Let's get right to it.
The very good:
- Above all, combat is fun, and does best in this area. Did you stock up on wands of summoning and fireballs before you ganked Sarevok? You'll still have plenty of opportunity to use them to great effect, but it will never feel overpowered or unbalanced.
- Some of these new areas look wonderful. The dungeons with the flowing lava, the wilderness areas, all look very nicely done and, most importantly, look like they fit in the BG world.
- Every voice update is appropriate and well done, and if anything, gives it a more refreshing feel to have them speak so many new lines.
- Some of the new companions are interesting and fun to play, and party interaction is pretty high.
- The return of old companions was, sometimes, well handled. I liked how Skie got more elaboration while still staying fully in character, for example. It's nice to see the less recognized old cast get larger roles.
- It does feel like a natural extension to the series. You really feel like the hero of Baldurs Gate for a time, which provides some closure I felt was lacking in the very sudden BG1-2 transition.
The very bad:
Somebody needs to write a message in the sky for all of Beamdog to read:
THE BHAALSPAWN SAGA DOESN'T TAKE PLACE IN A.D 2016!!!!
Too many times characters spoke lines that were just cringe worthy because they were far too modern and had no place in the world. "Do you have time to talk about our good lord "whatever"?" "Oh, all goblins look the same to you? Racist." F*cking ridiculous at times.
- Stlarnling. Whoever's bright idea it was to inject a stlarnling phrase that has never stlarnling been heard in the ENTIRE stlarnling series, even going as far as to have our Bhaalspawn use the phrase, needs to understand that it feels so stlarnling forced and sounds so stlarnling ridiculous there needs to be an update to get it the stlarnling out of there.
- Whoever decided the best way to squash stereotypical characters in BG was to make Jaheira the married woman everybody can hit on, whilst making Voghlin the quintessential drunken Viking needs to have their head examined and examined fast.
- It bothers me that Voghlin is said to be born in Luskan when THAT IS NOT A LUSKAN ACCENT. He should have been born up north like Branwen and then it wouldn't have been an issue.
Would I recommend buying it? Yes, I would. It is an entertaining and worthy addition to the series. It has high points in story, high points in combat, high points in ambience. I feel like Beamdog has proven that have extraordinary potential with this addition and I will be viewing their next projects with interest.
That being said, it is not without it's flaws. Too much was changed at times in very consistent characters and speaking, with no explanation and with a sudden change back in BG2. This gap should have been apparent from the outset, so it's disheartening to see that these pitfalls weren't avoided.