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As Baldur's Gate turns 20, we remember why it was great

For he's a Gorion fellow!

Baldur's Gate is 20-years-old. The influential role-playing game came out on 21st December 1998.

Baldur's Gate was developed by BioWare and published by Interplay, and takes place in the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting. It was built with the Infinity Engine, which Interplay would also use for other Forgotten Realms games such as Icewind Dale, and D&D game Planescape: Torment.

The game was a critical and commercial success, with impressively high review scores and higher than expected sales. There's no Eurogamer review of Baldur's Gate (Eurogamer didn't spark into life until 1999), but Paul Dean penned a retrospective of Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 for us back in 2012.

Speaking specifically about Baldur's Gate, Dean wrote: "It was irreverent, referential, self-aware, sarcastic and charming in equal measure, its words animating its characters and world as beautifully as its music and its visuals. It told the stories of embittered slaves, eccentric explorers, half-mad magicians and poor Maple Willow Aspen, who simply wanted to avoid any more tree-related taunts. The game was as full of jokes as it was adventure, its puns and pranks as much a reward as experience points."

Dean reviewed Beamdog's Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate, too, giving it an 8/10.

"... Baldur's Gate was (and still is) a beautiful, enormous, ambitious and seminal RPG that remains without equal, the series becoming something of an evolutionary dead end," he wrote."

The video below, from critic Noah Caldwell-Gervais, runs through the entire series. If you've got a couple of hours spare, it's well worth a watch.

Watch on YouTube

Baldur's Gate is credited with reviving the role-playing video game genre, and it was followed by a well-received expansion pack, Tales of the Sword Coast just a year later in 1999, before a sequel came out in 2000, with its own expansion pack, Throne of Bhaal, in 2001.

There have been a number of failed attempts to get a third Baldur's Gate game off the ground, but 20 years after Baldur's Gate came out, there are rumblings Baldur's Gate 3 is in the works. Could we soon be set to revisit the world of Forgotten Realms?

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