Baldur's Gate 2 is the Greatest RPG of All Time

BG2

A long long time ago when I was just a wee lad, my family went to visit my grandparents in Montana for Christmas. My grandma took me to Walmart and told me I could have anything I wanted as long as the price was not over 20$ I walked around the store for a long time until I stood in front of Baldur’s Gate 2 Shadows of Amn. (video games back then came in huge square boxes with covers on the front that opened up.) Picking up the box, my little kid brain exploded with excitement as I stared at the screenshots and read every word on the box over and over. I looked at the tag on the shelf which read 19.99$ !!! Happily clutching my Christmas miracle, I ran to find my grandma and we went to the register to pay for it. The cashier rang it up, and said pleasantly to my grandma "that’ll be 39.99$ ". My little heart sank as my grandma looked at me and said “I thought I told you up to 20$ only?”. I said “no grandma it says 20$ on the shelf I swear!” So the cashier went back to the electronics section and returned a few minutes later saying that they had all been stocked in the wrong place, but because it was advertised as 19.99 that is what they were gonna charge us for it. (i’m sure they wouldn’t do that these days) I was so happy and we drove back to my grandparents house and for the next 2 weeks straight I stared at the map, read the huge game manual cover to cover again and again, memorized the spell descriptions, and waited eagerly to get home to play it. The ten-hour car ride home felt like an eternity, everyone else sleeping, me holding the box, looking out the window. When we finally got home me and my two younger brothers ran to my computer and holy ♥♥♥♥, the installation time back then was so damn long, it took hours, there were four ♥♥♥♥ing discs that you had to change out while installing. After all that I started it up, my brothers in the background already begging me to play. The epic Baldur’s Gate 2 theme music began, and I was ♥♥♥♥ing hooked. To this day I have not encountered any game that has affected me as much. The voice-acting is amazing, the story/quests immersive, each area is so richly detailed, each character so believable and immediately impressed me by how much love, how much polish went into their creation. I played this game in and out, with multiple character types, exploring every inch of every map, every side quest. I use to sit at my computer desk pretending to do my homework but actually playing this game. (and quickly turn off my monitor when my mom came in the room) I loved this game so much, so of course when I heard they did an Enhanced Edition I HAD to at least check it out. I was fully prepared to send them hate mail if they messed up or tarnished my beloved game but instead was shocked and surprised that they actually improved upon it. The auto-loot button? YES. The new party members and their quests? YES. The new portraits? YES. They added many great things, but I’ll tell you what really hit me the most. IMPROVED PARTY MEMBER AI. Jaheira knows when to heal. Korgan knows when to berserk now, Minsc charms animals without being told, Imoen hastes the party at the first sign of trouble, Viconia turns undead on sight, Anomen steps up and casts restoration on party members that have been level drained, Edwin throws out hold person when confronted with humanoid enemies or fire arrow when a troll gets downed, Keldorn uses his true sight ability to reveal hidden/invisible foes. Nalia mirror images herself when being melee’ed, or knows when a fireball is appropriate. When I witnessed Imoen immediately using breach or pierce magic to dispel an enemy mages magic protections all on her own I was like wow. My party finally fights as a team. Each member knows their role and fulfills it with ease. I say Bravo to the developers. Yes, there was AI back in the day but nothing as effective as this. Even after all these years this game is still fun, its still interesting, its also probably one of the most modded games ever. Look online and you will find many player-made mods that add quests/npcs/items/features/classes/enemies/spells, you name it. My favorites right now are the mod that adds wings to an elven character or the one that lets your mage create a golem to serve him. When you get this game keep in mind the huge amount of content that fans have been creating for the past 17 years. I wanna say Thank you to beamdog for breathing new life into an amazing classic rpg. And of course Thank you to my grandma (who passed away last yearILOVEYOUGRANDMA) Thank you for reading my review, this game is close to my heart. Give this game a chance, it has sold (in 17 years) millions of units. and hey don’t take my word for it, there are other reviews you can read telling you this game is worth playing. There are hundreds. Also, always remember to Gather Your Party Before Venturing Forth.