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2.3 out of 5 stars
2.3 out of 5 stars
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on July 12, 2002
Some people apparently liked this book because it didn't give away too much of the plot.... why were these people reading a guidebook? The Icewind Dale guidebook was amazing. It had a complete walkthrough that took you through all of the little nooks and crannies of the game and separate sections for every item type and creature you can find/encounter.
The main section of this book is vague journal entries that are intended to take you throught the major plot moments. This was an awful idea as a typical entry reads something like "We hurried through the cavern encountering countless skeletons, spiders, and mercenaries". That will get you nowhere! If you're reading the guide you wanna know what corridors you will walk down and exactly who you will encounter.
The main narrative ignores almost all of the little subquests in the game. If you don't take on a good number of these quests your characters aren't going to have the experience you will need to beat the game. The section on subquests is nearly indecipherable.
The most inexcusable sin committed by this guide is it's horrible maps. The maps are not no help at all. The map of the sewers in Baldur's gate will not tell you what you will find in any given room or corridor.
I usually buy the guidebook for any rpg i play just to make life a little simpler, this book was no help at all. the game's non-linear setup would be challlenging for any writer but they coudl have at least labelled the maps!
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on August 2, 2001
Well, there is a lot to say, but I begin with this: buy this book, but know that you are buying a badly written book with a lot of flaws and bad aspects. In the end, it is always the question of spoiling the fun of discovery if you give too much detailed information, and that is precisely the problem with this book. In an atempt to not spoil the fun of discovery the authors gave half-way informations that in my opinion ends up spoiling the fun of discovery anyway. If you stop to think about it: what is the purpose of a strategy guide? Well, the original concept was to offer every single nook and cranny of every corner of the game in full color and detail. However you should organize the material in a way that it could be acessed without making the reader see unecessary information. This book does neither, once it omits a lot of the subplots but at the same time say that they are there. Example: they mention a plot with Montaron and Xzar but do not say when and how. Come on! If I didn't want to SPOIL my fun I wouldn't have bought the damn book in the first place! If I bought it is because I want to spoil it or I already played the game but now want to explore all areas previosly missed. So frankly, buy but be prepared for disapointment. I suggest the good old Internet, they have sites much more complete that this book. PS: Don't even get me started with the romance version of the walkthrough! What the hell is that? You want to write a romance version of the game plot, cool, that's a very good concept, but have the decency to write it in an atractive way, wich is definetly NOT the case of the adventure of the infamous Diana Nightflame.
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on December 30, 1999
This is a truly excelent strategy guide. Many of the features it has should be included in all strategy guides. Whether your a newbie to Baldurs Gate or an experienced player this book has something to offer. One feature that I truly thought was great was how they went through a walkthrough of the game (this does not have all the quests, so reading it wont ruin the game for you) with a sample character Diana Nightflame. Instead of the standard strategy guide that just has a dull section that tells you every secret, quest, and cheat it actually went through the game with a chracter giving you not only the info for hardcore experienced players but also a feel of the game for newbies. Another good feature is the ideal stat for class section in the back. What this does is give you a basic idea of what stats and skills you want for each class (fighter,mage,thief...). Although it is a truly great guide it does have one large drawback. Although it does go through all the quests I personnaly don't think it goes through in enough detail. The reason being I assume is so that you actually have some of the mystery to solve yourself. The problem is though if you are already looking in this section chances are you want to know exactly how to do each quest not just a small paragraph to just guide you along the right path. If what you want is just to be guided along go back to the sample character walkthrough and read that. Other than this minor drawback though this strategy guide is excellent and a must have for any Bgate player. Hope this helped:)
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on January 30, 1999
Truly an under-edited mindless piece of drivel. The first half of the book is devoted to a "journal" type walkthrough, with the following sections being more of the same without actually once offering a sound strategy for playing the game. Monster evaluations, unique item/weapons evaluations or hints, and party formation suggestions are all missing from this book. Not once does it say anything remotely helpful in playing the game (ie, beginning parties should place strong/armored players in front, weak/unarmored players in back, and all should have ranged weapons with a lot of ammunition...).
The number of errors in this book were simply appalling. Especially upsetting were the number of caption and map errors.
I wonder who is ultimately responsible for this guide being as poor as it is (since it is an "Official" publication, does this mean the game publishers themselves should be held accountable?). I don't believe in the least in returning books (I treat them like underwear, once you try them on, they ARE YOURS FOREVER), but I really do wish I had a way to be reimbursed for my purchasing of this piece of garbage.
The game itself is extraordinary, and should be purchased post-haste, just don't fall for the strategy guide. It isn't even worth glancing at in the bookstore.
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on July 26, 2002
This book is incredibly bad. Its mostly just the manual reprinted. Under the character section I didn't find how to make a good character, I found the exact same descriptions used in the game. People say this book is good because it doesn't hold your hand. This book just pretends your inept. The "walkthrough" was mostly the exaact same stuff that your journal gives you, with the other being the decisions that the person who played the game made.
It just tells you some of what you need to know to beat teh game, and the rest it jsut hints at. The guide just names the side-quests, it doens't help with any of them, also everything is piled around so that you don't have a cohesive, chapter by game chapter guide, rather parts of the chapter all over the book. For crying out-loud, they made two seperate walkthroughs, neither of which is very helpful.
Save your money, because this book is just an expensive manual.
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on September 20, 1999
I bought "Baldur's Gate: Official Strategy Guide" BEFORE I read any of the reviews. I was disappointed to see so many that informed potential buyers to save their money. After reading the reviews - and prior to the arrival of the book - I was sorry I had spent the money but decided to give it a chance. After reading the guide, I felt compelled to write a review supporting it. I feel the strategy guide gives the player as much or as little information as she or he wants to know. I found it very helpful. The only negative criticism I agree with is that it could have used a table of contents. In spite of the fact that it does warn you before you read each chapter as to how much it will give away, it would have been much better if I could have turned to exactly what I was looking for without having to go searching for it. All in all, I highly recommend it.
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on January 24, 1999
First, contrary to the description of the book, there are no descriptions of items, monsters, etc., to be found. Instead, there are a number of walkthroughs. The first is a very lame first person account of going through the game, which has no detail. The remainder are lists of quests and little more. Ultimately, they contain only incomplete quest information, and they don't much enhance the experience.
There are also no detailed area maps (a shortcoming common to many Brady guides lately) so you're on your own trying to navigate to specific encounters or buildings.
The guide to creating a character does little more than repeat what the manual tells you, with absolutely no specifics on how any particular decision will affect the long term development of your character.
All in all, there's very little to help you through Baldur's Gate.
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on October 24, 2000
...The hints and info it does offer up are of no great value.You could learn the same things by simply saving the game and tryingthe different conversation paths in each NPC encounter. I have playedthis game once without the guide and once with, and am disappointedwith the guide in general and feel like a I wasted $18. The infogiven is incomplete, not detailed, and lends little value. I will notbuy a guide by either of these authors again. The authors joke aroundabout this being a guide and not a tell all manual. I don't knowabout you, but I buy a guide to do just that. I want to find all themagical items and know how to follow quests. Some may contend thatthis takes some of the fun out of the game. If they feel that way,then don't buy a guide in the first place.
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on March 27, 1999
I don't know what people are moaning about. A strategy guide should and does show you what to do. This does just that. Just because it doesn't hold your hand and point you through everthing, doesn't mean its a bad guide. There is a long walkthrough at the beginning that is not that helpful, because it's in a story format. After that it tells you a path to follow and a brief description of most of the sub plots. A list and description of mage spells, and a section for secrets. There is a list of how to create a perect character for each class, and at the very end a list of monsters and their hit points and thier level. What more do you want, it is a guide that relys on the fact that the person playing the game might be able to make thier on decisions.
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on March 14, 2002
I use stategy guides to answer specific questions about games, items, and quests. This book is almost worthless. The maps and diagrams are too small to read and have no labels on any of the streets, buildings, or points of interest. At least one of the diagrams is of the wrong part of town. Many of the subquests are omitted and the ones that are included consist of one descriptive sentence. The book has no logical organization for finding anything. I have spent hours looking for some information on some aspect of the game without success or with very limited success. This is probably the most frustrating "Strategy Guide" that I own. I agree with John Ciko's review that much better information is available on the Internet.
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