Standing in front of Siege of Dragonspear is a somewhat unique experience. It’s one thing to relive a game through a new version / remake / reboot or any of the ways the industry today has put past experiences on the table. Another very different is to find a
new expansion of a game 17 years ago, it is said soon, an expansion also inserted in a story clearly completed, halfway between the first and second delivery.
MEGAMAGIC: WIZARDS OF THE NEON AGE
Although in perspective, perhaps that is precisely the only place where a new “nostalgic” Baldur’s Gate would fit, it is that hazy territory before Irenicus crossed our path, which allows for things like recovering classical actors such as Jim Cummings ( Minsc) to record new lines,
To situate ourselves, the new expansion is placed shortly after finishing the story of the first game and becoming the “Hero of Baldur’s Gate”. Without time or almost breathe, our character is involved in a new intrigue that has to do with a crusade led by a mysterious figure,
Caelar Argent. Their motives are not clear to the lords of the city, but their army grows exponentially and their actions are destroying the trade and razing
defenseless villages whose inhabitants flee desperately to saturated and deprived cities. The situation is so serious that the three city-states of the Sword Coast have mobilized their armies to stop it and restore peace. By circumstances of the plot,
The approach of the game makes the structure necessarily linear (although it tries to expand a bit as it moves forward). The fact that we are part of an army and have a specific and relatively urgent objective necessarily poses a more restricted development
to force, but this is reasonable being an “expansion”. Even so, on our way we will have the opportunity to experience different parallel adventures that in addition to the experience and additional equipment, visiting interesting caves and dungeons, some with attractive
stories that connect with our character. As a small reproach, it could be argued that the issue of the siege that gives the game its name would have given different missions and objectives focused on the military efforts to finish off an enemy army, but this is something that is generally ignored,
One of the first things that catches our attention is the evolution of the expanded version of the Infinity Engine and some interesting touches that contrast with the original experience of the games. For example, it is very useful that when we want to move an object
between characters, the color of the group’s portraits will change depending on whether the object is useful or not. We will have the possibility of comparing statistics when we equip ourselves with a new object, or things as simple as the possibility of equipping
ourselves with a permanent shield, which we will bring up or not depending on whether we have the appropriate weapon, which makes life much easier when we want to alternate weapons in combat. There is a series of small and large details that really optimize the experience and modernize this classic interface to better fulfill its function.
In addition, technically today’s computers have little to do with those of the Baldur’s Gate era, so Beamdog has allowed himself some luxuries. Perhaps the most impressive occurs at the beginning, when we have the opportunity (extremely limited) to walk through certain locations
of Baldur’s Gate and we found dozens and dozens of characters on screen, representing on the one hand the desperation of hundreds of refugees who have invaded the streets of the city, and on the other hand, creating the feeling of really being in one of the main and busiest cities of the Costa de la Espada.
It may seem an irrelevant detail, sometimes it even costs a bit to move with so many people in between, but the trick makes the setting more powerful in this initial part, with visually powerful scenes like when we left with the army in the middle of the crowd.
The pity is that, as we have said, this experience in Baldur’s Gate at the beginning is very limited, with only a few areas to explore and very limited in space, since we are going with specific objectives and we are not left unrestrained to the contemplative walk.