[Review] Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Editions – Nintendo Switch

Written by slimwiggins

Reviewed by Reggie

Chaotic Good Bioware

Ahh, the smell of angst, the anxiety of team balancing and fitting in School with isometric RPGs. God I miss the late 90s / early 00s, a time where Bioware ruled the D&D landscape with their amazing use of the video game licence. For many, the threshold of dice-based gaming started with the Baldur’s Gate series.

For the uninitiated, Baldur’s Gate 1, 2 and their respective expansions are isometric RPGs swimming healthily through the deep lore of tabletop favourite Dungeons and Dragons. Whilst I’m not going to go over storyline and quests in this review, I will say it’s a well written experience with many variables for different outcomes.

Knights of the Old Dominion

The Baldur’s Gate Enhanced collection is still a product of its time, make no mistake. Players looking for the polish of Diablo III will turn up to the party finding nothing but a retro sausage fest. With that being said, players are treated to a new movement and attack system that snaps and highlights nearby items and enemies. This is a godsend given that console players are confined to a controller or Joy Cons, instead of navigating using a pointer and analogue stick, players can interact with the title with a mechanic fit for today.

It goes without saying that this collection is jam packed full of content, we’re talking 100s of hours (hence my teenage years being a blur). A lovely addition to this collection is the games ‘Story mode’ which allows players to simply enjoy the narrative without the worries of leveling, party balancing etc.

BioHaggard

Whilst it’s a miracle that we are seeing such an important series come to the Nintendo Switch, as previously stated it’s a product of its time. I cannot emphasise enough that this collection is not a remake by any means. Shadders are still patchy, the character sprites look like hell and the menu system is about as appealing as a raw chicken breast. This is a true reflection of how the titles looked and felt 20 years ago.

Although, I will say the frame rates and overall performance is spot on with no issues encountered. The audio engineering has also been expressly shipped from two decades ago, with some great moments of nostalgia and delusions of grandeur to boot!

A Dice Roll into the 90’s

Whilst I haven’t encountered any glitches or bugs, It would have been nice to see Baldur’s Gate pulled by it’s ear through mid 2000s shading and rendering technology to make for a smoother experience. Beamdog have certainly made the decision to stay completely faithful to the original Bioware experience.

Conclusion

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition collection is a wonderful showcase of Biowares game changer, it certainly hasn’t lost its immersive charm and has aged well when it comes to plotlines and the vanilla D&D experience. Whilst Beamdog have implemented new mechanics to make Baldur’s Gate accessible on consoles, some players may find the aesthetic and menus far too dated to cope with. It would’ve been amazing to see new HD shaders and textures, but this isn’t what Beamdog have set out to do.

Pros

  • The Same Baldur’s Gate Experience
  • New Movement mechanics for console players
  • New ‘Story Mode’ designed for players who just want the narrative

Cons

  • No noticeable updates to resolution, textures or shaders
  • No Touchscreen support

Verdict
The same Baldur’s Gate experience but for Consoles with slight improvements, it does what it says on the tin!
4/5

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