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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

Never have I ever played a Baldur’s Gate game. Before last summer, you would definitely see my hand down with never having heard of such a game franchise.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a turn-based, choices matter, roleplay video game (RPG) based on Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) that you can play on PC or PlayStation 5 and was released in August 2023 with varying costs depending on the platform. In case you are wondering, yes, it did hurt my bank account and my computer storage.

In case you hadn’t heard of BG3, you have most probably seen the thirst traps of a traumatized vampire named Astarion who’s a walking red flag. This man beloved by TikTok and Pinterest girlies is from none other than this game. 

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If that still does not ring a bell, this game won many awards in 2023’s The Game Awards, including Game of the Year, a title given to games such as Elden Ring, Overwatch (the first one), and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Trigger warning: this game includes violence, murder, blood, gore, slavery, torture, and nudity. 

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When I was on a Discord call with a few friends, they started streaming their screen with this new game they had just purchased. Lo and behold, it was Baldur’s Gate 3. I knew I had class that day but I did not care that it was 2 AM, I was hooked on watching my friends play.

After a month of debating over the pricey game, I decided to finally include it in my Steam library on one fateful Saturday night. Let me tell you, the 4 hour download and install was an excruciating wait. At one point, the download said it would take longer than a year.


Screenshotted evidence of the approximate download time Steam provided

What first drew me to Baldur’s Gate 3 was the character customization. No, it was not Astarion. You can make pretty characters and run around with them, it felt like the perfect balance between a Sims game and The Witcher.

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Character customization in Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a wide range of options so that the player can create whoever they want to.

In character design, there are so many aspects to take into account such as if I wanted my character to be an elf, gnome, or even dragon-born. There was the choice to be a human but where’s the fun in that? After choosing a half-elf, I had to pick a class and there were so many options. 

My character could be a bard, rogue, paladin, monk, or cleric, and many more. Then I noticed there are warlocks, wizards, and sorcerers which to this day I barely understand the difference. All these roles sounded so interesting to play with but I had to take into account what gameplay fit with my playstyle. 

So, after customizing her appearance, Nevaeh, my half-wood elf, sage, sorcerer was complete after approximately 30 hours (this number has been exaggerated for dramatic effect) spent on customization alone.

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At first, Nevaeh had long hair. Later on, I changed it to shorter hair because I think it suited her better. Any resemblance to me is purely coincidental.

As I started the actual story, I was already familiar with the game mechanics because of my friends’ playthroughs, but I didn’t expect it to be more complicated or difficult than it looked. 


Trying to escape a hellish nautiloid while there’s a battle outside and a British narrator in your ear, Nevaeh had to fight demons to reach the helm of the ship and crashland. Not only did I have to attack enemies with my character but control two other characters in the introductory phase of Act I. 

In a nutshell, Baldur’s Gate 3 is like when someone gives you a Lego set to build with no instructions included and you only have the guidance of the picture on the box. Also, everything around you is on fire.

I would love to say the game is smooth sailing after the nautiloid crashes, peacefully seeing all that the world of Faerûn has to offer while your character tries to find a cure for the worm that was implanted in your brain by an octopus creature called a mind flayer. I would be lying.

The first act of the game takes a lot of time when confronting underground ruins, an overpowered hag, a druid enclave who discriminates against displaced tieflings seeking refuge in their grove, a monastery, a camp filled with drunk, cultish goblins, and much more. Nevaeh died many times. 

Well, at least she has the power of friendship on her side. In other words, the player gets three other characters in their party to help them out when defeating enemies. 

In my case, throughout the first act, I had Karlach, Astarion, and Shadowheart on my team so I would have a balance of abilities and be flexible in most battles. 

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From left to right are Shadowheart, the cleric; Nevaeh, the sorcerer; Karlach, the barbarian; and Astarion, the rogue. 

Arguably, the biggest problem about this game is it requires you to use your brain and prioritize strategy over the sheer strength of attacks; for example, it has you consider your positions in the battlefield and the abilities you have available. In one battle, I had to retry seven times because I had to switch my characters positions while evading lava. I remember I rage quit so fast after my third try. 

Also, around the time of trying to complete this battle, I switched the difficulty of the game from normal to easy, also known as explorer mode, because I was truly struggling. 

After finally winning the battle, I had to instantly take a long rest so my characters could recover because almost three were dead and one was just chilling in a corner and whose only job was to pull down a lever (Astarion, babe, you just sit there and look pretty okay).

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The aftermath of the battle that took me seven tries and left half of the party with low health. The mechanic creature in the middle of the floor is the defeated enemy.

So, take my advice when I say to make sure you take short rests and long rests at your camp when needed because some abilities become unavailable after one use.

Once you arrive at your camp, you can interact with other characters and, at one point in Act I, you can rescue a dog named Scratch, who you can pet whenever you like. Plus, sometimes he brings gifts. 

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This is Scratch, arguably the best boy in Baldur’s Gate 3.

You can also store and access your traveller’s chest where you can find treasures that you have collected throughout your journey. In Nevaeh’s case, she loots everything she sees and has become a professional hoarder.

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Nevaeh gazes daringly at the sword that is inviting her to take it. You have a problem, dear half-elf.


One of the many aspects to take into account is that some choices in dialogue could make characters in your party approve or disapprove of your decision. In the end, it all comes down to if you want a certain character to agree with you, if you do not want to aggravate an ally (or foe), or what moral path you want your character to walk. 

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The main quest usually includes many dialogue choices for your character to decide, some matter, some do not.

Some choices even affect the chances of romancing other characters. In Nevaeh’s case, she is trying to romance Shadowheart, a cleric who is a follower of Lady Shar, the goddess of darkness and the night. My sorcerer has disagreed with other characters in order to gain the favor of the cleric. 

In December, Larian Studios revealed that Shadowheart was the most romanced character in BG3 with 51% of players choosing to romance her in the final act. Astarion not even in the top 3? I refuse to believe it.

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In the first act, it is fairly easy to get in Shadowheart’s good graces, but as the player advances, harder choices are made apparent which could diminish or blossom the relationship. Make sure to be cautious with your choices.  


On the other hand, just like in DnD, the game implements the use of dice when making certain choices in dialogue, combat, and out in the world. Although this is all done by a random number generator (RNG), I am convinced that I am unlucky because of how many critical failures I roll. 

Other than that, Baldur’s Gate 3 does get easier to understand after adapting to defeating enemies in creative ways, interacting with different non-playable characters (NPCs), looting any and everything, evading traps (if I could count how many times my party has fainted to stupid traps on the ground because they fail a perception check), and exploring Faerûn’s secrets. 

Nevaeh and her party are all rested up and ready with a save file in case there is a battle ahead.

Word of advice, save. every. chance. you. get. Do not go 15 minutes without saving because you will forget, and when you die, you will regret it. Not only have I unintentionally taken Nevaeh back in time, I had to loot everything again and pass certain dialogues as well. Is it cheating? No. Does it feel like cheating? Yes. Is it necessary? Totally. 


Approximately 52 hours, and many deaths later, I finally reached Act II where the player has to travel through Shadow Cursed-Lands where, if you do not have a torch, you are essentially effed. It took me so long to get to this point because I got distracted by looting and the many side quests needed to be completed, but not necessary to continue the game.

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Upon entering the second act of the game, this moody, dark place known as the Shadow Cursed-Lands welcomes the player.

I was able to pass through the Shadow Cursed-Lands without a hitch meaning NO DEATHS, excluding the emotional damage I sustained, I enjoyed it. So, I finished Act II with 86.9 hours on record. Now, onto Baldur’s Gate in the game’s final act where Nevaeh and her allies gather an army to confront the story’s true villain. 

Also, Shadowheart is finally the half-elf’s girlfriend despite a certain wizard and warlock’s attempt of stealing her away. Shadowheart was skeptical, Nevaeh almost lost her multiple times and had to break many hearts and yes, it did hurt me to reject them. I apologize to Gale and Wyll for the emotional damage Nevaeh must have caused you. However, Shadowheart did allow a relationship with a certain druid tied to the Shadow Cursed-Lands.  

Currently, I am ⅓ of the way through Act III with 96.3 total hours. If you think this is too many hours, one of my friends, who has been playing since September, has more than 300 hours in the game (shout out to you dude, you’re doing great!).

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Karlach, Nevaeh, Shadowheart, and Astarion remained together throughout the entirety of Act II and shall stay tightly-knit throughout the rest of the playthrough. 

Tips from my experience with Baldur’s Gate 3? Embrace the difficulty of the game. It is a nice challenge that will definitely make you regret some choices but exercise critical decision making skills.

All in all, as formidable as this game may be, it is highly addictive, fun, and a good way to pass the time. I love it and plan to do several walkthroughs of it with different choices and characters. Take it from someone who is not a seasoned gamer, believe me, it is entirely possible to adapt to this gameplay.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available to buy through Steam, PlayStation Store, or Xbox

Nahiomy Cruz Betancourt is a writer at Her Campus at UPR. Her articles generally cover books, movies, games, pop culture, and music. Beyond Her Campus, Nahiomy was a journalist for 3 years at Pulso Estudiantil where she covered a wide range of topics but focused on Afro-descendants and student life. She has written the short story “Overcoming Silence” for Volume 7 Number 2 of [IN]Genios which is a semiannual University of Puerto Rico literary and investigative magazine. She is currently in her fourth year at the University of Puerto Rico majoring in Journalism with a minor in English Literature. When she is not studying or writing, Nahiomy enjoys reading, playing video games, listening to indie music, and impulse buying pretty vinyl. Her favorite books include "An Ember in the Ashes" by Sabaa Tahir and "Legendborn" by Tracy Deonn. She frequently watches 90’s to early 2000’s sitcoms and collects Pokémon cards. The current games she is obsessed with are "Baldur’s Gate 3" and "Valorant." A movie she always has on repeat is "10 Things I Hate About You." In the future, she would be interested in getting into "Dungeons & Dragons" and collecting "Magic The Gathering" cards.