As a completionist and lover of intricate RPGs, “Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition” is a nostalgic resurgence. It’s one of the greatest role-playing experiences from the golden era of gaming. I approach RPGs expecting depth, complexity, and an expansive world. This title doesn’t disappoint.

The gameplay remains a masterclass in RPG design. The 2-D isometric perspective and real-time-with-pause combat mechanics offer a strategic edge. The game beautifully adapts the 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. This gives players profound control and customization over their characters.

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Extensive Character Customization

With 11 playable classes and dozens of subclasses, the game offers a staggering level of depth in character creation and party composition. This invites multiple playthroughs, each offering a distinctly unique experience. As a completionist, the possibility of exploring every character build is captivating, ensuring hours upon hours of engagement.

Comprehensive Content

The standout feature of the Enhanced Edition is the inclusion of the original Shadows of Amn campaign along with the Throne of Bhaal expansion. These are legendary narratives within the RPG genre, filled with rich characters, compelling story arcs, and intricate quests. The addition of new challenges in the Black Pits II arena provides a fresh layer of content for veterans of the series.

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The game also introduces five new NPCs: Neera the Wild Mage, Dorn Il-Khan the Blackguard, Rasaad yn Bashir the Monk, Hexxat the Thief, and Wilson the Bear. These characters come with their own unique storylines and quests, adding further depth and replayability to an already expansive game.

Enhanced Graphics and Presentation

The 2-D isometric graphics have been updated to support high-resolution widescreen displays, which is a welcome improvement. However, it’s important to remember that this game preserves its retro charm. Those seeking hyper-realistic graphics may be disappointed, but for fans of classic RPG aesthetics, it’s a visual treat.

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Rich Storyline and Characters

The storyline of “Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition” is an epic tale of captivity, struggle, and the quest for power. The protagonist’s journey, from being imprisoned and tortured by the wizard Irenicus to potentially embracing their dark destiny, is one of the most gripping narratives in RPG history. The game offers morally complex choices, allowing players to shape their destiny and that of their companions.

Notable Weaknesses

While the enhancements bring this classic up to modern standards, it still retains some of the frustrations of older RPGs. The interface can feel cumbersome at times, especially for new players not accustomed to the intricacies of 2nd Edition D&D mechanics. Additionally, the difficulty spikes can be daunting, even with the new Story Mode designed to ease the challenge for those more interested in the narrative.

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Final Thoughts

In essence, “Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition” is a meticulously crafted RPG that respects its roots while offering significant improvements to meet the expectations of modern gamers. The detailed world, profound character customization, and rich storytelling make it a must-play for any RPG aficionado.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Had it not been for some lingering interface issues and difficulty spikes, I might have considered giving it the elusive five-star rating. Nevertheless, it’s a near-perfect RPG that every completionist and retro gaming enthusiast should experience. Prepare to dive deep into a world of magic, intrigue, and endless adventure!

Recommended For: Die-hard RPG fans, lovers of deep and complex game mechanics, and anyone with a penchant for classic RPG storytelling.

Gaming Tip for Beginners: Take your time with character creation and party composition. Experimenting with different builds can vastly enhance your gameplay experience and keep your adventure fresh.

Want to check it out yourself? Click here to see it on Steam.