Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear

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Re: Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear

Postby Adul » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:17 pm

Okay, well, I said I would share my thoughts about Siege of Dragonspear when I had played it through. That time is now, as I've finished it just two days ago.

TL;DR version: the game is good, I haven't run into many bugs, there was no overbearing political agenda as far as I could tell.

Now, the details. The reason it took me this long to actually sit down and play SoD through, even though I had highly anticipated it before its release, is that my first impressions weren't exactly great. Starting off, the game felt too restrictive and like it was missing the tone of the originals. In particular, there was a certain lack of a sense of adventure that bothered me. Instead, the focus of the story seemed to be war.

Luckily, a couple hours in, the game remedies this by introducing a fairly developed exploration element. After this, while the war theme is still present (as suggested by the game's title), the tone is much closer to what I'd expect from a Baldur's Gate game. I'm happy to say, the game gets stronger as it goes along. And it's not a short game, so it has plenty of time and opportunities to blossom into a great experience, which it does on many occasions.

The story is closely tied to the game's antagonist, the Shining Lady, and it's very focused. As I said, there is exploration in the game as well as a good number of side quests, but most of it is at least somewhat tangential to the main story, so it doesn't feel extraneous. Overall, it's a well told tragedy with some mystery to keep the player interested.

I haven't yet had the chance to try many of the companions, but the fact that they've managed to hire most of the original voice talent is frankly amazing. Some of the actors do a better job at imitating their 18 year old voice work than others, but there's even a couple that I thought were doing a richer and more impactful portrayal of their characters than they originally had. One particular reoccurring character had chills running down my spine, which is a credit to both the voice actor and the game's writers.
Irenicus is back, and he's incredible in SoD!

Some people didn't like the ending, which I'm not going to spoil. I thought they did as good a job as can be expected, considering the story is forced into a very specific outcome, namely the one at the beginning of BG2. Still, SoD suffers from a mild case of The Return of the King syndrome, where it doesn't end at the natural satisfying ending point, and instead chugs along to arrive at a less satisfying one. But as I said, there was not much they could do there, and I'm actually glad there was a satisfying closure point in there at all.

I haven't run into any bugs in single player, although I know bugs were one of the main criticisms of the game at release. Maybe they were addressed in the three patches since then, or maybe I got lucky, I don't know. I've played a little bit in multiplayer and I have run into a few issues there, though none were game-breaking.

All in all I really liked SoD, and I think it's my new favorite of the three Baldur's Gate expansions that are currently out there. It's a lot more substantial than Tales of the Sword Coast, and better than Throne of Bhaal in many ways. If there's one thing that I wish SoD had, it's a Durlag's Tower/Watcher's Keep style dungeon for high-level parties to tackle that each of the other two expansions had, but I do understand that they wanted to make this expansion more story-focused, so sacrifices had to be made.

There's still some dungeons in there, so it's all good.
Last edited by Adul on Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear

Postby Adul » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:29 am

Here's Matt Barton's review where he shows off some highlights from SoD:

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