Properly recreating the Dungeons and Dragons experience isn’t something that too many games can claim to have done, because video games, unlike tabletop RPGs, are, by their very nature, limited in the amount of options they can provide you with in any gameplay or story situation, or in the ways that they react to your actions. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a rare and outstanding example of a game that does that with flying colours. From the narrative choices you make to the way the game changes and reacts to all of them to the vast array of gameplay tools you have on your disposal that allow you to tackle quests and obstacles in a multitude of ways, the level of flexibility and player agency that Baldur’s Gate 3 boasts is very rare to see in a game.
Of course, that level of freedom means there will be plenty of players who’ll want to be able to do the most bizarre and ridiculous things possible- and there’s plenty of that going on in Larian Studios’ newest RPG as well. Here, we’re going to talk about a few such things that you can do in Baldur’s Gate 3.
TALK TO ANIMALS
Speak with Animals does exactly what its name suggests and lets you converse with any and all manner of animals you might come across on your adventures. The results are surprisingly hilarious, with different sorts of animals exhibiting unique and endearing personalities, leading to some of the most memorable conversations in the game. Being able to speak with animals can also open up new choices and branches, making it even more worthwhile.
TALK TO THE DEAD
Another spell that lets you converse with those you shouldn’t ordinarily be able to talk to is Speak with the Dead. It has some stipulations, of course – the corpse you cast it on must still have a mouth so it can speak, which means it won’t work on beheaded corpses, while the spell also doesn’t work on undead creatures – but like Speak with Animals, it, too, can lead to some very intriguing (and often quite creepy) conversations. Speak with the Dead can also open up new branches and options both in and out of quests, further letting you flex your creativity.
MANIPULATE THE PRESS
Baldur’s Gate 3’s staggeringly massive world is constantly shifting and changing, and a lot of that happens on the back of the choices you make. People will react to you different, your standing with certain groups or areas might fall or rise, quests might get locked or unlocked. Hell, in the city of Baldur’s Gate, you’ll even find headlines and articles in the newspaper called Baldur’s Mouth talking about your exploits. If, however, you don’t like what they write about you, you always have the option to take control of the newspaper – through legal or illegal means – and manipulate the press (and, in turn, how people perceive you) by printing the headlines you want.
RAISE FUNGUS ZOMBIES
If you want a little bit of The Last of Us in your Baldur’s Gate 3, surprisingly enough, that’s something the game allows you to turn into reality- to some extent, at least. If you’re playing as a Circle of the Spores Druid, you eventually get the ability to use the fungal spores that constantly surround you to raise mushroom zombies that can aid you in combat. Purely from a mechanics perspective, the Spores subclass might not be among the most powerful ones in the game, but if you’re looking to lend an entirely unique aesthetic to your Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough, it’s worth looking into.
GET YOUR ENTIRE PARTY KILLED
Choice and consequence mechanics are an incredibly hard thing to pull off, but Baldur’s Gate 3 is a rare (and often confounding) example of an experience that is somehow able to take nearly everything that happens into account and just keep rolling with the punches. The story will change and react to the consequences of your actions even if the most crucial characters end up dying premature deaths- and that includes all of your party members as well. Yes, you can devise ways to get them all killed, if, for some sadistic reason, that’s what you want to do. A fully solo playthrough with no companions is possible, Larian has reassured, whether that happens by not recruiting party members at all, or by sending them to their deaths after joining forces with them.
BITE A POTENTIAL COMPANION’S HAND OFF
If the sadist in you wants to see your companions suffer rather than just letting them have quick deaths- well, there’s some pretty grisly ways to do that as well. Infected with a Mind Flayer parasite, whoever you play as will be battling with voices in their head compelling them to do some pretty nasty things at every turn, which will take different forms depending on the background of your character. If you’re playing as the Dark Urge, in fact, when first meeting a new recruitable companion through a portal, rather than taking his hand through the portal and pulling them through, you’ll have the option to simply chew his hand and end his involvement in the story right there and then.
SHOVE PEOPLE OFF CLIFFS AND LEDGES
Baldur’s Gate 3 lets you shove people in combat as a bonus action, and though it may seem like a simple enough thing to do, it can actually be used in surprisingly handy and entertaining ways. For instance, if you find yourself on higher ground – a cliff or a high ledge – and are faced with an enemy, it can be a ton of fun to simply push them off and watch them plummet to their death without ever having to even use your main action.
INFECT YOURSELF WITH MORE MIND FLAYER PARASITES
Getting the Mind Flayer parasite inside your head is the main driving force of Baldur’s Gate 3, at least in the earlier stages, but this isn’t a game that says no to you all too often, even if the thing you’re asking to do is the exact opposite of what the central story premise wants you to. So if instead of curing yourself you want to infect yourself with even more Mind Flayer parasites and completely give in to their eldritch magic, you can go right ahead and do just that. It comes with plenty of risks, of course, since the more you give in, the more susceptible you become to completely losing your mind, but if that’s the arc you’ve decided you want for your character, the game’s not going to stop you.
PUT ON MUSICAL PERFORMANCES
Every class and subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3 comes with unique abilities that let you interact with the game in ways that others don’t. As a Bard, you are, of course, going to be very musically inclined- which means you can whip out your instrument and put on musical performances at any given time. You might find yourself on a particularly crowded street on the city of Baldur’s Gate and decide to put on an impromptu performance, drawing a crowd and possibly even getting a little bit of gold out of it. Of course, if you want to use that as a trap and send that entire crowd to their explosive and unexpected deaths while they’re enjoying your music, you can do that as well.
THROW PEOPLE AT PEOPLE
There’s an endless ways to go about dealing damage to your foes in Baldur’s Gate 3, including some really creative and goofy ones. You can, for instance, throw people at other people, from corpses to other enemies to even your party members. You will, of course, need to have enough invested in your Strength stat to be able to do that, but there’s something strangely satisfying about flinging someone at someone else and seeing it actually work out (unless the dice aren’t kind to you and it does the exact opposite of working out- which can be fun in its own way as well).