Infinity Engine Games, How well do they hold up now?

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Sanity

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#1  Edited By Sanity

I got around to watching the Baldur's Gate 2 episode of random pc game yesterday and i realized that i have never played any of the old infinity engine games. So i looked around and thought about buying them on good old games but i found this instead and grabbed it because it seemed like a good deal for 20 bucks.

Watching Dave play BG2 it looked pretty slick still besides a somewhat clunky GUI, but im wondering if i should start with BG1 or not. I hear its harder to get into but i also hear it makes the second game more enjoyable. If i can get into it and figure out how the hell to play these i plan to play them all in the order they were made over the next year or so. Anything else i should know about before i dive in? Wont get it in until next week sometime because of Christmas but am looking forward to finally giving this a go.

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deactivated-5ff27cb4e1513

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I don't know about playing them all in the order they were made, but it might help to offset any fatigue that might set in. Just know that each of the series in that package are *not* related to each other by some sort of common story thread, or anything along those lines. Also, if you're looking for a more traditional dungeon crawl, the Icewind Dale games are definitely the combat-heavy games in that package.

Have fun!

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Sanity

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#3  Edited By Sanity

Yea, i know that theres no story relation but it makes sense to play them in order mainly because i would like to see what changed as they went along and the engine matured.

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Icil

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#4  Edited By Icil

There's a mod out there that combines both BG1 and 2 so that they're one seamless game. i wish I could nab the link for you, but I'm drunk off Christmas food =(

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Questionable

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#5  Edited By Questionable

They aged pretty poorly, the combat is allot harder as they have little to no auto casting, also a MUCH higher reliance on avoidance over damage soaking really emphasize how dice roll/luck based the combat is.

I recommend you start with planescape: torment that way even if you fatique halfway trough you will still have enough material to write a 2 hour monologue about what made oldschool RPG's superior.

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AndrewB

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#6  Edited By AndrewB

If you mean play *all* the Infinity Engine games in that package, then the order goes Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate 2 + Throne of Bhaal, and then Icewind Dale 2.

That method would be an interesting way to see how the engine progressed, but between Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, and the Icewind Dale series, they're all so very different games that you may not enjoy all of them, even if the engine appeals to you.

Icewind Dale 2 is the most playable, as the only Infinity Engine game to use the D&D 3rd edition ruleset.

Planescape: Torment is the only one I haven't played enough of to give a recommendation on, but I do *hear* it has an amazing story, and not so much combat.

Baldur's Gate, as one series, is my personal favorite, and I'd recommend you start with 1 and work your way through to the end before playing any of the others. It's an epic tale that shouldn't be broken up. Not to mention it would take you forever to play through all 3 series and would probably never finish.

Any way you go, look into mods that convert the older games to the Baldur's Gate 2 version of the engine, or at the very least use the widescreen hacks to bring things up to a modern resolution. You're really missing out on the beauty of the art of the engine by playing at 800x600 or lower.

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Neeshka

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#7  Edited By Neeshka

Icewind Dale 2 and Baldur's Gate 2 hold up the best graphically. Since almost everything is pre-rendered and the resolution is high enough to see very minute details in the artwork; things in these games look beautiful. Early games don't really bring out the beauty or potential of the artwork because of the very low resolutions.

So IWD1/BG1/planescape:torment have very dated graphics.

I would suggest looking at screenshots or "let's play" type youtube videos to see how the engines run.

Gameplay-wise they are very similar to Dragon Age Origins. There is a lot more text and the games are usually quite challenging. You can't just play them with a casual mish-mash of classes and bad stats and kill things. You'll just get rolled. Since graphics were 2d isometric and limited by the engines at the time; developers tended to focus a lot more on things like voice acting, ambient sounds, detailed narratives and subplots and character development; and atmospheric music.

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Sanity

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#8  Edited By Sanity

Thanks guys, i think i will try and start with the BG series first then as i guess i would forget a lot of things in trying to jump from game to game like that. Of coarse this all assumes i can get into them but im going to give it awhile to grow on me.

I might make a blog of this if it works out, any good guides on getting started with BG1 and what class to play? Dont wanna have to restart 5 times because i was a idiot with class selection.

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gike987

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#9  Edited By gike987

@dudy80 said:

Thanks guys, i think i will try and start with the BG series first then as i guess i would forget a lot of things in trying to jump from game to game like that. Of coarse this all assumes i can get into them but im going to give it awhile to grow on me.

I might make a blog of this if it works out, any good guides on getting started with BG1 and what class to play? Dont wanna have to restart 5 times because i was a idiot with class selection.

I would probably play as a fighter, they are simple and won't die so easily.

Keep in mind that your armor class (AC) should be as low as possible lots of people get confused by that.

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mandude

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#10  Edited By mandude

Aye, BGTutu, lets you play BG1 in the BG2 engine. That said, D&D 2nd edition is hard to play with after 3. :( I play them every few years, and they're still pretty sweet.

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Neeshka

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#11  Edited By Neeshka

BG1: Human Fighter. 18/00 str; minimize (3) cha/wis; int around 9 is ok; max out everything else.

Gamefaqs has a bunch of great guides; gamebanshee has some nice guides/walkthroughs too.

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Sanity

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#12  Edited By Sanity

Think i might grab BG1 on gog since its only 5 bucks so i can start now, too impatient to wait until Wednesday. Im really itching to get into this for some reason.

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helios1337

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#13  Edited By helios1337

I'm playing through Planescape Torment, and the visuals with the hi-resolution mod and UI Fix looks great. Way easier to navigate around and the backgrounds are no longer blocky messes. I believe these patches applies to all Infinity engine games. It essentially zooms it out to whatever resolution you want, so everything is smaller, more stuff is on the screen and looks great. Info about it here and here.

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Sanity

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#14  Edited By Sanity

Goingn to start plaything the first one tonight, i actually decided to cancle my order with amazon and just get them as i play them from gog just in case i dont get too far. Plus i have heard conflicting things about the widescreen mod working on that disked version for some reason though seems unlikely.

I found this guide on making the 2 games a seemless experience while also still leaving the games in basically there vanilla state so thats how i think im going to play them.

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ArbitraryWater

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#15  Edited By ArbitraryWater

They still hold up great, some more than others. The first Baldur's Gate is a little rough, especially without mods, but you can still probably enjoy the rest perfectly fine, assuming you like a healthy dose of micromanagement in your combat.

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Questionable

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#16  Edited By Questionable

I would advise against the Disc based bundle. The GoG version will include all original patches and a couple GoG exclusive edits to boost compatibility with current OperatingSystems. When they featured the entire D&D; was probably my best GoG deal, have not bought much else from them despite checking regularly

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Sanity

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#17  Edited By Sanity

@Questionable said:

I would advise against the Disc based bundle. The GoG version will include all original patches and a couple GoG exclusive edits to boost compatibility with current OperatingSystems. When they featured the entire D&D; was probably my best GoG deal, have not bought much else from them despite checking regularly

Yea, i ended up getting the gog versions of bg 1 & 2 to start based on some things i heard about the disk version. It will cost me more in the long run but i'll just buy them as i go i guess.

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#18  Edited By bvilleneuve

@Questionable said:

I would advise against the Disc based bundle. The GoG version will include all original patches and a couple GoG exclusive edits to boost compatibility with current OperatingSystems. When they featured the entire D&D; was probably my best GoG deal, have not bought much else from them despite checking regularly

Oh my god yes, I got all the Infinity engine games from that same deal a few months back. I've only played Planescape: Torment out of that bundle, but I absolutely loved it and now I'm one of those people who will talk your ear off about how the story is the best I've ever encountered in a video game.

I'm looking forward to playing BG1 and 2 and the Icewind Dale games, but Planescape really blew my doors open. It's too bad about that property being defunct now.

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jakob187

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#19  Edited By jakob187

As far as looks, they didn't age great.

As far as the gameplay, they are still fucking awesome.

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bvilleneuve

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#20  Edited By bvilleneuve

@jakob187: I can only speak for Planescape: Torment, but the art design was strong enough in that game that it still looks really good today.

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#21  Edited By Neeshka

@jakob187 said:

As far as looks, they didn't age great.

As far as the gameplay, they are still fucking awesome.

BG2/IWD aged much better than the 3d games of that era. Morrowind or early 3d games like half life 1 or dark forces look unplayably awful.

Mostly pre-rendered games tend to age better (look at myst for example).

An ancient painting still looks gorgeous in 2012; but a TV show from the soundless black and white era would look awful right now.