Baldur's Gate was an epic game in the late 90's
I am one of those guys that really enjoys RPG's. This was true even before we had video games for the most part and participating in such fantasies involved books, pencils, stat sheets, and a bunch of really fun dice of multiple varieties. Those days are far behind us for most people because computers came along and made it a lot simpler. For me and many others, Baldur's Gate was the first RPG that truly encapsulated that D&D feel that we had enjoyed much earlier on.
It wasn't terribly long ago that this game was released by a Canadian company that you might be familiar with called Bioware. It's hard to imagine that it was merely 22 years ago that this game first hit the market. It used the same "rules" as Dungeons and Dragons but you didn't see the dice rolls and what not, which made cleaning up a lot easier because you didn't have to do that at all and no pencil sharpener was required.
The game began with you creating a character and customizing their abilities. For first time players this was probably some sort of direct damage character such as a Warrior and what not and then probably later returning to being some sort of magic user later - at least that was the way it was for me because i don't like my first experience with a game to have me be too "squishy."
You then would assemble a crew of individuals to fight alongside you as you progressed through the story. One thing that was interesting or annoying about this game, depending on how you view it was that if one of your characters died, that was it... he or she is just gone, forever. Therefore it was very important for you to be very careful with your strategies and of course to save very very often.
It was turn based in a way that you could pause the game in order to give instructions on movement and actions at any time and this was absolutely crucial for survival.
The world wasn't entirely "open" in the way that we imagine games today but it was enormous considering the time period. There was always something new to discover and just like you may recall in more recent games like Skyrim, your actions have long-standing consequences as far as how the rest of the game is going to play out. With some exceptions, you are allowed to do whatever you want in the game, including kill people with no reason. This obviously had serious and dire consequences such as being completely overwhelmed in an unwinnable situation against everyone in the village including a rather unending supply of guards. Basically you wouldn't do this more than once just to see what happens.
Boss fights weren't easy, ever, and many times I was completely unprepared for them and this was something that made saving many different save game files necessary because backtracking to a much earlier time might be necessary lest you get stuck in a situation that you can't possibly win.
This was strategy at it's finest as far as a gamer like me was concerned because it was more of a game that you really needed to think ahead about, rather than memorize a sequence of buttons on a controller. In that regard this game wasn't really designed with your average gamer that enjoyed MarioKart in mind. Baldur's Gate was more of a religion that consumed probably a bit too much of my time and kept me from being social... which was probably a good thing because I was in college at the time and probably needed to stay out of the bars a bit more frequently than I did.
The game was very successful and solidified Bioware as a top game manufacturer in the world, a legacy that they are walking a fine line with these days with the release of Anthem, which has set them back quite a ways as far as reputation is concerned.
Did you play Baldur's Gate? What did you think?