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Decisions, Decisions: Baldur’s Gate 3’s common option dilemma

Larian Studio’s most recent CRPG title ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’ has hit the ground running amongst DnD loyalists and new fans alike. Debuting on Playstation 5, XBOX, and Windows on the 3rd of August 2023, the game has taken a powerhouse position amongst modern triple-A titles as an accurate love letter to the endless creativity of the Forgotten Realms universe with its attention to portraying a detailed conversion of the classic DnD 5e system to the modern RPG format.

Additionally, the game also boasts a detailed character creation system, giving players access to a wide variety of DnD’s classes and races to play throughout their playthrough in order to further enhance the lush experience the game has to offer. With all the options in the world being left at players doorsteps, Larian Studios had taken to their official media platforms during the game’s Early Access period to express confusion around the large statistic of players choosing relatively ‘ordinary’ options irrespective of the presence of more unique options such as Orcs, Halflings and the war-hungry Githyanki – ultimately culminating in the majority of players going for more common options such as humans and the ever popular half-elf.

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Which begs the question, does the data collected from players represent the preferences and realities of the wider gaming community? With Larian Studios describing players as having a tendency to choose ‘average vault dwellers’ as opposed to more exotic options, it can be argued that these tendencies represent the ever-controversial notion of ‘immersion’ and the manners in which players find themselves slotted into become a part of the world Larian Studios has presented to players.

When faced with an endless supply of fantastical options ranging from horns and scales to anywhere in between, many players enjoying their first experiences of the Forgotten Realms universe are finding it easier to navigate the world through the eyes of a character that most accurately represents themselves and their lived experiences – mainly human characters, and in the place of players with an existing affinity for fantasy universes, elves are also a common ‘average’ option.

Given all of these considerations, players are left to discover their preferences on their own. Whether they prefer normalcy or a fully realised fantasy experience, Larian Studios replicates the universal appeal of DnD by allowing players to have agency over the exact kind of character they want to create and how they want to experience the rich storytelling and world-building that the game provides.

Photo by Thrythlind on DeviantArt (licensed under CC BY 3.0 DEED)

Amongst the wide varieties of races and roleplaying experiences provided to players through the game’s Origin characters, the player avatar ‘Tav’ has the chance to rise to the occasion and stand out as a distinctive hero of Faerun, or for players of a more conventional disposition. They also have a chance to seamlessly blend into the crowd of vibrant NPCs that players will encounter throughout their journey. Whether players want to be a run-of-the-mill adventurer or want to take on the experience of a grandiose hero, Baldur’s Gate 3’s thorough and heartfelt character creation system allows players to choose the fate they wish to take on for themselves. With a variety of classes and backgrounds to choose from, the world of Faerun is a layered and complex experience that accurately represents the subversive and fantastical experience of the beloved Dungeon and Dragons tabletop system.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available now for players to purchase and download on PS5, Xbox, and PC.


Edited by Gio Eldred Mitre, Gaming Editor


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