A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition is a downloadable role-playing game (RPG). This combat-oriented fantasy game features realistically complex characters who can be good or evil; the latter can steal, lie, cheat, and kill for selfish reasons. Characters can be killed by sword, arrow, spear, magic, or other means, and death can be bloody, although the small characters and visual art style prevent this from becoming too graphic. Characters often rest in taverns and drink alcohol, and on occasion players will encounter drunk characters. Multiplayer matches can expose players to inappropriate content by text chat, although these can be locked to approved players by password. Players also should be aware that this game is challenging and requires a solid understanding of Dungeons & Dragons rules, along with a lot of trial and error, to succeed.
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What's it about?
BALDUR'S GATE 2: ENHANCED EDITION is the sequel to the classic Baldur's Gate. In this chapter, the heroes have beaten the evil Bhaalspawn Sarevok that threatened the land. But having accomplished this monumental task, they're imprisoned by a powerful wizard named Irenicus who has been collecting human specimens and performing torturous experiments on them. The goal of the heroes, shortly after escaping from Irenicus' stronghold, is to prevent him from perfecting a dangerous soul-stealing spell, which will grant him immortality.
Is it any good?
This enhanced bonus edition of a classic RPG improves upon the story of the game released in 2000, while adding a new arena mode and its expansion pack for many hours of play. The Baldur's Gate series is strong on story, and here players experience the ongoing developments of the demigod offspring of the violent deity known as the Lord of Murder. The narrative is even stronger here than in the previous game, since players are now acquainted with their own power and can readily assemble their numerous companions into any grouping they want. Even more interesting, new side stories have been created for the four newest characters: Neera, the wild mage; Rasaad, the monk; Dorn Il-Khan, the blackguard; and Hexxat, the vampire thief. (Note: Hexxat and Dorn can engage in same-sex romances.) This edition also includes the Black Pits II, an expansion on the arena battle mode in the first Enhanced Edition.
Low-pixel retro art means violence, though frequent and bloody, isn't very graphic, but high-quality music and voice acting provide a good degree of realism. On the down side, poor AI pathing often makes it a chore to move your party around, and gameplay mechanics are still difficult to learn and master. Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition doesn't do enough to teach players how to use their powers and gear or how to build an effective party, leading to a lot of pausing, reading, and searching for help files online. That slows down the pace of the game, which can disappoint some players. But those willing to overlook these flaws of an older game will see the thrilling conclusion of a sweeping adventure that can take dozens of hours to complete.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games such as Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition. Is there ever a time when violence is morally justified? When would this be?
Think about destiny. Do you think people control their lives or do you believe in destiny?
Discuss imprisonment. Why are people put in prison? Do you think innocent people ever get locked up?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Beamdog
- Release date: November 15, 2013
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Cartoon Violence and Blood, Mild Language, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.