Baldur's Gate is a near-perfect adaptation of the classic tabletop, role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Six separate races and eight core character classes, from which the player can create a completely original character, are available.
The game world is well painted and players are free to explore this wonderfully textured game environment in any way they see fit, all against the backdrop of a thoughtfully conceived and versatile plot.
You begin the game as a young orphan living with your stepfather within the safe confines of a scholarly community. It is a happy and idyllic life until your stepfather is killed and it becomes clear that you are intended to be next. You, as the young protagonist, then set out to discover just what kind of a mess you're in. During the adventure, you recruit a number of personable allies, battle foes, delve into dungeons, trek across wilderness, solve puzzles and complete a plethora of epic quests that are seamlessly sown into the fabric of the overall plot. The story line unfolds in response to your choices to reveal your character's true identity as well as the nature and motive of your enemies.
If the good Lord himself were to ask me what games he should have in his home game collection, the first two words out of my mouth would be "Baldur's" and "Gate". This 1998 Role-Playing Game of the Year is a masterpiece and the standard by which all such games will be judged for the foreseeable future.
Groundbreaking 32-bit graphics, 3-D sound, multiplayer options, and a friendly real-time game engine are blended with a depth of plot in a way that redefines the genre.
Tales of the Sword Coast
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast delivers what we have all been screaming for--more Baldur's Gate!. Although it does not significantly extend the story line, it does provide enough new goodies to augment an already great game.
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast provides four new areas for you to explore, all of which share the richness that made Baldur's Gate a groundbreaking masterpiece. Players are given the opportunity to explore a few new islands, visit a suburb of Baldur's Gate, and engage in a good old-fashioned dungeon crawl beneath Durlag's Tower. Players can also embark on a quest that will take them back into the city of Baldur's Gate itself. These new quests tend to be even more involved and challenging than those found in the initial game, as they gravitate more toward puzzle solving than pure combat.
The additional areas are at least as satisfying as any found in the original, featuring three new types of monster as well as new magic items, enemies and spells, all of which are woven into the game play. Those who are already deeply involved in a campaign or have completed the game need not start over to take advantage of the expansion.
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast raises the character experience cap by at least one level and can be integrated at any time during your campaign, easily providing an additional 20 hours of gameplay.
For a Baldur's Gate enthusiast, the four new areas alone make this expansion worth having. An added treat is the included software utility that allows players to speak to each other online via microphone, giving multiplayer games a live role-playing feel. Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast may tend to give you more of the same, but in this case, you wouldn't have it any other way. --Joshua B. Coombs, Amazon.com
Chaos threatens to overwhelm the Realms. The state of Amn is under siege to the south, the High Moor is being overrun in the north and the region around Baldur's Gate is in turmoil. In an area known for its ample resources, a crippling shortage is slowly developing for the metal that is used throughout the Realms for everything from swords to forks--iron. When iron ore reaching the region is smelted, the resulting wares are plagued with brittleness such that they crack and break with little more than normal use. What is worse, trading caravans coming from all directions into Baldur's Gate are under constant attack from bandits and cut-throats who loot not for gold and gems (although they often take those too), but for iron.
Tales from the Sword Coast
The western shore along the Sea of Swords contains a multitude of variations in ecology and terrain, including mountains, forests, swamps, marshes, plains, cities and ruins collectively called the Sword Coast. It attracts adventurers and evil characters alike and forms the backdrop for this epic adventure. The player starts the game with one character. Create your character from any combination of the six races: human, elf, half elf, dwarf, gnome or halfling. Also choose from 26 classes including fighter, cleric, and mage and subclasses such as druid and specialist mage. Guide a party of up to five other characters, each with distinctive personalities and dispositions. Control party characters one at a time or as a group.