's debut to the world of cRPGs. It has strong points, like its story, which is the main reason why I gave the game a 5 instead of 2 or 3. It is a much weaker game than its sequel, for a lot of reasons. First, low level ad&d2 is really boring and lacking in variety. There isn't much to do besides equiping the bows and using the very few useful spells available. The party NPCs are lifeless and will almost never intervene during a conversation, being more or less mute for everything but their own side quest. Most of the side quests are weak in content and lack the depth you can find in BG2 where some of them won't even come to a true resolution until you literally stumble upon the "sequel" to that quest, like the one featuring the murderer of the Bridge District. The balance between exploration and access to content itself is lousy and there are too many nearly empty maps. And in the end, the only place worth talking about is the city of Baldur's Gate itself, the rest being terribly unmemorable, in contrast to Baldur's Gate 2 underdark, trademeet, athkatla (which is the main city hub and the starting point of the game, unlike BG-city in BG1 which you can only access later in the game), umar hills.. Mediocre but promising attempt at making a RPG, which ultimately led to the greater and much stronger sequel. Expand
  7. Oct 6, 2011
    9
    Baldur's Gate is a revolutionary game and it changes how computer RPG could be played. The story in Baldur's Gate is epic. If comparing to modern games, it's quite similar to Dragon Age Origins. You can control up to 6 party members engaging in challenging battles and hard decisions. The quality of the writing and the customization is spot-on. The freedom in this game is also great which allows you to explore many inconsequential non-plot areas. I give it 9 out of 10, because Baldur's gate II surpassed it in so many ways Expand
  8. Oct 14, 2011
    9
    The classic RPG that had an immense influence on most RPGs that followed. It was the leader of its time, and is still one of the best RPGs ever made. I'm giving 1 a 9 and 2 a 10 since I feel Baldur's Gate 2 was simply a bit more enjoyable.
  9. Sep 30, 2011
    10
    Superb game which spawned a superb sequel (a quite rare achievement in itself). People tend to prefer its successor but this game is actually better in some respects. No less than 25 joinable NPCs and many many areas to explore. The beginning can be quite tough but once you are over it the game is rewarding, suspenseful, amusing, intruiging and challenging. Travelling through wilderness areas always keeps you on your toes - am I going to meet some kobolds, a greater basilisk or just some madman who likes hearing the sound of his own voice? The diversity of weapons, armour, spells and enemies is necessarily limited by your low level but there are enough interesting items and encounters to keep you going throughout the game. One of the joys of this game is that almost any battle can be won by any group (or soloer) just by using the right tactics. Away from the combat, the NPCs have good interactions with each other and the PC and actually have minds of their own. The fact that all NPCs will say something out loud when you click on them is amazing in itself. The story also keeps you motivated and has some very good twists. Unbelievable replayabilty. Play as a thief with Imoen, Branwen, Kivan Xan and Shar-teel. Or maybe be a mage with Kagain, Coran, Safana, Tiax and Garrick. In 1998 this game wiped the floor with everything and it can only be judged on that. This made me a gamer and despite its age I would never hesitate to call it one of my all time favourites. Expand
  10. Feb 15, 2012
    10
    I must have had about 7 different computers since this game came out and this game has always been one of the first things that I've put on the hard drive of every single one of them. I 've also bought the whole series 3 times. Over 50,000 possible parties of 6, no two of which would play out the same. This says it all. An emphatic, nailed-on, incontrovertible, fantastic 10.
  11. May 27, 2011
    9
    Evolutionary when it came out, the first offering in the Baldur's Gate series does not disappoint. From the moment you leave Candlekeep, you feel you're on a journey, and you are. Though this title hasn't held up to the test of time as well as Baldur's Gate II, it still packs a wallop with good quests, entertaining NPCs, plenty of adventuring and a surprise ending. You can't go wrong here in the golden age of CRPG. My suggestion? Get the 4 in 1 offering, and play this, the expansion Tales of the Sword Coast and the sequel with its expansion (Baldur's Gate: Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal). There are plenty of mods out there for all. See http://www.pocketplane.com and http://www.gibberlings3.com to make the gameplaying experience even more enjoyable. Expand
  12. Aug 5, 2011
    10
    Simply love this game. My first walkthrough was so great and so freaking difficult! You actually have to use tactics when you fight not like in Dragon Age where, when you have three mages and only one warrior you can kill pretty much everything even on hard mode. One think you can complain about in Baldur's Gate is relation with your team members. Well, they're not talkative ones but if you like you can use mods. NPC Project is really cool. You have romances, friendships and all this stuff. Imoen rocks! :P Expand
  13. Vio
    Nov 20, 2011
    9
    This to me was my first epic rpg, and what I mean by that is that prior to this I had no idea what RPGs really should be a about: storyline. I guess it ended up being good that I ended up with this seeing as it is to this day one, if not thee best rpg story I have ever played. Control scheme is a bit dated today and the graphics as well, but the pre-rendered/painted backgrounds are none the less beautiful. The mechanics are a bit complicated being based on DnD 2nd Ed, this could have been a attraction in its day, but today no one cares about 2nd Ed. The game world itself is vast and open, and will cater for many many hours of gameplay! Did I like it? Oh I most CERTAINLY did!! Expand
  14. Jan 1, 2012
    10
    One of the best 2D Dungeons and Dragons RPGs ever made.

    If you like the genre and you think you can overlook the slightly outdated 2D graphics (Just look at some screenshots or videos) than you should really give it a try. Its simply brilliant.
  15. Jun 15, 2012
    10
    The Godfather of RPGs. Period.
    Still pays to play it from time to time. Everything about this game was groundbreaking for the time, the graphics, the interface, the sound, the vastness, the storytelling.
    Had some issues with pathfinding, but those were fixed in Baldur's Gate II.
  16. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    Out of all the AD&D titles released as computer games Baldur`s Gate is probably the best of all of them. In addition to the good characters, nice story lines, clean interface and good game play you find in Fallout, Torment, Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights as well as in the sequel to BG there is a great sense of exploration in this game. Even with repeat runs there is a powerful compulsion to fully reveal all the maps to make sure you haven`t missed anything, and above all most of the areas in the game are totally optional. This means that the game is almost completely non linear, letting you choose for yourself when to do what, something almost entirely lost in RPGs since the original Baldur`s Gate.
    On top of this the soundtrack is awesome and so are the sound effects and graphics, which really hold up pretty well even 16 years later.
    Special mention also needs to be made regarding the NPCs in Baldur`s Gate, which are almost all magnificent. Some are annoying, like the awful Branwen with her battle shout "BY TEMPUS`SHIELD!" which still drives me up the wall. Some are comical, like Xzar the insane mage or Minsc the addled berserker. Some of them have story connections, like Minsc, Dynaheir and Edwin and all of them have interesting stories to tell if you keep them in your group and to top it all off inter NPC banter depending on which of them you keep around, giving you endless reasons for replaying the game with different NPCs in the group. And during all this the voice acting is perfect in every way, and the entire system of NPC based groups gives you the best reason in the world to explore, if gear and being obsessive won`t do it for you,, since you might otherwise miss one of them.
    My personal favorite is Kagain, the depressed, mean dwarf fighter with a drinking problem who keeps saying "I need an ale..." when combat begins. Some people may want to make their entire group from scratch but this can be done by setting up a multiplayer session anyway so it shouldn`t be an issue.

    On the "negative" side the game is absolutely merciless, exactly like the AD&D franchise it was based on, with casters easily able to wipe out your entire group with a single cast of hold person, charm person or something similar, which you can`t deal with too well until about level 5. Similarly archers are a pain in the butt, and single ones will oneshot low level mages while a group of them will make you tear your hair out. Of course the only solution to this is exploration to make sure you find all the gear, potions and spells you can possibly get your hands on to be able to survive. Also some areas are very annoying to explore, and the Firewine Bridge and ruins in particular. The AI will cause you to cry in confined and laborious locations, and especially when there`s respawn.

    Of course all this frustration is authentic and a relic of the AD&D experience which is the setting where most nerds who were young in the 70s and 80s got punched in the nose for the first time after getting their best friend`s level 9 paladin killed by mistake, or causing the 29th level 2 dwarf warrior in a row to get killed by hobgoblins right outside town with all the other nerds mocking the victim. Ritual burning of character sheets ahoy!
    Sadly Baldur`s Gate has save games which break that good `ol nerd torture. Of course you`d never be able to finish the game without them, but real men play it without loading and saving. My personal record is level 5, at which point I was killed by gnolls, exploding in a shower or body parts.
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  17. May 20, 2011
    10
    The best Exploring-RPG, that Black Isle ever had created. Only the Love Interests are missing. But that's not really a minus, because they are introduced/invented in the second part.
  18. Oct 10, 2013
    10
    A great game that at the time shaped my enthusiasm as a gamer, but would unfortunately ruin my appetite for the modern vein of rpgs that focus on form over substance.
  19. Jul 29, 2013
    9
    A great RPG game. Actually, I played it after BG 2, that's why 9/10. Baldur's Gate 2 just fixed all the small things in BG. So, if you haven't played either BG or BG 2, just start with this one and then play BG 2.
    It's just amazing how after so many years these "legacy" games (Baldur's Gate, Fallout, Jagged Alliance) don't lose any of their value.
  20. Dec 22, 2013
    10
    the most epic of original the game stories. even time has eaten the visuals little its actually still beautiful easily enjoyable and u forget the time and irl troubles
  21. Aug 15, 2013
    7
    Much too hyped I think. It's an ok game for sure and back in the day I'm sure it was better, I just got to play this recently which is odd as I'm old for a gamer and have played D&D games since the 80s on computer. This has more or less all the downsides of Bioware games I can think of. Pretty much a hack'n slash rather than a role playing game.
  22. Aug 30, 2013
    10
    My favourite game of all time.

    Better then any other D&D game to date because of the exploration. A really interesting world with engaging characters and side quests. Little touches of polish make the game, such as the sound effects in the woodlands, and gold and magic rings hidden in tree trunks. The environments are gorgeous and the graphics are good for the time.

    The combat is
    good, you pause with the space bar for semi-turned based combat, where you can give orders to your party members. Not as involving as Temple of Elemental Evil but still good fun and not completely hack and slash.

    Starting as a weak low level character makes the game much more interesting then BGII, which I found too boring to play.

    Well worth a play if you've not before, unless you can't get past dating graphics.
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  23. Aug 5, 2014
    10
    My favourite fantasy RPG of all time. This is the best transformation of AD&D into cRPG form. The world that has been created here to explore is just breathtaking, all beautifully hand-drawn visuals, vast forests with creatures, treasures, and other characters to meet, interesting quests to do, amazing story to read. All the little details, you can absolutely feel the love that went into creating this masterpiece. The music gets me every time. This was, and still is an incredible adventure and my all-time favourite in this genre. 10/10 Expand
  24. Mar 26, 2014
    10
    The atmosphere is incredible. I can't think of many 2D RPG games that can touch Baldur's Gate. Fallout 1 & 2 perhaps, I dunno. Though slightly blinded by nostalgia, in my opinion this is either the chosen one or at least top 3.
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Baldur's Gate is not a computer role-playing game...it is THE computer role-playing game.
  2. 100
    It's been a long haul, more than two months of solid game-play, but I have been absolutely engrossed by every minute! Very few games earn such an accolade from this reviewer.
  3. This is, without a doubt, the closest thing out there to actually getting together with a bunch of your friends on a Sunday afternoon, taking your characters into a dungeon, and using you own BOO to find out if that bottomless pit was actually bottomless.