The lead designer of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim has discussed the difference in design philosophy between Bethesda games and Larian’s Baldur’s Gate 3.
Speaking in a fascinating interview with MinnMax, ex-Bethesda designer Bruce Nesmith expressed his love for Baldur’s Gate and Dungeons & Dragons, before delving deep into the difference in design philosophy between the likes of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls, and the critically acclaimed Baldur’s Gate 3.
"I think [Baldur's Gate 3] is a triumph of trying to make the tabletop experience actually happen right there in the computer,” Nesmith said. “My hat's off to Larian and the groups there."
Baldur’s Gate 3 is praised for doing perhaps the greatest job yet of recreating the chaotic, everything matters, anything is possible gameplay Dungeons & Dragons is famous for. It is a game in which a seemingly innocuous choice can result in great swathes of story falling by the wayside, a game in which some party members will simply walk out on you — or refuse to join forces with you in the first place — if you make the wrong move (Minthara, I’m looking at you).
More than that, Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game that rewards experimentation. Remarkably, it copes with players’ outlandish ideas, sometimes with unique dialogue or story development most players would never normally experience. In the weeks following Baldur’s Gate 3’s launch, Matt Mercer’s ‘very smart’ crate-stacking trick that got him to the top of a castle went viral, as did the ‘Owlbear from the top rope’ attack that deals enough damage to take down pretty much anything.
Bethesda games, including the recently released Starfield, are built differently. Choice and consequence is often limited in scope, with side quests playing out almostRead more on ign.com