It’s all done, well sort of. I finished Baldur’s Gate 2 yesterday, which was good timing, because Pillars of Eternity comes out in two days’ time. Pillars was one of the reasons for playing BG2 as I wanted to see if I could cope with playing an ‘Infinity engine’ game; as you have probably guessed, I could and then some. BG2 turned out to be a masterpiece; this will come as no surprise to all the people who have played it at some point during the 15 years since it was first published. But it was a surprise for me because I was doubtful about how well it would hold up given its age. Continue reading
I stride into the centre of the living room and perform a perfect karate kick, exclaiming as I do so
“That’s me kicking Beholder ass”
Pleased with myself, I do the action again. My wife sees a forty-one year old, overweight, white guy wearing glasses do a crap little kick that would barely reach someone’s knee and hears me proclaim:
“That’s me kicking Beholder ass”
“You look like Van Morrison”, she dryly declares (a family joke).
But my mood cannot be shattered, I feel like a million bucks, because I have just kicked Beholder ass.
I think I should make my position clear from the outset. I grew up playing RuneQuest and its ilk (Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, etc) and so I have always kind of looked down on AD&D 2nd Ed. Even though the game was the big beast in the 80’s RPG scene, I felt it was simplistic and naïve when compared to the nuanced joy that was RuneQuest.
I have been on a bit of a CRPG kick recently, what with Divinity: Original Sin, Wastelands 2 and Shadow Run. So, in preparation for Pillars of Eternity coming out (Released 26 March 2015) I thought I would try one of the old ‘Infinity Engine’ games to see if I could cope with a Isometric CRPG that is not turn based. Having looked around for a while I settled on Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced edition (BGII). BGII is spoken of with great reverence, but I wasn’t sure whether I would get on with it and so couldn’t face buying the original version and modding it, hence the purchase of the ‘enhanced edition’ which makes the graphics vaguely acceptable on a modern monitor.
Game of the year is a strange concept and Baldur’s Gate 2 highlights this: originally released in 2000, an ‘enhanced edition’ was released in 2013. But truthfully I had never played it before 2015. I decided to give it a go because it is quoted as one of the best RPGs of all time (Rock, Paper, Shotgun lists it at number 3 in its top fifty RPGs). So in some ways it is odd to include it in my game of the year selection, except that it really was one of the best games I have played all year.
Whilst I haven’t published much, for which I apologise, over the last year I have written a lot of pieces. I thought examining my Game Of The Year (GOTY) 2015 would be a good way to publish some of the pieces I have written over the last year. So, over the next couple of months I will take you through some of my gaming highlights from 2015.
At this point I feel I should make clear my criteria: a game can be considered if I started playing it in 2015, the actual date of publication is frankly irrelevant to me. This helps to explain why my list is a bit different to most people’s…