Baldur’s Gate was originally released for PC back in 1998 and critics claimed that it was responsible for the revival of the RPG genre on PC. The highly customizable game had features that few games had and put it in a world that was huge and expansive. Now, an enhanced edition has been released for Android. Can it hold up to the original? Let’s take a look. As always, you can watch it above if you prefer.
If you’ve played Baldur’s Gate before a lot of this won’t feel new to you. However, the last time you played it, you probably played it with a keyboard and mouse which allowed for a lot of action at once. In this version, you’ll be playing with touch controls and believe me the experience is vastly different.
You can do pretty much everything you used to be able to do. Attack, cast and learn spells, pick up and use items, switch between characters and all of the other things you’re used to being able to do. For those who have never played before. Your character and another character named Imoen are lifelong friends who embark on an adventure to save Baldur’s Gate from sinister forces. It is a very long adventure.
Along the way you meet new friends and digest a lot of story. The game can go for well over 40 hours even if you’re a quick game player. For first time players, it’ll likely be much longer than that. Comparatively speaking, Baldur’s Gate is one of the largest, longest, and most complex games ever to be released on Android.
That’s really it for the game play. You start the game, you play the story, and the story ends. It is worth mentioning that there are 2 additional characters available as in app purchases along with a voice set and a portrait set. You can use these to augment your experience and customize your characters a little bit.
The mechanics are where things start to get tricky. Where there were once hot keys, keyboard commands, and mouse movement, there are now touch controls. Admittedly, things are a lot slower on mobile than they were on PC. You tap on areas to navigate to them or on objects to interact with them. This includes staircases, doors, chests, traps, people, enemies, and general navigation.
On the left side there are icons that open various things such as your spell list, inventory, journal, character sheet, as well as buttons that let you rest and pause the game. Resting of course also doubles as the way you learn spells and pausing the game is an essential element to get your party in order during intense moments of the game because touch controls simply aren’t fast enough.
On the right side is your party list where you can switch between characters as well as a few buttons that do things like raise and lower character names on screen and show objects. On the bottom is the action bar where you choose what special abilities, attacks, spells, and items you use.
Pretty much everything in the game is tapping. You tap to move, tap to attack, and tap to select things. So there really aren’t any weird swipe or gesture commands. In the journal you can take down your own notes and use the device keyboard for that.