I disliked BG1 yet I loved BG2.
This is a BG2 EE review and while im sitting here writing it, i cant help but reference the start of an epic story which is BG1.
There are many people who will write that BG , as a series, is complete story of your character as they follow the path from start, middle and end of their own destiny.
I cannot argue with this valid point.
Yet I found that BG1 was clearly made from a company (Pre- EA Bioware) that had grand ambition , scope and excellent writing but didnt know how to implement this all into a single game.
What came from the end of BG1 was the experience , scope and confidence to make a vastly superior game in BG2.
When starting a new character in BG2 , all the back story that exsisted in BG1 is told to you in the opening trailer of the game. Who you are and what you have done have been generalised in a way that starting off in BG2 verses playing the first title of the series doesnt leave you lost.
Infact, anything you may have lost in terms of playing BG1 is redoubled in the amazing expansion called Throne of Bhaal, which takes the story of your past , present and potential future to levels that werent even touched on in the first title.
This expansion is included in BG2 EE so if you choose to buy this remaster , you will miss very little in terms of story.
If your old enough to remember Terminator and then watch Terminator 2 year later will understand this completely because they share a common trait. The second incarnation is so vastly superior to the first that there is no need to experience/watch the first.
Im not going to beat a dead horse on the actual review of BG2:EE.
There are so many amazing reviews online that illustrate , far better than i could , all of the brillant traits that make this game one of the BEST RPG's of all time.
What stands out for me is the writing and PACE of the game.
Bioware crafted BG2 in a way , in the quest structure, that you never feel very far off the beaten path towards the end. All the side quests are meant to compliment the main story in some way or another.
And the side quests are easily the BEST of any RPG ive ever played.
That is not to undermind the main story at all, but only reiterate the strength of how impactful the side quests are.
I mentioned the pace of the game and I wish there was a virtual table I could bang to get this point across.
There are so many past and present RPG's I play where I get so wrapped up in the vast open nature of a game that the main quest or objective becomes a second priority.
This isnt the case in BG2.
BioWare cleverly crafted a way to keep the story in focus but give the player all the time they needed to explore and experiment. When you were ready, the story took main focus and ran forward at amazing speeds.
By the end of BG2 you feel satisfied. It truely is a complete story.
Yet if you feel is there more to the backstory that hasnt been complete, the expansion Throne of Bhaal answers them.
This expansion was made before the invention of DLC. Its a TRUE expansion with 20-30+ hours of content and RICH , character driven story. It could possibly be the best expansion ive played in my life.
It ends the story of a character you started from BG1 and ends it in excellent fashion.
This review was writtten for a very esoteric perspective. Made for a RPG fan who doesnt mind the learning curve of a good game and appreicates a epic story. If there are gamers out there of this nature who havent played this game, I hope this review helps.
In the end, BG2 stand alone as one the best games ive ever played. It is a reminder that story, characters and solid gameplay trump impressive graphics and superfical gameplay.
Im old enough to see the progression of gaming in a unique perspective. I owned pong, i watched nintendo and sega battle out in console wars that lasted 3 generations of systems, the rise of the X-box and sony into the market and a game that was so massive that 12M people played it online at the same time.
Yet through all of this , even more than once when ive been amazed at a technical breakthrough, its how games have impacted me intellectually and emotionally that have stuck with me through the years.
This is one of those games.