Review | 2023.12.11

Baldurs Gate 3 Emperor mindflayer parasite

In this post:
  1. Finishing Act II of Baldur's Gate 3
  2. Starting the much-anticipated sequel to Remnant: From The Ashes
Screencaps throughout, plot spoilers avoided.
BG3: on to Act III

I finally made it to Baldur's Gate (city) in Baldur's Gate (game). Well, just the suburbs I think. In August I complained about how the villages have named NPCs with short, cinema-view dialogue that goes nowhere. There are considerably more of them in the city but it's easier to (successfully?) navigate them since I have a better idea (quest log) of what's going on. I am, however, concerned that by walking past so many characters I might be missing out on a fun or useful side quest.

But let's return to Act II since I just started Act III.


Baldurs Gate 3 Moonrise Towers Karniss drider Baldurs Gate 3 Mindflayer Colony morgue Us Baldurs Gate 3 Reithwin Town shadow curse lifted

I'm relieved I didn't get to the Shadow-Cursed Lands by way of the Underdark because that seems like simply too much darkness for my taste. I don't mind a little horror but it's refreshing to now be in an otherwise-vibrant city with political horror rather than piles of corpses and hp-draining shadows.

Minibosses and bosses

Baldurs Gate 3 Malus Thorm nurses

While the permadark/permabloody environs got a little tedious, dialogue-having enemies like Malus Thorm and Balthazar make for an interesting journey through the shadows. Ketheric, Gortash, and Orin might be too busy being evil to have the personality of a Thisobald Thorm or Yurgir, we shall see.

thumbnail Baldurs Gate 3 Ketheric Thorm battle defeated thumbnail Baldurs Gate 3 Myrkul Thorm battle thumbnail Baldurs Gate 3 toll collector catching tossed coin thumbnail Baldurs Gate 3 Orin the Red thumbnail Baldurs Gate 3 Balthazar
thumbnail Baldurs Gate 3 dead three Thorm Gortash Orin thumbnail Baldurs Gate 3 Ketheric Thorm death vines thumbnail Baldurs Gate 3 conversation beer Thisobald Thorm

Allies and camp

Baldurs Gate 3 guardian Tiefling Baldurs Gate 3 conversation mindflayer emperor

I was unimpressed when, on the heels of convincing Lae'zel to turn from her life of unquestioning servitude to a god-queen, I convinced Shadowheart to turn from her life of unquestioning servitude to a god-queen. Why do I keep winding up with these cultists when there are hilarious djinns and noble carrier pigeon commanders out there in the world? On the plus side, all of the other recruitable companions aren't like this.

After one and a half acts of leaving the C-tier characters (Wyll, Karlach) on the bench, I've started rotating everyone in. Sticking with my besties wasn't entirely because I don't like particular characters/classes, for a while I didn't have enough/correct equipment for everyone and trading it in and out is too tedious. I'm hoping NG+ fixes this.

Baldurs Gate 3 Nightsong Dame Aylin wings

I didn't expect camp to get so crowded. A surprising number of un-killed NPCs ask to set up in camp and provide a little bit of dialogue and maybe some endgame benefit. The more the merrier and/or meatshieldier if it comes to that.


Baldurs Gate 3 He Who Was

Story/choice-heavy games are all about doing the right thing or the clever thing or the laborious thing to affect the world in a manner of your choosing. Sometimes your choice gets you unique dialogue, sometimes more reward, sometimes different loot, and sometimes there's a consequence down the road. To continue my point from the last section, NPCs with more than one line of dialogue in BG3 fall into three categories:
  1. You kill them.
  2. You give them a spot in camp.
  3. They say, "Okay later, gator. Omw to Baldur's Gate, maybe we'll meet again".
That's a little hyperbolic to drive home the point that I'm anticipating a lot of reemergent plot arcs when I get to the city center. It could make for a busy calendar but one full of story/choice payoff. And I do hope that at least some of my 'good' choices come back to bite me in the ass.

That brings me to a good fourth-wall chuckle. An NPC asks (paraphrasing), "Why did you help us?" One of the reply options, "For the experience, really."


Baldurs Gate 3 Malus Thorm black tentacles vines tactics

I'm almost proficient in combat. By far the most dominant tactic I've found is to slow/bleed melee characters with vines and/or dark tentacles. Most enemies have a jump but these spells have a large area of effect and can be cast by multiple squad members. Now that I'm cycling through the whole squad each day, the spell slot limitation isn't as hefty as it was in the early game. And now that I'm using Wyll, I have some appreciation for the warlock class's regenerating spell slots.

Some NPC I always knew I'd die at a circus.

A little more Act II

Baldurs Gate 3 Moonrise Towers kitchen Baldurs Gate 3 camp near Baldurs Gate Baldurs Gate 3 Laezel broken lantern
Baldurs Gate 3 Ruined Battlefield lamp Baldurs Gate 3 gauntlet of shar elevator
Remnant II

Remnant II ads drone enemy

Remnant: From The Ashes was a sleeper that me and J had a lot of fun with. It was like The Division crossed with Borderlands crossed with Destiny set in a weird postapocalypse that was as confusing and lonely as Warframe. The sequel was released recently so we've worked it into our schedule of trying to beat the Gunfire Reborn final boss.

Remnant II atmosphere plains dust

I can't say too much at this point except, first, that all of the aesthetics of From The Ashes are there - gunplay, loot, impressive environments. Where the first game had a series of worlds with segmented maps, at least some of R2 takes the overworld/underworld approach you see in The Division and Destiny.

So yeah, excited about this one.

Remnant II title screen Remnant II prologue creepy cave Remnant II character creation Handler archetype
Remnant II prologue Ford soviets Remnant II sky statue Remnant II dungeon drone enemy Remnant II Custodian conversation

Related - internal

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Screencaps and a little discussion of Remnant II, BG3, Stray, and Slay the Spire.


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Rare finds

Finishing BG3 Act I, some cuteness, and Harland's Ube IPA.

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