A battle went down at a goblin camp early on in Baldur's Gate 3 that's still on my mind. Thanks to my silver tongue, I'd managed to convince three big trolls to come to my aid when I found myself surrounded by enemies. Some hours earlier, I had also encountered an owlbear cub with its mother, who'd then joined the fray against the goblins. Tragically, though, it didn't last long when one of my troll helpers flattened the adorable creature.
cIt got me thinking: what could I have done to change this outcome? This is the one question that makes Baldur's Gate 3 so absorbing. So much can happen depending on your choices, and there are many paths I've yet to tread that I'm already dying to experience. In fact, I was just a handful of hours in when I started to imagine who I want to be, or what I might do differently in subsequent playthroughs. If that isn't a testament to the amount of choice and possibility Larian's adventure offers up, even in its opening hours, I don't know what is.
Now, with over 90 hours behind me in my first run, I'm thinking about it more than ever as I progress through Act 3. The mistakes I've made along the way, which I hope to learn from and rectify the next time around, are certainly a contributing factor. As an example, I'm still not over the fact that I locked myself out having Karlach as a companion, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. With different romances to explore, various character builds to try out, and a wealth of decisions to make, the hardest thing about Baldur's Gate 3 is deciding what to do first. But it's also the very best thing about it, too. I can't remember the last time I felt simultaneously sad to be approaching the end of my adventure, and excited to complete it just so I can start all over again.
I must have spent at least two hours creating my character when I first got my hands on Baldur's Gate 3. With limited experience in the world of D&D, I took my time looking at all of the different classes, races, subraces, and options to bring my first character to life. Playing as a bard felt like a natural fit as someone who will always try to talk my way out of conflicts if I can. Plus, the idea of being able to play an instrument at any moment had its own appeal. Once I got stuck in, I quickly discovered how my class massively factors into the way I play and approach scenarios, which just makes me so excited to see what else in store for other character builds. I already want to try out being a druid to make use of shapeshifting abilities, or see what it's like to experience the story from the lens of a paladin.
And that doesn't even account for all of the different origins you can try out, including the ominous Dark Urge. After spending so much time with the companions at camp, I have to wonder what it would be like to play through the adventure as any one of them. There are so many possibilities to explore in character creation alone that even after 50 hours of playing, I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of everything Baldur's Gate 3 has to offer. The scope of it is frankly mind boggling.
Beyond the characters you can create and play, there are so many decisions that shape the course of your journey. Many memorable conversations and pivotal moments demand to be relieved to see what other outcomes there could be, which speaks to how impactful the choices are. One action, dice roll, or dialogue option could seal your fate or push you in another direction, and you never quite know how things might turn out down the line. I can single out plenty of moments I want to do over differently as I role-play as other characters. Maybe I'll be a no-nonsense Dragonborn, or play as a Tiefling who makes the least moral choices just to see how the story changes.
Not to mention that the world is home to copious NPCs that you can just as easily miss as you can find. I'm sure there's someone I've not met along the way that may have a story to tell, or a task for me to fulfill. From speaking with my fellow Baldur's Gate 3-playing colleagues, I know for certain there are even instances you can stumble upon that others might not come across at all. Try as I might, I've likely missed some points of interest or notable occurrences that just fuels my desire to see what else I can uncover in a fresh playthrough. But isn't that just the beauty of games like this? In richly packed worlds, with so much attention to detail, there will always be something new to discover no matter how many times you play.
Baldur's Gate 3 is absolutely the kind of game that's designed to be replayed, and I can hardly wait to see what else is in store for me when I step into the shoes of someone else. There are so many playthroughs I want to do, and so many options I want to explore. Now I just need the time to do it. I haven't felt this kind of fervor for an RPG in a long time, so I'm going to enjoy every run I make in its choice-laden world. And hey, here's hoping I can keep the owlbear safe next time.