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

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Comments

  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    I don't know I liked the take on scientific progress that Pillars of Eternity had. I read an interview with the lead designer on that game a few days ago that said its better in interactive media to portray these things as questions. Deus Ex Human Revolution I think did a great job on this with the issue of human augmentation and playing god. It was clear where the writers stood but you could be pro or anti with reasons both sides. Games can and should discuss real life issues (sonrtimes via fictional analogues), just needs to be done right.

    JuliusBorisovKrotos
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,092


    http://nichegamer.com/ has given SoD 4/10 and called it "an expansion written for children"...

    "First off – and you’ll notice this from the very start – the game re-uses maps. Granted, the original Baldur’s Gate overworld forest areas used a lot of the same foliage sprites and ground bitmaps, but the first three maps you encounter after you leave the town of Baldur’s Gate and start your quest are almost exactly the same.

    All they are is a small forested area with the same worn-out road and a conveniently-placed cave where some *things* happen.

    Like a poorly made and rushed Neverwinter Nights module by a newbie creator, Siege of Dragonspear seems like it just wants to throw stuff at you to impress you, not challenge you. There are three gigantic mobs of trolls in the first three areas of the game, all of which are situated directly in front of the entrance to their respective dens, making proper positioning and threat distribution impossible. This is made even worse by the troll spell-casters they place at the far end of the mob.

    What makes this needlessly imbalanced is the fact that oil flasks are a rare thing in the first Baldur’s Gate, and in the expansion – at least from what I saw during my trip – are even more uncommon. Sure, you can buy fire arrows, but the shop keeper only sells +2 fire arrows, which are incredibly expensive. This is especially so when the game makes a point to throw out all of your gold after importing your character. Of course, you can get some of that gold back through a side quest, but it’s a small fraction of what you entered with.

    The insult to injury here? The troll mobs have a gendered troll, a “Troll Shamaness”, which I was told by a friend who is very finicky about Dungeons & Dragons that there is no such thing as a “shamaness”, since “shaman” isn’t gendered. Neither are trolls, actually.

    Level drain is something you rarely encounter in Baldur’s Gate 1 or the early stages of Baldur’s Gate 2…and for good reason. Unless you have a devoted cleric who has never multi or dual classed, you won’t have a high enough level to cast a restoration spell to cure it."

    Oh, come on! Bashing the game because you don't know how to play it? Because you don't know how to defeat trolls? Because you don't know how to buy restoration scrolls? COME ON!

    "That wasn’t the only problem either, since Beamdog decided that replenishing all the spawns on the overworld map was a good idea, so every time I walked back from the cave full of level-draining undead, I had to fight through three mobs of a dozen or so dire wolves. This was good for grinding of levels, but it was incredibly annoying. Having played both Baldur’s Gate games for 18 years and going through them over two dozen times, I never once saw anything respawn in a cleared area…and I now know why the original designers made it that way.

    Of course, none of this would have been so big of an issue if it weren’t for the fact that the game didn’t properly level up party members prior to them joining you.

    For the uninitiated, there is a well-used and known tactic in the Baldur’s Gate games that involves getting your party members as soon as possible in the story line so that the game doesn’t level them up to your character before you can do it manually. The reason why is due to the fact that the game, regardless of how much common sense it makes, will not use the “max HP per level” option when calculating their health. As the strategy goes, you grab your desired party members before you gain any levels so that you can get the “best version” of that NPC with the max HP per level toggle on. Simple, right?"

    Hmm, did the author hear about random HP rolls?

    "This is how I ended up with a party of six people and why everyone had under 50 hitpoints except for my main…a dual classed *mage* who had 84"

    So what? Is it a reason to downvote a game? In nearly all my games characters have not many HPs. It's FINE. And has nothing to do with giving the game a score.

    "As I stated in my editorial, Argent is a blatant Je’anneDearchetype trope, right down to her righteous fury and god-like visage. She seems to be someone’s personal fantasy woman, a feminist goddess that is perfect in every way and adored as much as she is feared. It makes her a very hard to sympathize with character, which is unfortunate, since the plot will eventually want you to feel bad for her. Though how you can feel sorry for a god with flaming eyes who has a flaming sword is beyond me. She is nothing more than a parody of every teenage girl’s self-insert medieval swords & sorcery fantasy character.

    The story never improves either, since as you can see by the threads now cropping up complaining about the ending, the final moments of the game aren’t any better. Not to spoil anything, but the shoehorned-in ending has frequently been compared to Mass Effect 3, with a very abrupt and forced fitting-in of the necessary party composition needed to set up the intro scene to Baldur’s Gate 2. It shows, yet again, how incredibly slapdash and lazy the writing for Siege of Dragonspear truly is."

    "However, the real problem with the writing would be the altered personality of Safana, the “seductive” thief. Since the writer felt that she was nothing more than a male fantasy object, she has been made to be more of a “independent woman” the way Viconia is. which means you can expect her to be a bit hard to handle sometimes and get to now enjoy a few cheap insults thrown at you from time to time. For Viconia, that’s fine…since she belongs to the matriarchal society of the Drow…but for Safana? It destroys her character and puts her out of sync with what she is in the pre-expansion Baldur’s Gate."

    Really? REALLY?

    "thing I didn’t like – and this was a big one – was the new statistics sheet. The way they have it laid out now makes it look messy and disorganized. I can’t believe someone signed off on it, because anyone who has played D&D games on the PC could tell you that shoving every single piece of character information in one giant scrolling box isn’t very smart. It reminded me of Sword Coast Legends and its legendarily awful stat sheets.

    All things considered, I cannot recommend Siege of Dragonspear to anyone. Unless you are so incredibly new to Baldur’s Gate that your standards for upholding its lore, keeping battles balanced, and making sense hasn’t set your expectation bar too high, you should completely avoid this expansion.

    Combining fan fiction level writing with self-insert Mary Sues, a whiny cast of stereotypical characters, and a plot that tries to be epic but ends up falling flat at the end, Siege of Dragonspear fails at nearly everything it set out to improve upon. Which is sad, since I was so sure Beamdog could pull this off."

    "If you want to play a Baldur’s Gate expansion, I would suggest getting the original un-enhanced editions and installing both games along with the BGtutu mod. After that, you can download the fan-made Dark Side of the Sword Coast, which is infinitely better than what Beamdog has created here with Siege of Dragonspear."

    The imbalanced Dark Side of the Sword Coast is better than SoD? You're just kidding, right?

    The Verdict 4.0

    The Good

    New visuals look crisp
    New weapon weapon swap system is long overdue
    The Bad

    Horribly imbalanced
    Respawns are a bad idea
    Writing is barely fanfic level
    Memes (Though now removed) and silly situations abound
    New character stat sheets are a mess

    http://nichegamer.com/reviews/baldurs-gate-siege-of-dragonspear-review/

    MoradinKrotos
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Tl;dr he despises the game

    JuliusBorisovEnialusMeliamneKrotos
  • KcoQuidamKcoQuidam Member Posts: 181
    71/100 for a game which have to fight with the shadows of BG1&2 and which was made by a relativly small team. Sound like a very good score to me.

    JuliusBorisovmf2112Krotos
  • PekingduckmanPekingduckman Member Posts: 138
    I wouldn't take Nichegamer seriously at all. They are one of the no-name gaming websites which went full Gamergate when the shitstorm happened, and wanted that sweet advertising money from crowds of angry manbabies. Techraptor is another website which jumped on the bandwagon.

    For all their talks of "ethics in games journalism", they sure have no separation between reviews and editorials, or any sort of disclaimer.

    mf2112MoradinKrotos
  • namenlosnamenlos Member Posts: 51
    edited April 2016
    I hope it's okay to say that I agree with the Genderless troll point. I like how they reproduce by ripping each other apart. Trolls and Orkz <3 /burp /fart
    They may have changed the lore anyway, so I dunno. As I was writing this I felt that, perhaps, I had seen some form of Half-Troll before... speculation!
    :D

    Thanks for below Moradin, I'm guessing that was fairly easy to look up. Poor Orkz all alone :(

    Post edited by namenlos on
    Moradintypo_tilly
  • sb81848889sb81848889 Member Posts: 51
    Celebrating a barely 70% overall review score seems like you are satisfied with a C-

    I would rather have a developer tell me we are not going to rest until we start getting A's & B's.

    Ohh well.

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,868

    Celebrating a barely 70% overall review score seems like you are satisfied with a C-

    I would rather have a developer tell me we are not going to rest until we start getting A's & B's.

    Ohh well.

    Great, go play some EA games then where they purchase their rating scores and pat yourself on the back for playing a well received game.

    Also context.
    Everyone has their own likes and dislikes when it comes to playing and rating a game. Some reviewers place graphics very high (and one even lowered their score because the graphics were dated) while others first rate the story, then combat, then sound quality.

    And a 7 to one person maybe above average, where another might just call it average, reserving anything lower than a 5 to unplayable. While majority keep a ten rating for games that are truly epic and change gaming for generations.

    But oh well, keep trollin'.

  • sb81848889sb81848889 Member Posts: 51
    BG1 & 2 had 85+ ratings, but your obviously satisfied with what you received as a final product. Clearly if nobody bothers to take the criticism in the lower reviews seriously and just shouts Bias or hate and then accuses me of trolling.

    Well I rest my case!

    ineth
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,900
    edited April 2016
    Well when the reviewers tell you exactly why they're rating a game at a lower score then there isn't really much question, is there? I mean, no Bothans need to die to bring us this information.

    Several of the reviews take factors into account that reviews of the original games wouldn't point out (such as "dated graphics" as an example).

    namenlosillathidSkatan
  • kanemikanemi Member Posts: 31
    edited April 2016

    BG1 & 2 had 85+ ratings, but your obviously satisfied with what you received as a final product. Clearly if nobody bothers to take the criticism in the lower reviews seriously and just shouts Bias or hate and then accuses me of trolling.

    Well I rest my case!

    I don't think that you are trolling, but I don't think that you can really rely on what BG1 and BG2 rated as a sign of what SoD should be getting. Keep in mind that those games are 18 and 16 years old, meaning that the graphical and engine expectations were quite different. SoD was contractually required to be an expansion on BG1, and, in order to allow compatibility, SoD uses an engine derived from a 16 year old Infinity Engine. In addition to dated graphics, this also means that there are still limitations on what the game designers were able to do with the game itself, something that they mentioned in the recent twitch session with Greg Wilson.

    Also, as an expansion to BG1, SoD really relies on gamers who are actively invested in the Bhaalspawn story, working within the limitations of being an interquel between two very popular games and drawing upon the appeal that gamers have for said games. Like any DLC/expansion, it has to rely on players' momentum and enjoyment from the previous installments to maintain interest, engagement, and sales. This isn't something that always happens, though, considering some of those who are now reviewing the games were still learning their letters when BG1 first launched.

    Excuses out of the way, I certainly agree with you that there are areas where there could be improvement, and some of those areas are already being looked at. SoD got dinged quite a bit for being buggy, but they have already released one patch and others are on their way. Other controversial elements that have been expounded upon in great detail are being re-evaluated. Will these changes make the game more enjoyable? Almost certainly. Will they make reviewers re-review the game and improve their score to get those "A's and B's" that you think the developers should tirelessly work for? Probably not.

    Either way, I won't begrudge people who celebrate at positive reviews, as they certainly have the right to see the game that they enjoy celebrated. Neither will I begrudge you the right to complain at issues you take with the game, as you certainly have the right to do so as well.

    Moradin
  • sb81848889sb81848889 Member Posts: 51
    I assume there will be a future installment of the franchise, like BG3 or additional expansions.

    I can only hope at this point that we can raise the expectations. What would it hurt to make that once in a generation Baldurs Gate game again. There is certainly enough source material.

  • Excalibur_2102Excalibur_2102 Member Posts: 351
    Clearly if nobody bothers to take the criticism in the lower reviews seriously and just shouts Bias or hate and then accuses me of trolling.
    The only REALLY negative "professional" review ive read is the niche gamer one... The 7/10 + actually have plenty of good things to say about the game, and criticisms are largely focused on the age of the game, the engine (even rule set in some cases). Most of the reviews ive read say the writing is at least okay fort he most part. The content of the reviews matters more than the score.

    typo_tillyMoradinKrotos
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,868

    BG1 & 2 had 85+ ratings, but your obviously satisfied with what you received as a final product. Clearly if nobody bothers to take the criticism in the lower reviews seriously and just shouts Bias or hate and then accuses me of trolling.

    Well I rest my case!

    Ok, lets take a closer look and put it into context on how game rating works. I am going to use Metacritic here to illustrate averaging scores and what they mean. I will only be looking at games where the player controls one or more individuals to further a story (not always meaning RPG).

    Score of 9.5-10
    Highly unattainable as getting a score this high means the game can not be improved on further. It is a masterpiece, one that will change gaming forever. It is also usually reserved for games that can match the hype of its release. Think Grand Theft Auto V

    Score of 9.0
    Are usually reserved for sequels that outpace their former titles while still holding true to their series. The developers have greatly improved the gaming experience for both new and old players to the franchise and titles will probably hit Game of the Year status. Think Dark Souls III, Witcher III

    Score of 8.5
    Considered critically acclaimed. Newer franchises that haven't developed a proper following, but introduce amazing/unique game play and story telling generally fall into this area. Think Life is Strange.
    Criticall acclaimed franchises with games that equal, or are slightly lower than their predecessors usually get this rating as well. Think Mortal Kombat XL, Rise of the Tomb Raider

    Score of 8 (SoD falls here in metacritic with a 78)
    Usually for above average games with some flaws that can be overlooked. Majority of games fall into this area as play style preference usually skews individual reviewers score. The games are usually technically sound however (completely playable) and interesting. Remastered games usually fall into this area as well.
    It is also for over hyped games that did not live up to their expectations due to bugs, or other problems may fall into this area.

    Score of 7.5
    Usually reserved for expansions that do not add anything to the game. The price does not match the contents, but is worth a look if it goes on sale.
    Average games with some glaring issue (graphics, UI, combat mechanics etc) that may hinder a person's enjoyment also falls into this category.

    Score of 7.0
    Once again, average games with minor bugs and a couple of glaring issues. Usually games that didn't port well from one console to another: Think BG2:EE for the iOS and all the problems it had when it was first released and Batman: Arkam Knight for the PC.

    Score of 6.5
    A slightly below average game where it leaves the reviewer wanting more. Usually If the game was developed a little bit more before released it would have received a higher score. Criticism is usually constructive in these types of reviews as the reviewer still enjoyed the game to a degree, but would probably shelf it after a while. Think Among the Sleep.

    Score of 6.0
    A niche type game that steers away from conventional gaming. There will be one or two critics that completely love the game, but many more who think it is pointless and boring. Most reviewers will fall in the middle of these two extremes realize the beautiful implication of the game but harp more on the negative experience. Think Beyond Eyes; Armikrog; and Subject 13.

    Score of 5.5
    Below average game, usually reserved for ones that seem to be outdated upon its release. Could be completely bug ridden with CTD issues, but still playable. Think Son of Nor, Warhammer Quest

    Scores below 5
    Only 4% of games released in 2015 received a score of 5 and lower. Scores in this end are usually reserved for games whose bugs or mechanics make the game completely unplayable. To top it off, if it is story driven, the story is considered bland, cliched or unacceptable. Think Duke Nukem Forever (49), or Ride to Hell: Retribution (19).

    ~~
    So SoD is falling slightly higher than expected probably due to the improvements from BG:EE original release.

    Moradin
  • sb81848889sb81848889 Member Posts: 51
    deltago said:



    Ok, lets take a closer look and put it into context on how game rating works. I am going to use Metacritic here to illustrate averaging scores and what they mean. I will only be looking at games where the player controls one or more individuals to further a story

    Score of 8 (SoD falls here in metacritic with a 78)
    Usually for above average games with some flaws that can be overlooked. Majority of games fall into this area as play style preference usually skews individual reviewers score. The games are usually technically sound however (completely playable) and interesting. Remastered games usually fall into this area as well.
    It is also for over hyped games that did not live up to their expectations due to bugs, or other problems may fall into this area.

    ~~
    So SoD is falling slightly higher than expected probably due to the improvements from BG:EE original release.


    Many people may be completely satisfied with SOD or any other game in the 70ish rating range and many may also believe like you that it is above average or very good. I happen to agree. I think there are many great parts to the game, however most of the reviews reveal many of the underlying issues with this game like overly linear play, lack of Role playing opportunities, little diversity in conversation choices with NPCs, difficulty reconciling the story with BG2 and in some cases breaking it altogether and generally just a lack of the joy in the experience to name just a few. Forget about the bugs, hopefully they will be resolved or modded out.

    I agree SOD does fall in the 70 - 75 rating range. Its an above average game.

    Is that what you want. Has game developing become so hard now that this is what is defended as the best that can be made.

    Where is the attitude of excellence and devotion to Dungeons & Dragons or the Forgotten Realms lore. Where is the humility or reverence for the undisputed king of RPG games of all time in everyones opinion. I get a sense of arrogance, agendas, revisionist creativity. This is what I expected from the designers holding the license to future Baldurs Gate games.

    Call it idealistic if you want or even naive but somebody has to take responsibility for this and future games if they will ever become like their predecessors.

    If I were Beamdog I would ONLY read and consider the mixed and negative reviews and learn what needs to be addressed. At least that way you cant go backwards next time.

  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,919

    deltago said:



    Ok, lets take a closer look and put it into context on how game rating works. I am going to use Metacritic here to illustrate averaging scores and what they mean. I will only be looking at games where the player controls one or more individuals to further a story

    Score of 8 (SoD falls here in metacritic with a 78)
    Usually for above average games with some flaws that can be overlooked. Majority of games fall into this area as play style preference usually skews individual reviewers score. The games are usually technically sound however (completely playable) and interesting. Remastered games usually fall into this area as well.
    It is also for over hyped games that did not live up to their expectations due to bugs, or other problems may fall into this area.

    ~~
    So SoD is falling slightly higher than expected probably due to the improvements from BG:EE original release.


    Many people may be completely satisfied with SOD or any other game in the 70ish rating range and many may also believe like you that it is above average or very good. I happen to agree. I think there are many great parts to the game, however most of the reviews reveal many of the underlying issues with this game like overly linear play, lack of Role playing opportunities, little diversity in conversation choices with NPCs, difficulty reconciling the story with BG2 and in some cases breaking it altogether and generally just a lack of the joy in the experience to name just a few. Forget about the bugs, hopefully they will be resolved or modded out.

    I agree SOD does fall in the 70 - 75 rating range. Its an above average game.

    Is that what you want. Has game developing become so hard now that this is what is defended as the best that can be made.

    Where is the attitude of excellence and devotion to Dungeons & Dragons or the Forgotten Realms lore. Where is the humility or reverence for the undisputed king of RPG games of all time in everyones opinion. I get a sense of arrogance, agendas, revisionist creativity. This is what I expected from the designers holding the license to future Baldurs Gate games.

    Call it idealistic if you want or even naive but somebody has to take responsibility for this and future games if they will ever become like their predecessors.

    If I were Beamdog I would ONLY read and consider the mixed and negative reviews and learn what needs to be addressed. At least that way you cant go backwards next time.
    Did you ever play the initially released versions of BG1 and BG2? They were the same or worse.

    typo_tillyKrotosillathid
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,092
    edited April 2016
    A review from Greece! http://alt-tab.gr/baldurs-gate-siege-dragonspear-review/ 8.0/10

    I don't understand Hellenic but they gave AI in SoD a 9.0 score (with which I agree).

    @booinyoureyes , the forum needs you to give some translation ;)

    AedanMoradinbooinyoureyeslolien
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited April 2016
    If the AI is so great why did the wingy person just stand their and throw things whist I plugged her full of (crossbow) bolts of lightning, rather than engaging in melee?

    ;)

    typo_tilly
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