It’s Baldur’s Gate on the Nintendo Switch… what more could you want?
BioWare have released some iconic RPGs in their time with the likes of Dragon Age and Knights of the Old Republic standing out as some of their best. However, before those came Baldur’s Gate – a fantasy RPG that set the hallmarks for the developer’s titles that followed. That was all the way back in 1998, but over twenty years later they still manage to hold up well today.
Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Editions allow players to embark on their own unique journey. This means being able to customise all facets of their character too, be it through their class (of which there are many variants), skill point distribution, morality, and appearance. It’s in that last one where the game does show its age; whilst Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Editions’ visuals have seen some improvement, the character models still look like they’ve come straight out of an old-school RPG from the 90s.
The other facets of your creation lend themselves to the gameplay well. Your class choice will help determine the skills and gear your character is going to be most proficient with, whilst your morality can make a difference in how you decide to approach the quests of the game. Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Editions is full to the brim with stories to see unravel and you’ll really feel like your choices will have a hand in them – whether that’s by being the perfect hero or a morally corrupt monster…
You can expect to be adventuring for some time, with hundreds of hours to be found between the two games and their expansions. It never grows boring though; whilst the world itself is full of remarkable locales and sights to uncover, the on-point writing ensures you’ll be kept entertained across every encounter you have with an NPC. There’s some impressive voice work to be found throughout too, which only helps add to the immersion of the experience.
The combat is equally impressive, with multiple difficulties allowing you to shape the experience to your needs. Veteran RPG fans will want to play on the normal difficulty as a minimum where proper tactical thought is required as you utilise your party’s skills efficiently to overcome the challenging enemies, but gamers who just want to enjoy the narrative and the world itself will probably prefer the easier Story mode.
Everything comes together to make for a remarkable RPG experience that still feels great today, but it is guilty of showing its age too. It’s a drawn-out game that demands both patience and a lot of time from the player – if that sounds like your jam though, you’re in for a good time. Add to that a re-worked UI, effective quality of life updates, and some intuitive controls for controllers, and it becomes easy to see that Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Editions’ transition to console has been a successful one.
Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Editions is simply brilliant on the Nintendo Switch. It might not necessarily blow away gamers who can’t appreciate the old-school goodness of the experience, but those who want to enjoy one of the finest RPGs that BioWare has ever released (and that has aged surprisingly well) won’t go wrong with the Nintendo Switch release.
Developer: Overhaul Games, Beamdog
Publisher: Skybound Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC