I find myself nodding in agreement thirteen years later (which just so happens to be the same amount of time that I've ran GameBanshee) when I read through this new editorial on Kotaku that crowns BioWare's Baldur's Gate II as "one of the greatest RPGs ever made" and lists a half dozen reasons why we should all be playing the game well over a decade later in the year 2013. Here we go:
1) The writing: My #1 takeaway from this weekend's Baldur's Gate II binge is that good writing holds up forever. Even the little bits of random party banter are engaging, particularly if you stick with the ridiculous gnome Jan Jansen.
2) The density: Baldur's Gate II doesn't have as big a world as, say, Skyrim, or Fallout 3, but every map is packed packed! full of people and quests and cool things to see. They're all interesting, too.
3) The variety: In Baldur's Gate II, you can solve a murder mystery, try to defend a city from wild animals, convince feuding families to kill one another, join a guild of vampires, and meet a talking sword. In one day.
4) The customization: When you start Baldur's Gate II, you get to fill out a D&D-style character card, complete with class, race, alignment, appearance, and so forth. Rolling character stats in BGII is almost as fun as actually playing the game. I'm playing as a half-elf Sorceress. Highly recommended.
5) The challenge: If you take on a lich or a dragon without proper preparation, you will die. If you don't keep a rogue hunting for traps and scouting through dungeons, you will die. This is a game about planning and progressing, not running and shooting. And for that we are thankful.
6) The little things: As you play Baldur's Gate II, if you take the time to explore and adventure and really take advantage of everything in the world, you'll find little stories and moments that feel like they were placed there just for you. They were. Enjoy them.