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

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Comments

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,426
    A new review from Italy - 7.5/10, game-experience.it. Hope that this time the review is solid

  • AedanAedan Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 8,243
    @bengoshi
    Yes, it is solid. Finally!

    There are too many typos (he wrote Minsk :s ), but the author definitely played the game and appreciated the feeling, the character of Caelar, the fights, the dialogues and so on. It seems that the only thing that he did not like is the linearity, because he cannot travel and explore places with freedom.

    The good:

    - The charme of Baldur's Gate
    - Great main quest and lots of content
    - Dubbing with the original cast

    The bad:

    - Recurring crash and bugs
    - The ending cannot be different due to BG2 events at the start of the game

    Moradinmf2112NonnahswriterJuliusBorisov
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @joluv I sure hope you don't work in software development. If you do, please quit.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    I thought I had made it abundantly clear that I am a playwright.

    mf2112Illustair
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    I'm sad the bar is set this low, that is all.

    sparkleavsb81848889
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited May 2016
    Yeah, bugs are exaggerated by prople who want to hate SoD for other reasons. It's no more buggy than you would expect a game to be from a small software house without thousands of testers and a 12 month beta, and a lot less buggy than many in that catagory.

    Still, you can't give a game with bugs 10/10.

    AyiekieSids1188
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,632
    edited May 2016
    Sids1188 said:

    Given the amount of focus I've seen on them (not to mention the number of reviews citing them as the main reason for 0 star reviews), I was expecting the game to be nigh unplayable, or at least be constantly having to work around bugs.

    This just goes to show that people tend to see more of the bad than they do of the good.
    Fardragon said:

    Yeah, bugs are exaggerated by prople who want to hate SoD for other reasons. It's no more buggy than you would expect a game to be from a small software house without thousands of testers and a 12 month beta, and a lot less buggy than many in that catagory.

    Still, you can't give a game with bugs 10/10.

    Conversely, giving the game a 1/10 because it isn't perfect is dumb as hell. (There are reviews that have done that.) I think a 8/10 is fair, considering the story limitations that Beamdog had to deal with and considering the bugs.

    MoradinSids1188
  • sb81848889sb81848889 Member Posts: 51
    Everyone is aware of those few individuals on the forum that are very satisfied with the condition of SOD, however there are many and I think the majority that expected better and clearly the reviews listed here indicate that most of the gaming world agrees with a 7/10 rating.

    Saying reviews are dumb and wrong because they disagree or share a different view than you is the real dumb and wrong on this thread at least.

    agree with @FinneousPJ , the bar is too low if your satisfied.

    FinneousPJ
  • kanemikanemi Member Posts: 31
    edited May 2016

    Everyone is aware of those few individuals on the forum that are very satisfied with the condition of SOD, however there are many and I think the majority that expected better and clearly the reviews listed here indicate that most of the gaming world agrees with a 7/10 rating.

    Saying reviews are dumb and wrong because they disagree or share a different view than you is the real dumb and wrong on this thread at least.

    agree with @FinneousPJ , the bar is too low if your satisfied.

    A bit more disparaging than I would ever feel comfortable with, but I understand your point even if I don't agree with it. However, I do want to point out that saying that people have low standards if they are satisfied with the game (not happy with, not in awe with, but satisfied) is a bit of an odd statement to make immediately after you stated that people who disagree with or have a different standard than you shouldn't be disparaged.

    Could it have been better? Of course. Were there even areas that I was disappointed in? Yeah. Was I overall satisfied with the game. Yeppers. And I will say the same thing for a number of other games. Final Fantasy VII, for example, which is hyped as the be-all, end-all Final Fantasy game (I personally liked VI and VI better) had areas that I rolled my eyes at (the hideous polygon-shaped characters for one thing, the dragged out, tedious sidequests for another), but I was still satisfied with it.

    That you are not satisfied is sad, but not surprising. As I said, there were portions of the game (some engine-related, some not) that could have been done better. I do, however, wish that certain people would stop repeating over and over again how low the bar has been set and that those who enjoyed (forgive me, were satisfied with) the game have low standards, but that is just my personal preference.

    deltagoAyiekiemf2112BelleSorciere
  • sb81848889sb81848889 Member Posts: 51
    Not sure if you understood me, but my comments were regarding a few others who continually call people wrong and dumb on this thread because of their opinion about the reviews given here.

    I, in no way was disparaging in anything I stated, so you misunderstood my point entirely.

    I made no such comment about people having low standards if they are satisfied with this game, you are putting words in my mouth.

    I, like most Dungeons and Dragons / Baldur's Gate fans do have high expectations with this genre and any criticism I have given is based on wanting Beamdog to grow in their love for this product and improve their next game. Or I will criticize people continually bashing others reviews because they do not align with their own.

    FinneousPJ
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136

    I made no such comment about people having low standards if they are satisfied with this game, you are putting words in my mouth.

    the bar is too low if your satisfied.

    What am I missing?

    Ayiekiemf2112
  • sb81848889sb81848889 Member Posts: 51
    joluv said:

    I made no such comment about people having low standards if they are satisfied with this game, you are putting words in my mouth.

    the bar is too low if your satisfied.

    What am I missing?
    That comment refers to Beamdog and I was agreeing with a previous poster, I am trying to express a raising of expectations from Beamdog on their further updates and products. Whether you or I or anyone else is satisfied with the game is their own opinion, I am sharing mine which differs.

    FinneousPJ
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    Ah. I thought you were still referring to "those few individuals on the forum that are very satisfied with the condition of SOD." Anyway, Beamdog is working on fixing the game, so they clearly aren't 100% satisfied with it.

    kanemi
  • kanemikanemi Member Posts: 31

    Not sure if you understood me, but my comments were regarding a few others who continually call people wrong and dumb on this thread because of their opinion about the reviews given here.

    I, in no way was disparaging in anything I stated, so you misunderstood my point entirely.

    I made no such comment about people having low standards if they are satisfied with this game, you are putting words in my mouth.

    I, like most Dungeons and Dragons / Baldur's Gate fans do have high expectations with this genre and any criticism I have given is based on wanting Beamdog to grow in their love for this product and improve their next game. Or I will criticize people continually bashing others reviews because they do not align with their own.

    Clearly I didn't understand you, as I was thinking along the lines of what joluv said. I wasn't putting words in your mouth, but I did misunderstand your intent. For that, I apologize.

    Ayiekie
  • sb81848889sb81848889 Member Posts: 51
    Yeah I see what you mean now, after I re read my post, I didnt make myself very clear trying to be brief. I am sorry about that, I was too short sounding.

    FinneousPJmf2112
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,426

    Alright, so the Author, Benjamin Danneberg (no idea who that is, he must have joined the magazine after I cancled my subscription) complains about a lot of things:

    - Bugs
    - Bad graphics (but then goes on to tell about how you can simply change them back to how they are suppossed to look in the options), especially upset about the black boarder around the maps.
    - The more than lackluster localization (that's typically GameStar, they have always cared about that subject a lot [flashbacks to back when Elder Scrolls: Oblivion was released ...])
    - That some of the chracter writing isn't on point, especially upset about Safana (in his words: "she's become a compliment fishing bimbo") and also about Jaheira (too one dimensional/ passive) and Khalid (too much leadership material)
    - Biggest of all: Spoilers towards BG2 and ToB
    - "Confusing and soap opera like writing at times, esepcially in the end"

    What he does like are specific quests. He has mixed feelings about the voice acting (likes Minsc & Dynaheir, thinks Corwin is too flat).

    ------------------------

    That about covers it, I think.

    In all honesty, as someone who has read the GameStar since childhood, I can tell you that the magazine has lost it's drive. Almost all of the old writers have left by now (they outright fired some of their best in the past -.-). The new guys are nothing to write home about, their reviews are at best boring, generic and miss context and proper insight.

    What I would really like to see is a review by Heiko Klinge, back in the good old days of GameStar, he was the biggest Baldur's Gate fan on the team (he literally lost his job back when BG2 came out, because he skipped work to play it more :'D ). He is one of the few old people who is still on the team, so it's really disapointing that he isn't the one who did the review.

    But that's just my humble and very biased opinion >.>

    PS: This is definetly a negative review, not a mixed one. The author is not at all happy with SoD.
    The games with mixed reviews usually get a rating from somewhere between 70% to 80%

    It looks like Benjamin Danneberg, the author of the Gamestar.de SoD review, has given their explanation of the rating:



    Could any german-speaking forumite guide us here? :smiley: Because it looks like the reviewer here was very biased, he didn't like the EEs in the first place and it influenced his review.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,426
    And http://www.rpgwatch.com/ reviewed SoD. 4/5

    "it made it apparent to me how much work Beamdog put into all of the game's other companions. In fact, most of what we learn about Jaheira comes from the mouth of her husband Khalid. Not only do you have many of Baldur's Gate's original companions, but also many of the enhanced edition's characters, as well as a number of new ones. The new companions seemed especially well done to me, not only in their voice acting, but also in their variety and their depth of character. The gnome Glim fits in with the rest of Baldur's Gate's gnomes. He's an oddball who can't stop talking and is anything but serious. On the other side of the spectrum is Captain Corwin, a humourless, prejudiced, and brooding archer, who is nonetheless trying her best to serve the greater good. There's also the deadpan Goblin Shamaness M'khiin, who I regretted not being able to add to my party, since I had decided to play a Shaman as a main character. The banter between your companions was one of the things that made the original Baldur's Gate great. Beamdog seems to have understood this, and one of the highlights of Siege of Dragonspear are your companions and how well they banter."

    "The writing comes across as uneven. Some of it is very good. Some of it seems like it desperately needs a more comprehensive treatment and comes across as awkward. Beamdog does well to capture the tone of both Baldur's Gate games. In general it's light hearted, and can even verge on being silly, depending on your companions, but there are also very serious moments. As far as agendas go, I didn't see much in the game. Personally I consider myself a moderate, live-and-let-live person. I don't like political extremes. I'm white, male, heterosexual, religious, 43 years old, and married. One of my best friends from my university days is homosexual, and as a teacher, almost all of my colleagues are women. I'm telling you this, so you know where I'm coming from when I tell you I just don't see much political content in this game itself (certainly no more than in any Bioware game since Jade Empire). Still, I have some conservative friends and can see them being offended by having a bisexual companion (which only came out in my playthrough when I decided to romance her and she talked about her past romantic failures), a homosexual companion (I was surprised to discover this near the game's end, and it only really comes out that he was jealous of the character I was romancing) or a trans woman medic, even if this is extremely minimal content in the game itself (and completely avoidable)."

    "What really impressed me about Siege of Dragonspear was the quest and level design. Maybe I've played too many modern RPGs recently, but Beamdog really came up with some interesting quest ideas, and there are also a decent number of puzzles and areas which require you explore carefully. The battles are also for the most part well organized and just like in both of the original games. I ran into some nasty surprises in some battles and had to replay them. There are also a number of large scale battles where you fight alongside your troops. Like the original Baldur's Gate, Siege of Dragonspear is full of side quests, interesting places, and lots to do."

    "The main plotline of Siege of Dragonspear is in general well done, though there are minor weaknesses here and there. In many ways it's at its weakest, when it tries to anchor itself between Baldur's Gate 1 & 2. The inclusion of many of the old NPCs and the weak epilogue seems at times very forced. However, the main plotline, the struggle against Caelar Argent's crusade, is for the most part well written and thought through. I played Siege of Dragonspear for some 27 hours, 25 hours to finish the game, and another two hours to fiddle around with the various companions."

    "I personally liked the user interface. At first I didn't like the new graphics, but by the time I realized they could be turned off, I had grown accustomed to them and didn't bother."

    "I had absolutely no expectations for Siege of Dragonspear. Quite honestly I expected Beamdog to completely fail. Perhaps that explains why I enjoyed the game as much as I did. I think if it wasn't a Baldur's Gate game, but the first effort from a small team, we'd all be discussing what a surprisingly good CRPG it is. But it is a Baldur's Gate game."

    " I'd like to note now that my 4 star rating includes both the new material as well as the old engine, which Beamdog had nothing to do with. I personally can't separate the two, because without the Infinity Engine, there would simply be no game. As a Baldur's Gate game, Siege of Dragonspear is about as good as a lot of the Infinity Engine expansions such as Tales of the Sword Coast, Heart of Winter, or Throne of Bhaal. That is to say, noticeably inferior to either Baldur's Gate 1 or 2. Nevertheless, Beamdog understood what made the Baldur's Gate games fun and tried their best to implement it in this expansion. That they didn't entirely succeed just goes to show why it's so hard to make a great game."

    Pros

    Excellent level design
    Well thought-out quest design
    Interesting new companions
    Well written main story
    Profits from Baldur's Gate excellent combat and mechanics

    Cons

    Uneven writing
    Poorly done epilogue
    More linear than Baldur's Gate
    Mulitplayer bugs
    Not everyone will like the visual changes

    http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/article?articleid=372

    JustLeftBelgarathMTHMoradin
  • KampfKaninchenKampfKaninchen Member Posts: 139
    It looks like Benjamin Danneberg, the author of the Gamestar.de SoD review, has given their explanation of the rating:

    Could any german-speaking forumite guide us here? :smiley: Because it looks like the reviewer here was very biased, he didn't like the EEs in the first place and it influenced his review.


    Indeed he says, that he felt the EEs were unnecessary, because of all the great mods, but he also mentions the technical improvements, which might benefit mostly the casual players. Really enhancing BG or making a new BG game for him feels like trying to improve the Mona Lisa. While not impossible, a rather difficult task. Maybe he was/is active here on this forum as (Danneb)Erg? ;)

    I rather liked this talk and the points made.

    He says, that in the beginning he actually enjoyed playing SoD, the returning characters/VA and the gameplay in general. For him though, those were rather low hanging fruits, as in ofc you score points, if you give the fans a new adventure with their old heroes.

    His biggest gripe seems to be, that he thinks SoD doesn't really deliver on it's main selling point, which would be acting as the bridge between BG and BG2.
    The main plot, the crusading, has no real connection to the events in BG/BG2 and even though there are a lot of references (even too many or somewhat pointless, eg. the endboss), they don't add up to a real picture. He says, that SoD doesn't really connect the loose ends and beginnings of the two games.
    He briefly mentions the conspiracy theory (I think Shandyr said it first), that this was the real reason for including Mizhena, so that the attention is not focused on what SoD really brings to the table in this regard. ;)
    He seems somewhat baffled that there was so little discussion about the game itself and it's story on the forums.

    A good third of the video they are talking more generally on the problems of reviving old franchises, and why that ever so often fails.

    JuliusBorisovBelgarathMTHFinneousPJ
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    So he is saying SoD needs eyebrows?

  • KampfKaninchenKampfKaninchen Member Posts: 139
    I don't know what that means. It's my impression, that he thinks that Beamdog put themselves in a position, in which they were more or less bound to fail and then (unfortunately) succeeced on that premise.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    While 4/10 might be overly harsh, I can't really disagree with the points you kindly provided translation upon.

    KampfKaninchenFoggy
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,291
    way too harsh. i don't understand some people's understanding of the 1-10 scale. it's as if they subtract a point for every point of criticism they have. if i went that way, i'd probably have to give SoD something like -27/10

    mf2112Aedan
  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 792
    The sad thing is many bugs come directly from 2.0 and have little to do with SoD's development I am sure.

  • LegendaryLegendary Member Posts: 52
    Yeah, the bugs are harsh. Originally me and my roomie had planned to do a duo playthrough of SoD and we just couldn't get it to work. Was a shame too. We haven't tried it again sense.

  • KampfKaninchenKampfKaninchen Member Posts: 139
    Well the actual rating was 58. He said he would have given 40% for those players, who really wanted satisfactionary explanations and not just "yet another adventure".
    It's not really apparent for me, but I could imagine that the 58score is a weighted score of his rating for the players mentioned above and a rating for those who are just in for some gaming and having fun. (the other group he mentions)

    If they chose a 50/50 approach, SoD would have scored 76% then on the second group.

    Those numbers seem somewhat plausible to me, if you really focus on the whole "bridging the gap" part, since at the end of the day, there is still as much or even new headcanon required. (IMO)

    VbibbiFinneousPJ
  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,919
    I think the whole "bridging the gap" stuff is being overplayed. I wasn't looking for every single detail between the end of BG1 and the beginning of BG2, just that charname was doing something as opposed to sitting around getting drunk and fat and lazy for almost a year after finishing Sarevok off.

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