Games Inbox: Is Baldur’s Gate 3 really the game of the year?


Baldur’s Gate 3 – did it deserve to win? (Picture: Larian Studios)

The Monday letters page shares nightmare stories of lost parcels and courier delivers, as one reader celebrates the best Call Of Duty trilogy.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

PLEASE NOTE: We are currently preparing content to run over the Christmas and New Year break and, as usual, we’d like this to include Reader’s Features. So, if you’ve had an idea for a feature, that you’ve never got around to writing, then sending it in now would be the perfect time. In can be on any subject, but anything taking a long-term view of recent trends or games would be particularly apt.

Overwhelming winner
I guess you could say that The Game Awards were pretty much as expected but I found most of the winners to be very obvious and uninteresting. About the only one I really disagreed with though was Alan Wake 2 winning best Art Direction. I haven’t played the game, so can’t comment on its other wins, but surely its art direction is just photorealistic and that’s it?

I have played Baldur’s Gate 3 and… maybe I got too caught up in the hype, but I wasn’t as impressed as I hoped to be. I felt I became increasingly overwhelmed as it went on and I had no real idea what was going on in terms of the story or what any of the different races were about.

It seemed to me I not only had to learn a really complex role-playing game system but that I really needed to be familiar with the setting before I started too. There’s obviously a huge amount of work that’s gone into the game but it’s not for me and there seems to be little sign that console gamers in general are all that interested. For me, Zelda, Resident Evil 4, and Hogwarts Legacy are all unquestionably superior.
Harvey

GC: We were surprised by Alan Wake 2’s Art Direction win too. Maybe it was meant primarily for the musical section. We didn’t think much of the game overall, but that bit was great and a clever use of full motion video.

From awards
As usual The Game Awards seemed to go on for far too long to justify the small number of genuinely interesting reveals. There was some good stuff in there, but things like the Sega stuff and Blade were 30 seconds long at best, out of a show that lasted three hours and didn’t even start till all of Europe was in bed. As usual, I was perfectly happy to just read about it on GC in the morning.

My biggest disappointment was the lack of any Elden Ring news, which is a real shame and must mean that producer wasn’t being coy about it needing a bit more time. I am now expecting a really massive bit of DLC, especially after the talk of it originally have been meant as two or three separate expansions. I saw one rumour suggest it was going to be the whole size of the original map but a sort of light/dark world version. Not sure how reliable that was but it’s a cool idea.

Glad to see Armored Core 6 won best action game at least, that was well deserved.
Grackle

Original trilogy
I’m playing Like A Dragon Gaiden and I am now about 12 hours in and still on chapter 2. Your review mentioned about how it’s basically a DLC extra but I am enjoying just spending loads of time in the castle and playing one shot pool. I’m also spending a lot of time in the cabaret clubs – I’m as useless in them as I am in real life but I am after the trophies!

Just as something extra I’ve put on Modern Warfare 3 (the original) and the New York harbour level is one of my favourite levels of all time. The last gen was pure first person shooters and this level was one of the best. I’d honestly say the original Modern Warfare games are probably the best trilogy ever made.
Simon

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Losing the crown
I have to concur with the recent comments about Grand Theft Auto.

10 years ago I bought GTA 5 on Xbox 360. I played a couple of hours before realising this game is trying to seduce me with its comedic appeal and when I’m done with that, it’s gonna seduce me with its scope of achievement, and then it went back to trying to make me laugh again.

Incidentally I’m playing it again on Game Pass, as in my head I’m thinking – maybe, it was just me… it’s not!

The graphics and scope are great but it’s a driving and walking simulator at best, and as graphics get better over time I can’t see Rockstar holding the crown for much longer.

I hate these comments that just put down games and never put them up.

So I’m gonna say GTA you’ve made one hell of an impression on the games industry, it’s time to work on the gameplay now.
freeway 77

Unknown source
A while back I had a back and forth with another reader about FromSoftware consciously making Elden Ring easier, to entice more people to play it. My counterpoint was that it was broader due to the nature of the open world, ensuring less bottlenecks and more opportunities to level.

I appreciated the points made but I feel my points weren’t taken seriously.

In light of the recent interview with the devs, about being confused as to the success of Elden Ring, I’m interested to see whether that would add any weight to my argument that they did not consciously make it more accessible on purpose.

It’s doubtful but I stand by my opinion.

Keep up the good work and merry Christmas to everyone.
Adam

GC: It sounds like you may be right, but what interview?

Free game with every toy
Regarding the dream Star Fox Universe game, it already exists to a degree in the Switch version of Starlink: Battle For Atlas. I know it didn’t review brilliantly but I enjoyed it, and it’s available for pretty cheap nowadays with a fairly nice toy Arwing included.

You absolutely don’t need to buy any of the other toy sets for it, so I’d wholeheartedly recommend it as a stopgap until the next time Nintendo brings the franchise back.
Captain Walrus

GC: We weren’t keen on the game but it’s definitely a great toy version of an Arwing.

Failed delivery
RE: George Heron’s Reader’s Feature. I sympathise a lot with your situation and hope everything now is resolved for you.

However, my experience of Steam seems very different to yours and I’ve always found them very good, although naturally with being a digital content store there was a period of grey areas wherein they had to look at things like refunds, etc.

Admittedly, I’m no longer a user, as I ditched my PC when PlayStation 5 launched, as I couldn’t justify the expense any longer and didn’t want to pay prices that modern GPUs cost.

I never had emails in 10 years as a PC gamer, saying that purchase was not completed, and from a business perspective I understand why they have a process to follow regarding this situation, as it’s ultimately the delivery service who are responsible here.

Delivery services are atrocious now, and it’s mainly the fault of the companies who put insane pressure on drivers to deliver in an unreasonable time frame.

I’ve had issues with every delivery company and it’s not like Parcelforce are a small unknown company. Generally, they were at least one of the better ones.

I’ve had parcels in my trash bin, I’ve had them delivered to wrong address and at my current flat, they have been left three floors down inside and outside the block of flats by front door.

I’ve been tempted to tell companies they were stolen just because I’ve been angry with the delivery service.
Kiran

Logistical problems
George Heron’s experience with Parcelforce was really bad. Something similar happened to me a few years ago with DPD.

The short version is they admitted it had been delivered to the wrong address to me on the phone the next day but were telling GAME they needed more time to investigate. What they were actually doing was sending the driver back to the address to try and retrieve the parcel. This went on for six weeks before they finally signed off on a refund with the seller.

That was for a £35 game, Chorus, so it isn’t surprising to me Parcelforce wouldn’t want to sign off on a refund when it was a Steam Deck involved.

Reading between the lines it sounds to me like there might have been more to that situation. Leaving a signed for only delivery in a recycling bin goes past incompetence and it sounds shady.

It would be easy to take a photo of the parcel in the bin, then take the parcel with him. Especially if he was in the area often enough to know the bins were being collected that morning or had already seen the refuse collectors out and about.

Also, the driver visiting his house and asking him to lie so he wouldn’t lose his job supports this somewhat; it’s fairly alarming because regardless of his demeanour there is the implied threat of ‘I know where you live’.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t do the same thing, but I would have paid the value of the parcel to square my mistake. If it was a mistake. I wouldn’t ask a stranger to take a big hit like that to the wallet as a personal favour to me.

The whole thing stinks, as for Parcelforce, my own experience with them has been positive but they are much more likely to back one of their own over an outsider. They will know how to take advantage of the system and contracts set up between themselves and the vendors who pay them to muddy the water just enough to make the situation ambiguous.

If Steam don’t care in the first place it would be a lot easier for Parcelforce, and all the other courier companies, to do that.
Mitchell

Inbox also-rans
Not to ask a stupid question but the Blade game by Arkane is going to be an Xbox console exclusive, right?
Gorgo

GC: You would assume so, but officially there has been no mention of any formats yet.

Why are Call Of Duty fans upset at what the Kratos actor said at The Game Awards? It’s not like you can deny it being incredibly short. There argument seems to be, ‘Stop admitting the truth!’
Wooster

This week’s Hot Topic
The 2023 Game Awards happened last Friday, revealing not only the award winners but the usual suite of new trailer reveals, but what did you think of it?

How much notice do you take of the award nominees and, in general, do you think the winners were justified this year? Do you think there’s a better way to organise the awards and do you feel there are any categories that should be added or removed?

What do you think of the emphasis on new trailers and announcements and does this enhance or diminish the award ceremony? Is the large amount of advertising distracting or an understandable necessity to fund the event?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.


MORE : Weekend Hot Topic: The final verdict on the GTA 6 trailer


MORE : Games Inbox: Are The Game Awards 2023 worth watching, GTA 6 30fps, and PS Store lawsuits


MORE : Games Inbox: Accusing GTA 5 of being overrated, GTA 6’s impossible standards, and Star Fox Universe

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