Baldur’s Gate 3: The New Norm

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“It’s not enough we have a gallery of villains to look out for, but now we could be infiltrated by a shapechanger? I can’t even tell if any of you are acting strange because you’ve been replaced or because this group is full of weirdos!”

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the long-anticipated RPG game from Larian Studios. Released on August 3, the Dungeons & Dragons-inspired game has been met with critical acclaim, earning a 97 from PC Gamer, a 96 on Metacritic, and the 36th-best game of all time on the latter’s site. 

YouTube, TikTok, and many other social media platforms have been filled to the brim with content about the game, practically all of them proclaiming that it’s a masterpiece and nothing could top it for Game of the Year. Many swear it to be the new standard for games, but plenty of developers are starting to say this game is the exception. Now, people are using the success of Baldur’s Gate 3 as the symbol of change.

First, it becomes important to note what exactly about the game makes it worthy of becoming the latest goalpost for games. Many attribute it to being a one-time payment, with no DLC needing to be paid for, no ads to watch for in-game currency, and no sign of microtransactions anywhere. Other reasons people find are the literal thousands of hours of content Larian Studios claims the game contains due to its extensive choice options, or the quality of the story, characters, and freedom of choice presented.

Aside from bugs (that the studio has been promptly squashing), only a few players are finding much to fault the game with. As such, people are beginning to believe this is the standard other big studios must strive for with their games. Many other games in recent years are filled with nothing but microtransactions, DLC that empties people’s wallets, and buggy messes. So, naturally, when a game comes out with none of these, a new “standard” is created.

Game developers at these big studios are now beginning to argue that this should not be considered a new “standard” but an exception. This is an anomaly that no studio can ever replicate. Of course, this made players extremely upset. After all, what stops a big studio from doing something that a much smaller studio could do?

Larian Studios’ founder, Swen Vincke, said in an interview with PC Gamer that not just any studio could replicate Larian, but there are questions if there is an importance to standards as they are constantly “dy[ing] every day” as new ones are being made and olds ones are being renewed.

Baldur’s Gate 3, however, is a new standard in certain ways. It’s a game with hours of fresh, completely unique content, amazing graphics, engaging and creative gameplay, and thousands of positive reviews. 

This is a game that revitalized the gaming community. 

Whether or not a studio can technically replicate a game like this, Baldur’s Gate 3’s new “standard” represents the love and joy a game can bring to its players.