GB Feature: Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Review

We've been on countless journeys to Baldur's Gate since BioWare's original CRPG classic was released back in 1998, but that hasn't stopped us from taking yet another in order to publish a full review of Overhaul Games' Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. A couple of paragraphs to get you warmed up:
The new additions to the game content itself don't take too long to appear. As you adventure about, three characters join the fray: Rasaad the monk, Neera the wild mage, and Dorn the Blackguard. Each falls into an archetypical category - Neera is basically a "manic pixie dream girl", Dorn is a half-orc who is, yes, evil, and Rasaad is disillusioned with his faith following the death of his brother. You'll run into all of them by the game's second act assuming that you explore the game's main locations thoroughly, but it's nice to see the game doesn't necessarily highlight them or force them on you. All in all, they are fairly well written and decent additions to the game, but they certainly won't win awards for originality, and you'll be able to figure out their personalities, arcs and stories as soon as you lay eyes on them. At least they're all different classes than the original characters, so if you want to experiment more with unconventional party members, now you can.

The second major content addition to Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition comes in the form of The Black Pits, a stand-alone adventure bearing no relation to the main game. In it, your party is captured by the wizard Baeloth the Entertainer, and forced to fight a series of arena battles - the arena host expects you to die in the pit, and it's your goal to stick it to him by getting out alive. Although Overhaul Games boast "over six hours of gameplay", that is not accurate, as I completed it in closer to three, and I found it very repetitive after the first 30 minutes or so. Some of the battles are interesting from a tactical standpoint (a necromancer who summons skeletons, or a bunch of archers who have set up traps between you and them), but it's still the same old combat in the same two near-identical levels over and over, against the same old enemies. With little plot to speak, despite being fairly well-written and well-acted, The Black Pits is, as an arena mode, basically filler, the kind of add-on where only a minimal amount of effort and resources was invested.