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Baldur’s Gate 3 Review Impressions Hands-On Spoiler-Free

In this Baldur’s Gate 3 article/video I’m going to give you Baldur’s Gate 3 First Impressions of the full version of the full game. We got a review code about four days ago, so we didn’t have enough time in my opinion to do a proper review. I don’t think it would be fair to give the game a proper review after that amount of time. Instead, here I’m just going to kind of do my first impressions after about the first 40 hours or so of the game and tell you what I think.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Review Impressions Hands-On Spoiler-Free

This is going to be a completely spoiler-free Baldur’s Gate 3 First Impressions. The gameplay we’ll be showing in the background is from Act 1. So if you’ve played Early Access you know this is stuff you’ve probably already seen before but with a little bit new UI etc. You will still be very familiar with this and I will not be talking about story spoilers at all. In about 40 hours, we managed to get through Act 2 or what I think is the beginning of Act 3. For an average player, for someone who hasn’t played Early Access, it will probably be closer to 50 or 60 hours to complete Act 2.

If you’re familiar with Early Access not too much has changed. The beginning parts of the game will have some differences and will feel familiar to you, speeding up your journey through Act 1. Those things out of the way let’s talk about Baldur’s Gate 3.

It’s a Matter of Choice

The first thing I can say about Baldur’s Gate 3 is that it’s the first RPG that I have felt like I didn’t regret a single decision that I made. A lot of RPGs, you’re either stuck with a good option, a neutral option, or a bad option. But in Baldur’s Gate 3, I felt like every decision I made was the right one for my character. Some RPGs give you many options that leave you overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices.

I think Larian did a phenomenal job here of not giving you too many options but still giving you a really good range that there are enough choices for everyone out there. What’s utterly incredible about this is that there are choices there that are based on your class, race, background and even the characters that enter the dialogue. This won’t be the same for everyone, as it is down to your own personal character.

Tailor Made for You

Though there aren’t a million dialogue options, it is tailor-made to your character and I think that’s what makes this game so special. It makes it feel like Baldur’s Gate 3 is made just for you when playing. In my opinion, because of these narrative options, the game provides very strong and compelling characters. They are interesting, and well-acted, making you interested in just about every single character you meet in the game. You end up wanting to hear what they have to say and ultimately wanting to learn more about the game’s world.

Compelling Dialogue

I can’t remember the last time I played a game where I felt compelled to listen to every single line of dialogue that was spoken. I have played tons of RPGs and we have covered a number of RPGs on our channel/website. Not one that comes to mind as of late that really compares. The ones that I can think of that maybe come close are Mass Effect or Dragon Age Origins. Games that really draw you in, in terms of characters that keep you engaged to find out things. Often you forget what you’re doing, or what your quest objective is because I’m pretty happy spending hours finding out info. I typically wouldn’t do that in another game.

As I have had limited time to review this game before the review embargo, I find myself pressed for time to get guides up. With that time crunch in mind, the average player won’t have that added time pressure. This means they will feel even more engrossed and immersed than I even was, if that’s even possible!


Piggybacking off of this, exploration in the game also adds a ton to the experience. The game world is large. While not completely open-world, the game kind of feels that way. You can tell the narrative is more linear in terms of narrative design, driving you through the game similar to that of Baldur’s Gate 2. However, you’re still picking up quest objectives along with the main narrative route and there’s plenty to see and explore. Exploration is rewarding if you’re paying attention. There’s plenty to see and do without getting bored. You’re always finding new things and I guarantee that in successive playthroughs you will still discover more.

NPC Interactions Like No Other

What stands out in Baldur’s Gate 3 is that NPCs and characters you interact with often appear in later Acts (based on how it went in Act 2) and you find out what happens to them. Often in games, characters will just give you gold or some type of reward and that’s it. Thanks for playing, here’s your reward, that will be it. Here, you will see whether they survived, find out what perils they’ve faced and the weight of your decisions.

Furthermore, I think this has been done in a way here that’s never been done in any other RPG. A lot of times in some of the best RPGs there are characters you can interact with, their stories advance and you’ll meet up later. Usually, you will find them in the same location, they stay in the same location, for example in the world of Mass Effect.

However, in Baldur’s Gate 3 they are constantly moving around. You will find them pop up in new locations, they’re advancing their story. Something that the developer Larian has done really cleverly in this game is they’ve created little checkpoints throughout the game. These advanced events in the game world so the world state is shifting when you hit certain points of the game. It changes previous areas of the game that you’ve already been to.


Some people were asking me pre-launch when you hit one of these checkpoints whether it will give you a warning to wrap everything you were doing before, before commencing and whether you can you go back. And the answer is “yes”. While you might not find everything stays the same as before passing these checkpoints, I find this incredibly special. In many RPGs, this isn’t really a possibility. Often you don’t know the full extent of the ramifications of these checkpoints. I think it will be many months before we know what they all are but that was incredible for me.


Moving onto the narration of the game, it is absolutely on point, it’s outstanding. The voice acting is incredibly done and it adds something to the game. I don’t think the narration is necessary for every RPG. But when it does done well, like it is done in Baldur’s Gate 3 and in the Divinity Original Sin series it does make you wonder if it is something that RPGs need. It is the same with music in games. When a game has phenomenal music it just makes the game better, but it is not necessary to make it a good game. I feel the narrator really adds something to the game and I think people are really really gonna enjoy this aspect. If you’ve played Early Access then you know what I mean. This stays consistent the whole way.

Minor Bugs & Patching

If I were to make one critique here, is to point out even though the game does such a fantastic job of immersing you in the game’s world that when you hit a bug, it really pulls you out of it. It’s kind of like being in a trance and someone snaps their fingers right next to you and you wake up. That’s kind of what it feels like. There were a good number of bugs in this game so far from what I’ve seen. I was a bit worried about this after playing in Ghent because I saw a lot of bugs there.


I know Larian has been doing a lot of work on those bugs over the last few weeks. They’ve pushed a patch every single-day patching bugs out of the game since we’ve been playing the review copy. So I think these bugs are just gonna get wiped out over time. None of them was major, they’re just really bizarre bugs in a lot of cases. I’ll just give you a couple of examples. For example one time during character creation the fireball cantrip just disappeared from the screen. I couldn’t select it anymore with the character even though I should have been able to. Then I had a dialogue when I was in the Grove then experienced a black screen for like 30 seconds. I was like “what’s happening?”.

Casting Animations

One of the casting animations for spells had weird bugs with their animations. I’ve had a weird audio sound when I was disarming traps in one specific spot of the game. It would make a really loud noise and then it never appeared in the rest of the game. An example was when in the shadowed lands, I would load into the game and my torch would be lit which is important to this scenario. However, when I loaded the same save once again, the torch has not been lit, leaving my character in a bad situation. It would take another load for it to be lit once again, although sometimes this wouldn’t work.

Other Issues

Other issues I’ve had are with the wizard. The wizard would be in your camp sometimes when I load and other times he would not appear for the same exact save. There have been some really strange bugs in my experience, but nothing game-breaking. These odd bugs will be slowly patched out and the only reason I mention them is the immersion-breaking effect they had.

Controller Pros & Cons

As for control and how they felt. On controller they did a really good job in my opinion as it’s very intuitive. It takes you a little bit to get used to and I think players playing on a controller are going to be just fine. There’s a little bit of time that it takes to kind of get your muscle memory down as there are a lot of things you can do.

One thing I kind of wish they would have done with the controller UI is give you a lot more information that’s like readily available on your screen. You need to go hunting through in order to find the information that is more easily available compared to on a keyboard and mouse. This one little gripe I had, but otherwise they did a good job here. There is a completely different UI for controller which they must have had to be completely redesigned. I think players will find it very intuitive and easy to use.

Romance & More

The last thing I want to talk a little bit about which I know is a popular topic for Baldur’s Gate 3 is romance. Ever since the infamous bear scene, I think people have been talking about this a lot a fair bit about romance and sex in the game. I think that’s a serious understatement. I have never seen so much in an RPG.

So Much Freedom

There is so much freedom in terms of what you can do and who you can romance. I actually feel like it’s, believe it or not, harder to not romance and fall into a sex scene than it is to do it. I am almost tempted to make a guide on “How Not to Have Romance in Baldur’s Gate 3”. If you particularly like a character and want to be with them, you have to really dodge advances from others. I feel there needs to be a guide on how to or how not to.

There is a lot of romance and sex in this game. I think it’s refreshing to see that an RPG isn’t limiting creative expression in that way. Players can have the freedom to do that, that’s part of role-playing in my opinion. Finding a character that you have a bond with and exploring that is definitely something I feel like should be in more RPGs. You play games such as the outer worlds or something similar, there’s no romance. You’re like this is just not realistic at all. It is as if they played it so safely in that game when it came to romance this game.

The Naked Truth

This is the complete opposite but I would say you know if you have young kids or something probably don’t play when they’re around. Baldur’s Gate 3 is just a very adult RPG. Even though there are filters for these sorts of things, just to give you an idea, without giving any spoilers, you can make your whole party naked. I mean run around through the whole game naked, with all of your characters including all cutscenes. In combat, I’ve never seen that before in a game in my life. That’s something you can absolutely do if you want.

Final Thoughts: Game of the Year 2023?

So in summary, to wrap it up Baldur’s Gate 3 is almost exactly what I expected so far. A very story-driven heavily narrative game that makes you make tough decisions. But you also get to see the outcomes of those decisions in a story that feels like it’s tailor-made for you and that no two players will have the exact same experience Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game. That I very publicly and definitively have been stating it WILL win Game of the Year. I haven’t been saying it should win game of the year. Or it could win the game of the year I’ve literally been saying it’s going to win Game of the Year.

Full Review Coming

After seeing what I’ve seen so far I still believe this is the case we will probably have a full review of the game out in the next week. So if you want to see what our actual review score for the game is and whether I actually still think it’ll be the Game of the Year after the full game, make sure you stay tuned for that. But I’ll just say the only slight concern is the bugs.

These as I’ve said aren’t that bad these are things that are going to get patched out over time. So a couple of weeks from now they probably won’t even exist. I’ve had no performance issues in 40 hours. Not a single frame drop and I’ve had zero crashes in over 40 hours. The load times are lightning fast I’ve had no sound issues, nothing like that. Other than a few bugs here and there. The game runs like a dream and stays tuned for a full review.

What do you guys think so far if you’re playing the game let me know in the comments below.

We’ll be putting out more guides and content. In the meantime check out our latest Baldur’s Gate 3 Beginner Guide. You can drop by our BG3 wiki for all the latest info on classesweaponsskillsinteractive map and more.

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