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Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
with Jonah Falcon
8.28.2001


 

Review Capsule
Four Stars
What's to like:
More Baldur's Gate goodness, a fitting end to the classic series
What's not to like:
Linear, basically just more of the same
The King is dead! Long live the King!

Before the original Baldur's Gate came out, computer roleplaying had been in an all-time low.† The only notable CRPGs had been such efforts as Diablo and Daggerfall, which weren't exactly paragons of roleplaying.† Only Fallout by Interplay had given any hints of what was to come.†

Is it such a coincidence, then, that roleplaying games have come back with such force in recent years? Now, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting new traditional CRPGs, such as Arcanum or Freedom Force, as well as untraditional ones like Deus Ex.† Most of the thanks goes to the Baldur's Gate series (and the Icewind Dale cousin), to which the word "epic tale" seems a little weak in description.† Who knew that a previously almost nondescript town in the Forgotten Realms world would become the number one place to visit?†

Of course, all truly great epic tales come to an end, and Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal (BG2TB) allows you to complete your character's fate as one of the Bhaalspawn, offspring of the God of Murder, Bhaal.†

Over the course of Baldur's Gate, your PCs by the time BG2TB rolls around are quite powerful.† In fact, they are Godlike.† Veteran AD&D; players will remember that it used to be that the maximum level for PCs was 36th.† The experience point limit in BG2TB is a whopping 8,000,000 - allowing for 40th level PCs in many classes.† Godlike indeed!†

One of the humorous parts of the game, in fact, comes from the fact that your PCs are so powerful.† A lich even admits it knows you can kill it easily - and many lower level adventures often revolve around a lich.†

That's not to say your PCs can't be killed.† One of the issues of BG2TC is that newly created characters for it - they start at 2,000,000 XP - are actually too weak for the adventure.† It's highly recommended that players use their Baldur's Gate II characters to complete the adventure.†

Along with the experience increase come new spells, of course.† Again, veteran AD&D; players will be surprised at the presence of 10th level spells, with such devastating spells like Dragon's Breath, which does a 20-200 damage to all non-party members, as well as a knockback effect.† Similarly, cleric spells include "Quest" spells that can even summon Planars (or their evil equivalents.)†

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