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Overall score - 71/100. SoD Official Reviews list (spoilers)

1356710

Comments

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,699
    Agreed. In a few weeks, Beamdog will have done some tweaking and we'll also have more great interface mods around.

    PurudayaJuliusBorisov
  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    Illustair said:


    Edit: "Other changes aren't going to go over as well for the purists who still replay the original regularly, however. The health bars above everyone really ruins the Baldur's Gate feel (although they can thankfully be toggled off).

    Some obvious changes are also missing but feel like they should have been added in the updates to a new edition – like a radius to show you where an area effect spell like entangle or fireball will strike." -Gameskinny

    Again if it can be turned off, why make an issue out of it? Moreover, the author would want to add radius visuals...why do I get the feeling that should it have been added, he would also complain? Ah, yes, because he's saying that health bars are not for the purists, when the same can be said to a radius visual.

    Exactly my thoughts...

    elminsterDurenas
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,143
    edited April 2016
    Whoa! Negative reviews have appeared (cautious with them if you haven't played the game yet, they're spoilery). I pasted un-spoilery parts.

    http://matthewhopkinsnews.com/?p=3357 33/100 (!!!)

    "Graphics – 21 / 25
    Many of the assets may be taken from the original game, but Baldur’s gate is still beautiful and the new expansion does not change that. The new areas are well drawn and animated.

    Sound – 6 / 25
    A long standing but unresolved bug with the enhanced edition plagued the reviewer throughout the game leaving the sound experience considerably worse than the original.

    Gameplay – 11 / 25
    Siege of Dragonspear uses the beautiful and beloved Infinity Engine with Baldur’s Gate graphics to tell a mediocre and frequently offensive story.

    Ease of Use / Glitches – 5 / 25
    The sound effect bug brings the game down into the ‘well below acceptable quality’ category. This impression is fortified by the character import bug and other glitches.

    Adjustment – -10
    The final step in the MHN Game Review Guidelines is the reviewer’s adjustment. In this case your author gives -10 for making such a disappointing, unnecessarily politicised, botch of expanding a well loved game.

    Overall – 33%"

    This "review" is just abysmal. Hugely downvoting the game because of one bug (and even if it's a severe bug) is plain wrong.

    http://www.quadnine.net/reviews/baldurs-gate-siege-dragonspear-review/ 45/100

    "Not that you’ll really want to complete the side content, and that brings us to the primary complaint about Dragonspear: the writing. The Baldur’s Gate games were renowned for their writing, with memorable characters and quest lines often mixing jokes with serious discussions that felt right at home in it’s setting, and pretty close to a proper DnD campaign. Dragonspear doesn’t have any of that, and the only characters that are memorable usually are for the wrong reason.

    Quest writing ranges from boring to confusing to outright aggravating when the game doesn’t seem to know how to react to your input.

    Despite whatever idea you might have, and even if that idea worked in the last game, it probably won’t work here. Quests have one, maybe two resolutions, and anything outside of that is a no-go, usually breaking the game. There’s no sense of adventure, and no joy in figuring out obscure ways to finish missions like you would in a real DnD setting, just go to X and kill/collect/activate Y. Very few of the quests have multiple endings, and your choices rarely make a difference, save for one or two major sections.

    Worse is the NPC writing, with most characters vomiting up their entire back story to you the second you meet. There’s no progression over time, it’s just “hello, my name is X, and here is my entire backstory and character arc, thank you, come again.” within the first few seconds. That’s if the writing stays within the game, and while the original Baldur’s Gate had some fourth-wall breaking moments, way too much of the writing in Dragonspear seems to be pop-culture references, often thrown in randomly without any reason. There’s a hippie you can meet that has some of the most aggravating dialogue in the series, or the “LOL, so randumb!” writing of one of your companions. There’s a Viking character that only ever mentions that he’s a Viking and nothing else, and several references to things that have absolutely nothing to do with the world of Baldur’s Gate that are out of place and immersion breaking. Returning characters now have inconsistent and occasionally paradoxical personalities to what they used to have, and most often character’s intentions make very little sense, even after you learn their whole story.

    Even if the writing were better, Dragonspear is still something of a mess. Working off of an improved version of the engine, the game is now able to render more NPCs on screen, and it uses this to make crowded areas like the streets of Baldur’s Gate seem actually crowded. The effect looks cool and really works to sell the scene, until you realize that this has completely ruined the game’s already spotty path-finding AI, making it an absolute chore to move around and a nightmare to identify your party in a sea of faces. It also contains several battle scenes, which handle like a hot mess when there’s dozens of weak NPCs clashing and loot drops littering the field. If there’s something you want to actually take when the fight is done, you’ll need to dig through a mountain of useless garbage to get to it, and trying to keep track of your party during these scenes is nearly impossible.

    Dragonspear felt like someone tried to make a new Baldur’s Gate game without ever bothering to play the old games. Between the confusing and boring writing, bland and generic locations, and myriad of bugs there’s no way any fan of the original games should play this when so many better options exist. Beamdog have said they want to make a third Baldur’s Gate game in the future, and if Dragonspear is what they do when given creative license, then perhaps it’s best the series remains dormant.

    What few good ideas there are disappear under a mountain of bad design choices and poor writing. It's saving graces are mostly what we already had in the original Baldur's Gate games, and many mods present better content at no cost."

    Is that really the game I'm playing right now?

    lolienKrotosMoradin
  • KrotosKrotos Member Posts: 156
    I feel like these two reviews are fairly unjustified. The first one is too vague in my opinion. A sound bug without an explanation what it's about? Not buying it.

    The latter....there's a lot of misinformation within it imo. The part about characters seems to be the most jarringly visible one.

    JuliusBorisov
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @bengoshi These reviews seem a bit angry, but they're not wrong. I think the average score of 69 reflects the quality of this game quite accurately.

  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,910
    Nah, the first reviewer has an obvious agenda, and I hear those are bad.

    illathidmf2112
  • justfeelinathomejustfeelinathome Member Posts: 353
    You have to take into consideration that an average of 69 makes the game "mediocre" by todays Industry-standards, which, as a message, to many gamers reads as "Don't buy it."

    Hmmm... I'm starting to wonder. Am I just blinded by glorious nostalgia if I think the game is better than that? I'll gladly be, if so.

  • KrotosKrotos Member Posts: 156
    In all honesty, I don't understand what the first reviewer was trying to say by claiming that "Many areas were taken from the original game." Which ones? I can't think of any apart from the Baldur's Gate locations themselves and even those received touch-ups here and there such as the addition of the marketplace stands in front of Ducal Palace or the Refugee Tents next to the Iron Throne HQ. It just feels insincere.

    JuliusBorisovkaguana
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456

    You have to take into consideration that an average of 69 makes the game "mediocre" by todays Industry-standards, which, as a message, to many gamers reads as "Don't buy it."

    Hmmm... I'm starting to wonder. Am I just blinded by glorious nostalgia if I think the game is better than that? I'll gladly be, if so.

    @justtravelinthrough Yes, this game is mediocre to good. Not great or excellent.

  • illathidillathid Member Posts: 320

    You have to take into consideration that an average of 69 makes the game "mediocre" by todays Industry-standards, which, as a message, to many gamers reads as "Don't buy it."

    Hmmm... I'm starting to wonder. Am I just blinded by glorious nostalgia if I think the game is better than that? I'll gladly be, if so.

    @justtravelinthrough Yes, this game is mediocre to good. Not great or excellent.
    Come now, SoD is better than any Elder Scroll or Witcher game.

    mf2112
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,143
    edited April 2016
    It seems the author of the 33/100 review is on the boards - https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/52523/mhn-review-of-siege-of-dragonspear-comment-please-trent

    Remember: when (if) you go there and comment, try to follow the site rules, especially this: flaming other users, whether provoked or not, is not allowed.

    lolien
  • PurudayaPurudaya Member Posts: 816
    edited April 2016
    @bengoshi

    Just out of curiosity, what standard are we using to define an 'official' review? Is a review from some guy named Mathew Hopkins' blog being given the same weight as, say, PC World? Can I start up a wordpress page, write a review, and have it included in the score?

    I think small time bloggers that aren't being paid for their reviews are going to be more subject to biased motivations for writing the reviews in the first place (as appears to be the case in this rather agenda-heavy piece). If we start including 1-man unpaid blogs in this score, we might as well start including user reviews from here on the forums.

    justfeelinathomeZansoronaldomf2112
  • justfeelinathomejustfeelinathome Member Posts: 353
    @illathid I think that point is entirely up to what you want from a video game and I don't think you'll find a objective set of criteria to make a comparison fair for both sides.

    As to what @FinneousPJ said: I think I need to clarify how I feel about SoD: I really, really feel the game is at least "good" and I'd probably score it something like an 8 out of 10, all things I picked up on my one and a half playthroughs considered. The typical "mediocre" review (60 to 70%) I see online is awarded to games that, while somewhat entertaining on a first playthrough, does not invite to a second and is generally forgotten as the years role by. Personally, I can see myself taking characters through SoD five years from now and I'm certain Beamdogs continuos support will bring it closer to the nine out of ten, by that time.

    My previous comment was meant to be ironic, however I forgot to add in emoji. :wink: (totally not ironic now)

    BelleSorcieremf2112
  • illathidillathid Member Posts: 320
    @justtravelinthrough
    I know. All reviews are entirely subjective in nature. I just like to present alternatives opinions when people say something I like is objectively bad, or in this case mediocre. ;)

    justfeelinathome
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited April 2016
    illathid said:

    You have to take into consideration that an average of 69 makes the game "mediocre" by todays Industry-standards, which, as a message, to many gamers reads as "Don't buy it."

    Hmmm... I'm starting to wonder. Am I just blinded by glorious nostalgia if I think the game is better than that? I'll gladly be, if so.

    @justtravelinthrough Yes, this game is mediocre to good. Not great or excellent.
    Come now, SoD is better than any Elder Scroll or Witcher game.
    @illathid I don't play Elder Scrolls but I think Witcher 1 was a lot better than this :)

    @justtravelinthrough That's cool. You say 8, I say 7. It's all subjective ;)

    EDIT: but I think some people on these forums are - understandably - highly emotionally invested in this game, and can't see anything wrong with it...

    justfeelinathome
  • illathidillathid Member Posts: 320
    edited April 2016
    @FinneousPJ
    The Witcher 1 had some of the worst writing I've ever seen in a game: a main villain called "the professor"; it has you looking for "mutagens"; and the main character was an amnesiac. I rest my case. :tongue:

    Post edited by illathid on
    mf2112
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,143
    edited April 2016
    This is a thread for official reviews, yes (people are free to think that SoD is better/worse than Witcher games, but this is not a subject of this thread). And it's very hard to define what an official review is.

    For example, do http://shaneplays.com/the-siege-of-siege-of-dragonspear-a-baldurs-gate-story/, http://www.zam.com/article/300/why-i-probably-wont-beat-baldurs-gate-siege-of-dragonspear count?

    The Intenet today is such a tool that anyone, pushing the right puttons, could post something that quickly becomes known to hundreds of thousands of people.

    When choosing which reviews to count in this thread, I look at gaming sites. And rpgwatch.com, the source that is respected in the gaming world, counted Matthew Hopkins News review as a review among others - http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33168

    It could be unfortunate and there could be people who are not happy with this or that review, but whether we share the views expressed in it is a question different to "what reviews are available".

    As Trent Oster mentioned, "it’s the internet and pretty much hates everything."

    So, looking at the links in the OP here and discussed in comments in this thread, each person decides him(her)self, whether he(she) shares this or that review, or not, whether he(she) should trust a review by a blogger or a huge gaming site, like rockpapershotgun.com, venturebeat.com and pcworld.com.

  • ZoimosZoimos Member Posts: 81
    It would be nice if you could separate the blogs from gaming sites, definitely if you got an overall score that can be effected by random bloggers with an agenda.

    ZansoPurudayaMoradin
  • Excalibur_2102Excalibur_2102 Member Posts: 351
    Yeah, that 33% review seems like a user blog rather than a gaming critic. Surprised you put it up here

    Moradin
  • PurudayaPurudaya Member Posts: 816
    edited April 2016
    bengoshi said:

    This is a thread for official reviews, yes (people are free to think that SoD is better/worse than Witcher games, but this is not a subject of this thread). And it's very hard to define what an official review is.

    For example, do http://shaneplays.com/the-siege-of-siege-of-dragonspear-a-baldurs-gate-story/, http://www.zam.com/article/300/why-i-probably-wont-beat-baldurs-gate-siege-of-dragonspear count?

    The Intenet today is such a tool that anyone, pushing the right puttons, could post something that quickly becomes known to hundreds of thousands of people.

    When choosing which reviews to count in this thread, I look at gaming sites. And rpgwatch.com, the source that is respected in the gaming world, counted Matthew Hopkins News review as a review among others - http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33168

    It could be unfortunate and there could be people who are not happy with this or that review, but whether we share the views expressed in it is a question different to "what reviews are available".

    As Trent Oster mentioned, "it’s the internet and pretty much hates everything."

    So, looking at the links in the OP here and discussed in comments in this thread, each person decides him(her)self, whether he(she) shares this or that review, or not, whether he(she) should trust a review by a blogger or a huge gaming site, like rockpapershotgun.com, venturebeat.com and pcworld.com.

    I would genuinely be reluctant even if it were a positive review – I'm looking at the aggregate score to see what professional gaming sites are saying about the product, and Matthew Hopkins' personal blog sticks out like a sore thumb on that list. You should of course use whatever review judging criteria you feel is appropriate, but if PC World and some guy named Matt are being given the same weight then we might want to just post the reviews and their scores without putting a numerical average in the thread title.

    This isn't about not wanting it included because I think the game is perfect – I happen to give it about a 7.5. I just think Kotaku or PC Gamer's reviews are more official than yours or mine.

    Sorry if any of that came off in any way acerbic, it wasn't meant to.

    JuliusBorisovillathid
  • mzacharymzachary Member Posts: 106
    Purudaya said:

    bengoshi said:

    This is a thread for official reviews, yes (people are free to think that SoD is better/worse than Witcher games, but this is not a subject of this thread). And it's very hard to define what an official review is.

    For example, do http://shaneplays.com/the-siege-of-siege-of-dragonspear-a-baldurs-gate-story/, http://www.zam.com/article/300/why-i-probably-wont-beat-baldurs-gate-siege-of-dragonspear count?

    The Intenet today is such a tool that anyone, pushing the right puttons, could post something that quickly becomes known to hundreds of thousands of people.

    When choosing which reviews to count in this thread, I look at gaming sites. And rpgwatch.com, the source that is respected in the gaming world, counted Matthew Hopkins News review as a review among others - http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33168

    It could be unfortunate and there could be people who are not happy with this or that review, but whether we share the views expressed in it is a question different to "what reviews are available".

    As Trent Oster mentioned, "it’s the internet and pretty much hates everything."

    So, looking at the links in the OP here and discussed in comments in this thread, each person decides him(her)self, whether he(she) shares this or that review, or not, whether he(she) should trust a review by a blogger or a huge gaming site, like rockpapershotgun.com, venturebeat.com and pcworld.com.

    I would genuinely be reluctant even if it were a positive review – I'm looking at the aggregate score to see what professional gaming sites are saying about the product, and Matthew Hopkins' personal blog sticks out like a sore thumb on that list. You should of course use whatever review judging criteria you feel is appropriate, but if PC World and some guy named Matt are being given the same weight then we might want to just post the reviews and their scores without putting a numerical average in the thread title.

    This isn't about not wanting it included because I think the game is perfect – I happen to give it about a 7.5. I just think Kotaku or PC Gamer's reviews are more official than yours or mine.

    Sorry if any of that came off in any way acerbic, it wasn't meant to.

    Meh I would leave the review in, people reading that review will go either;
    1. wow this guy is weird
    or
    2. this guy is totally right! In which case they were probably too oversensitive to be able to handle playing the game in the first place.

    JuliusBorisov
  • MoradinMoradin Member Posts: 372
    @bengoshi quite frankly, I would not consider that review at all. The "reviewer" demonstrates lack of basic understanding of the FR setting, and still goes on and complains about things he clearly could have understood had he done his homework before reviewing. It discredits the entire review in my opinion.

    ZansoJuliusBorisovmoody_mage
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