game you didnt think could get any bigger now has an additional
40-50 hours of gameplay. Yes, Baldurs Gate II, less a game and more
of a life-sucking machine, has an expansion pack coming out this
summer. However, there arent enough global changes to make the game
worth replaying from the beginning, so you wont have to cancel your
cable or put a stop on your mail.
the sound of it, the folks at Black Isle originally wanted the Baldurs
Gate series to be a trilogy, but the limits of the aging and still
good infinity engine prompted them to scrap a third installment
and finish out the story of the progeny of Bhaal in an expansion. Upon
completion of the main story line, your character gains the ability to
transport him or her self to their new castle/place-of-residence in a
pocket plane, and from there they can continue the adventure. So
unlike Tales of the Sword Coast, BGII: ToB adds to the tale as well as
adding a high-level dungeon crawl.
Perhaps the most significant item-of-note is that
the experience point cap has been raised to eight million. That means
characters can reach up to 40th level. Such high levels
could be reached with the Icewind Dale expansion, but Icewind did not
have the vast array of high level spells and combat. Here, not only
have new super-bad spells been added, but characters also begin to get
different class specific skills around three million experience
addition to the new 100+ items, Saravok is also now available as an
NPC and can join your party. Also, once in the pocket plane, you can
warp in any of the possible NPCs. Did you leave Keldorn in the sewers?
Not to worry. You dont have to track down were you left people.
Also added is a new wild mage class. For every spell these guys cast,
there exists a chance that the spell will go awry in some fashion:
becoming less powerful, more powerful, or warping into a different
spell entirely. This class looks like a novelty include and probably
wont appeal to many.
ostensibly, BGII: ToB has been designed as an end to the story, it
appears to me that this expansion really adds a bunch more
hack-n-slash to an already combat heavy game. Youll meet more and
smarter dragons dragon AI has been modified to defeat many of the
already proven dragon-killing tactics. Also youll get to fight some
super bad monsters like Demigorgon.
I spoke to people at E3 about this game, most looked incredulous and
said, "Theyre adding more?" BGII was huge and, upon
reflection, seemed to me overly linear in that combat was often the
best or only response to many of the games quests. 50 more hours of
combat may not appeal to everyone and, to be honest, Im hoping that
the story is compelling and includes more than just bigger fights.
However, the fact that Throne of Bhaal ends the series and allows
god-like levels of play ought to entice fans of the game to plunk down
some cash and get back into it.