Ask anyone that’s played a session of Dungeons & Dragons to tell you about their favorite moments and they’ll regale you of the epic adventure they went on with some of their closest pals. They’ll talk about intense battles, hilarious stuff-ups, and the difficult decisions they had to make. Somehow, the team at Larian Studios managed to replicate this sense of adventure and camaraderie with Baldur’s Gate 3. We’re proud to say it has earned the Shacknews award for Best Co-Op Game of 2023.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is essentially Dungeons & Dragons the video game. Players can either use one of the pre-made characters or create their own. This is where the fun really kicks off as you and your pals craft your individual hero, deciding their background, what sort of class they’ll be, what proficiencies they might have, and so much more. From this point on, your band of merry adventurers will be doing everything they can to survive, thrive, and hopefully save the world.
As an RPG game, Baldur’s Gate 3 gives players multiple choices when dealing with NPCs with different outcomes depending on how you handle the situation. While the player that instigates the conversation has the final say, all the others can cast their vote on what they hope will be said. This is where the allure of co-operative play comes in: being able to either listen to the pleading of your teammates or ignore them in favor of taking a path you want.
When it comes to dealing with monsters and rapscallions, you and your buds will need to engage with the game’s turn-based combat. Players and enemies will take turns to move a certain distance and perform a certain number of actions. You’ll be working together to protect one another’s weakness and enhance everyone’s strengths – which is why the character creation process is so important. There’s this fantastic push and pull as you try to keep yourself alive, defeat a tough enemy, while also ensuring your friends make it out unscathed.
What Baldur’s Gate 3 continually gets right during the adventure is giving the co-op group moments where important decisions must be made. Much like a D&D campaign, your group will naturally pause to think and discuss, to talk through these big decisions and weigh the outcomes. The game fosters an environment of honest discussion as you gather together to dictate the fate of Faerun.
Though the game has a serious narrative with a rich tapestry of characters and emotional stories, it’s also just wildly funny and enjoyable. It’s never afraid to dip into the surreal and bizarre, and oftentimes the hilarious co-op moments happen when everything goes sideways.
There were so many fantastic co-op games released this year, but Baldur’s Gate 3 stood head-and-shoulders above the rest. If you haven’t already, gather a group of friends and embark upon the unforgettable adventure found within the winner of Shacknews’ Best Co-Op Game of 2023 award.