HomeReviewsBaldur's Gate 3 Review

Baldur’s Gate 3 Review

Baldur’s Gate 3

Developer: Larian Studios
Publisher: Larian Studios
Platform: PC (Reviewed)
Release Date: Available Now (PC) September 6, 2023 (PS5)
Price: $59.99 USD – Available Here


A name like Baldur’s Gate carries a lot of weight with it. The RPG series blew fans away back when the original two titles were released due to their sheer scale of storytelling, world-building, and variability with gameplay that the attempt to follow-up on such a pair of games seemed like an impossible endeavor, especially with the ever increasing popularity of its Dungeons & Dragons based mechanics. That is likely why it has been over twenty years since the last original release in the Baldur’s Gate series but now a new developer Larian Studios chose to take on the challenge with Baldur’s Gate III. After spending nearly three years in Early Access the developer has released the entirety of Baldur’s Gate III for fans to experience, but will it live up to its predecessors?


Baldur’s Gate III begins with the player character and countless others being abducted by a race of powerful Illithids seeking to expand the ranks of their Mind Flayer army by infecting everyone with tadpoles in the brain that will eventually transform them into the psychic brain eating creatures. Through sheer luck the player manages to find themselves free of their restraints and able to navigate the Nautiloid during a raid by Githyanki soldiers and, alongside potentially a couple of unlikely allies, manage to escape the crashing ship and find themselves free but in desperate need for a cure as transforming into a Mind Flayer and losing all free sounds like an incredibly terrifying endeavor.

Little is as it seems however as a massive cult-like army serving a being known as the Absolute has begun ravaging the continent and players and their party must survive not only the tadpole parasite growing inside their mind but the potentially hostile forces from both the invading party and even those who would usually proclaim themselves the forces of good. With everything growing ever more complicated, it is up to the player’s decisions to see their path forward towards a cure and boy that path is full of twists, intrigue, and countless mysteries that continue to spring up all the way through the third act in what is easily one of the best adventures that players could ask for in an RPG.

Before we even delve into the story elements it is worth noting that players will have quite a lot of options when it comes to character creation and these elements will also play a role in certain story aspects as well. Baldur’s Gate III offers a number of “Origin” characters that are nearly all companions that players will meet and possibly recruit to their party though if players choose to play as an Origin character it will be through that character’s pre-set story and stats while a character created from scratch opens up countless possibilities. The only notable Origin class that still allows for complete customization is “Dark Urge” though this does limit player choice a bit as it can trigger murderous actions at random and isn’t recommended for an initial play-through even if it offers some of the more unique options.

Character creation is extensive with its options and while actual facial structure isn’t too varied, player race, class, and even subclasses can play a role in certain interactions. There are eleven different races to choose from with nearly everyone having separate sub-races that can apply new skills or special abilities, twelve different classes that are then broken further down into multiple subclasses and depending on how players build their character their race and class will unlock additional dialogue options, including giving advantages to certain rolls. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crafting how players want to experience the story in Baldur’s Gate III as nearly every event that players come across can be handled in a different and unique manner. Sure, some encounters immediately break out into a fight while a shockingly large amount of encounters can also have dialogue and unique outcomes depending on player choice and luck.

Part of what makes the storyline in Baldur’s Gate III so engrossing and unique is just how different every interaction can potentially play out. One of the biggest choices in the earlier part of the game may see players completely silencing an entire set of characters and losing a few potential party members along the way should they choose to be evil while playing good will see a number of additional rewards but also force players to strike down another potential ally at the same time. Of course, players could simply ignore that storyline altogether and continue on their adventure and all of these major choices will have smaller unique elements that can sway events as well. Side-quests that can hinge on a single dice roll from an easy success or resort to bloody violence, a pick pocketed ring that will lead to a humorous encounter, all these small details are taken into account. Very few players will find themselves approaching the storyline the same way and the sheer replayability of the game is immense, let alone how densely packed with content Baldur’s Gate III can be. Simply exploring a small path can lead to an entire dungeon with new and unique rewards, enemies, and character interactions that could have easily been missed if players didn’t feel like exploring a bit off the beaten path. The sheer amount of content players can experience is already immense and when this is combined with the numerous variables that come from player choice and Baldur’s Gate III feels like an RPG gift that just keeps on giving.

As mentioned before, player luck does play a part in how some story events can progress. As players talk to characters, interact with objects, and more they will be able to pick from a list of options that range from simply asking questions or performing basic actions to those that require a dice roll and a skill check. These rolls can require things such as rolling a wisdom check of 15 to resist your mind being affected by a cursed book, talking someone out of killing someone else with a persuasion roll of 10, and much more. Each roll has additional elements that aforementioned character building will play into as characters with proficiency in certain skills will receive extra bonuses to their dice roll alongside buffs from allies. This can lead to some incredibly unexpected things should players challenge harder dice rolls and manage to succeed. While it may be tempting to always reload a failed roll, embracing failure is actually a fairly satisfying option for some content, especially since a few failures are far more entertaining than a success. That being said, there is an option for “Karmic Dice” that will make it so the dice will roll a bit more in the player’s favor at times by trying to avoid both unlucky and lucky streaks, but that doesn’t stop it from producing a few natural 1s in a row while disarming traps.

So, the breadth of the storyline and world building is immense and variability makes replayability a satisfying option with plenty of new content to enjoy but what about the actual quality of the story? Well there are no worries there as the storyline is incredibly satisfying to see unfold through the numerous mysteries and reveals that come throughout this incredibly lengthy RPG. The world feels alive as players travel through it and interact with everything from refugees and townsfolk to speaking with wild animals and dead people using spells, with animals and ghosts often having some rather interesting dialogue.  The storyline itself is incredibly impressive but where it shines the most is with the companions in the player’s party.

While we won’t go into full detail about the various problems and unique elements that the companions players recruit have, it is worth noting that nearly every single one of them is well-written and has a personal journey of their own which feels just as important as locating a cure for the mindflayer tadpoles within everyone’s heads. Players can bring a party of three other companions with their player character and your companions will react approvingly or disapprovingly with your choices made in the field, with even some non-party characters reacting back at camp if they happen to be close enough. The more players travel with their companions the more they open up about their personal troubles and even form a bond of romance with some of them, though be careful some characters won’t take kindly to trying to flirt around with others in the camp. The character development for the party is easily one of the best aspects, though the fact that some story elements only appear during long rests can be a bit troublesome at times but at least, as long as players are talking to them regularly, storylines seem to progress just fine even for companions that aren’t in the field often… or at all. It is also worth noting that the last couple of companions that characters can have join their party, which we won’t name, are great callbacks for longtime fans of the series but also lack a lot of the development compared to the rest of the cast and any romantic option, making it hard to feel like they should be swapped in with the developed cast we’ve known along our journey despite their pedigree in the Baldur’s Gate universe. If there was any complaint to be made about the companions, it’s that we can only bring three with us at a time as having to choose favorites amongst this incredibly solid cast is one of the biggest story challenges players may face.


Nearly every location in the game features some level of complexity that players can sink time into, with the various populated locations often offering the most to discover as players may spend countless hours interacting with the residents of the Druid’s Grove, learning the ins and outs of the people while playing the balancing act between the two struggling factions that reside within while taking on quests the entire time. These are only small examples as players will find themselves delving through countless areas filled with bits of lore to discover and often unique interactions that can be found if a player’s party manages to succeed certain passive skill checks during exploration. The level of exploration that comes from simply interacting with the world and the various townsfolk, villains, potential enemies, and more is astounding. This comes double for the sheer amount of books, trinkets, and random items strewn throughout the world that players can pick up to sell, hoard at their camp, or even rearrange around the world as they please. Can’t lockpick a chest at the moment? As long as a party member has enough carrying capacity they can bring the entire chest with them in their pack. Killed someone and need to hide the body? Stuff it in a barrel. 

As mentioned before, nearly all conversations that players have with NPCs and their own party members will allow for various dialogue choices and while it would be nice to know which ones will immediately advance the conversation these choices range wildly in tone. Players can choose to be as honorable or as vile as they may wish when talking with characters in the game and Baldur’s Gate III feels perfectly designed to handle any approach the player chooses to make in dialogue. Of course, the aforementioned dice rolls to succeed or fail certain conversation checks does come into play heavily at times and these chances of success rarely feel cheap, perhaps because they are so clearly represented by the player’s chosen class, proficiencies, buffs, debuffs, and more. 

Whenever players encounter a hostile enemy or trigger a fight themselves they will immediately enter turn-based combat where the initial turns are dictated by every combatant rolling for initiative. These are the only directly shown rolls when it comes to combat as everything from attack rolls, saving throws, and even damage rolls are calculated and handled behind the scenes as players fight with the exception of reactions or passive abilities that allow players to reroll to try and succeed a saving throw or attack. During combat players will have direct control of their entire team, any summoned allies they may have such as a ranger’s companion or summoned elemental, and be able to direct their movement around the field while either using an attack action, spell casting action, or even simpler help or interactive actions during a turn. As players progress through the game they will find their party leveling up and growing stronger with additional actions being unlocked, such as being able to attack twice in a turn, obtaining higher rank spells, and more.

Fights in Baldur’s Gate III are never truly a sure thing. Sure, players may encounter a lowly group of goblins and easily wipe the floor with them but around the next corner there may be a powerful ogre or massive force that can overwhelm through sheer numbers alone. This means players will want to make appropriate use of buffs, the terrain advantages and disadvantages, and even some objects in the environment to their advantage if they can help it. Even if it means taking and using a bonus action to hurl a summoned crab with rage powered strength at a final enemy’s head to win a fight. The options open to players during fights are as countless as the character combinations can be and crafting a powerful party feels incredible, especially as they tear through foes or barely hang on to a win while trying to keep everyone alive. Sure, death may come and players can revive their allies either through spells, scrolls, or a certain mysterious ally for a price, but don’t let failure put you off from experimentation in combat.

Returning to the player’s camp to interact with your party or take part in a long rest to recover spell slots and health often comes with unique interactions as well, serving as both a story element and a way to keep everyone fighting fit. It is worth noting that long rests may not be the best option sometimes, as they can cause a few quests to fail if they are time sensitive but short rests, which players are limited to twice between long rests, can serve as a stopgap to keep players in the fight. The sheer size of Baldur’s Gate III cannot be emphasized enough, especially when combined with the amount of replayability on offer. Between the densely packed world with all kinds of knickknacks to gather and either keep or sell, countless characters to talk with and quests to undertake, and all this can be entirely separate from a mainline quest meaning players can easily sink a hundred hours into a single playthrough and still not see everything.

It is worth noting that, as one may expect with a game of this scope, Baldur’s Gate III does have its fair share of bugs here and there. While playing on high settings (below the automatically chosen Ultra) Baldur’s Gate III handled incredibly smoothly during nearly all combat and exploration until the third act that saw more NPCs walking around then ever before and caused a few stutters here and there. Perhaps the most frequent issue I experienced was pathing issues with the AI as numerous occasions saw my hunter’s summoned companion and minor creature stuck somewhere in the environment, failing to navigate around a box or small obstruction that can be jumped over. This saw my character relying on summoning a dire raven more often than not as other summoned beasts would find themselves stuck far away from the action when it came to a fight. The same can occasionally be said about player companions as well as they may also get stuck when it comes to navigating jumps as they will often not make a leap that may hurt them in some way, forcing players to swap to them and take a leap of faith instead. Minor bugs such as a door not opening or NPCs getting stuck in conversation were easily fixed through a simple reload of a quicksave, which players should do often for their own sake, or even a restart but didn’t hamper the overall experience in any notable way.

Visuals & Audio

Baldur’s Gate III is an incredibly gorgeous game and while some of this will likely depend on how strong the player’s PC is, even playing on high settings saw the game looking absolutely wonderful with crisp looking cinematics and gorgeous character models that are incredibly believable. The title digs heavily into the Dungeons & Dragons playbook by using player races and NPCs that vary all throughout the lore and feature a wide-range of monsters and enemies for players to battle against. This is a game that isn’t afraid to craft an entire set of enemies that will only appear in a single dungeon if it means it will offer a unique experience with its own type of lore. Magic spells look just as impressive as players may hope, with higher level spells coming off as truly devastating, unique character models make it feel like nearly every NPC is different looking in some way and even the adult nudity aspects of the game are handled fairly tastefully with romance between the player character and their companion of choice, though players can choose to simply walk around naked if they so please if they don’t mind lack of actual protection should a fight break out.

The voice work throughout the game is absolutely wonderful with quite literally every NPC having voiced dialogue. This includes everything from corpses, wild animals, and even background characters that are simply chattering as players walk past let alone actual NPCs that they can talk with. The real stars of the show when it comes to the voice acting are, of course, the player’s companions as their performances really help elevate every character’s storyline. The soundtrack features a wonderful collection of background music ranging from standard exploration to more hectic combat and there are even a number of unique pieces of music that spring up from time to time as well.


Trying to live up to the name of Baldur’s Gate was likely a daunting task but Larian Studios must have seen it more like a challenge because they have managed to produce perhaps one of the best RPGs that players could possibly ask for. The sheer size and scope of Baldur’s Gate III is stunning and when that is combined with an engrossing storyline, so many choices that have real consequences, and unique approaches to nearly every encounter you have an RPG that will not only stand amongst the best around but showcase just how impressive a turn-based RPG can be. Any fan of fantasy, Dungeons & Dragons, RPGs, or even have a passing interest in any of these elements will find that Baldur’s Gate III is a masterpiece just waiting to be played.

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.


Baldur’s Gate III is a rare masterpiece of an RPG with an engrossing storyline, stellar character interaction, and level of choice that makes it a must play for anyone interested in the genre.
Travis Bruno
Travis Bruno
After playing games since a young age and getting into anime a bit later on its been time to write about a little bit of everything.
<i>Baldur’s Gate III</i> is a rare masterpiece of an RPG with an engrossing storyline, stellar character interaction, and level of choice that makes it a must play for anyone interested in the genre.Baldur's Gate 3 Review