Although the “pause and play” approach wasn’t invented by Bioware, it was popularised in Baldur’s Gate. The difficulty of micromanaging up to five characters was evident from the start. So, to tackle the complexity, the pause and play approach was applied to better manage the real time combat. Its influence can be seen in more modern releases such a Fallout’s V.A.T.S. system.
Just how deep does the influence of Baldur’s Gate go?
Here are a few examples of features Baldur’s Gate pioneered:
– One of the first RPGs to utilise DirectX.
– Fashioned hours of quality and distinct dialogue and identities of characters. Not found in preceding RPG releases.
– Set the standard for RPGs to have 40+ hours of content.
The legacy of Baldur’s Gate shows no signs of diminishing in the future. It can be argued it was one of the main engines that restarted the market for RPGs after the bad years for the genre in the mid 90’s. Baldur’s Gate was to the RPG gaming genre what the Spice Girls were to girl groups. It gripped the attention of the western world. Now to further enhance the legacy, the recent announcement of Baldur’s Gate 3 being in development has got us all excited.