Why I Quit Playing Baldur’s Gate II: A Confession

While it's difficult for me to understand how anyone could not find more than enough entertainment from Baldur's Gate II and its Throne of Bhaal expansion pack, this "confession" article on Kill Screen shares the author's perspective on why the recently released Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition just didn't grab him enough to play beyond the first ten hours. A few paragraphs on why:

I felt one thing within the ten hours that I played of Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition: frustration. Bitter, difficult, and unrelenting frustration. I'm a huge fan of getting nostalgic, especially when it comes to videogames. Sixty hours of turn-based combat in Fire Emblem? No problem. But to really enjoy a game, you need more than passive, inanimate respect for structure and mechanics. It requires a certain nameless excitement. Sometimes, we call it (fun.) But as I sat playing Baldur's Gate 2 on a borrowed PC from my university's library, I couldn't grasp any sort of joy, ecstasy, or insight. Everything felt . outdated. Unprovocative.

In the grand scheme of things, I realize, this does not matter. (English major chooses CliffsNotes over Billy Budd) is not really a headline. But something interesting seems to be at play . let's take the combat, for example. A total onslaught of magic and swords emerged in front of me, but where was I in this mess? I was a little arrow, hovering above my pixellated team and clicking, clicking, clicking. Minsc, the party's tank, screamed, "Make way villainy, a hero is coming through!" as we encountered another idiot horde. I shared little of his excitement.

Only thirteen years ago, Baldur's Gate 2 was considered one of videogames' greatest achievements. Yet even through a thick, half-feigned veil of historical respect, I couldn't enjoy Baldur's Gate 2. Its awards and accolades only add to my confusion. Why isn't this equation balancing? Or really, at what point is this my fault?