Parents' Guide to

Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Adventure adds big challenge, moral questions in deep tale.

Game Mac, Windows 2013
Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition Poster Image

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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.

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