One of the best RPGs ever written!
I actually played this nearly 20 years ago, and it became my favorite RPG back then. Today, I might place it behind Mass Effect 2 and The Witcher 3, but I still find this to be an experience that no one should ever miss.
There are two things that make this game really special: the setting and the writing.
The setting is absolutely wonderful; Sigil (and its... "surroundings") are mysterious, alien, a bit creepy and feel dangerous, as if you could die (or *worse*) at any single step. Still, people make a "living" at this place, trading, drinking, cooking, pickpocketing, which is in sharp contrast with the general sense of unpredictability of the place.
But you won't see this on the game screenshots, or even in the game's actions -- be prepared to feel all the flavors of the written words, because that's what provides the rich settings. The writing is imaginative, well crafted, and full of emotion; I did not replay this for 2 decades, but I still remembered some sections in detail (a very secondary character with strange teeth; a peculiarly seductive brothel; a revisited memory from another's point-of-view; and the personalities of the characters you travel with). Sometimes I even wonder if the game would work better as a visual novel, without the distraction of inventory management and stats which come with the Dungeons and Dragons rules.
The soundtrack is also very good; it is mostly low-key, subtly supporting the game's somber mood or the battle scenes. But when it stands out, it is charged with emotion.
Now, the combat is serviceable, but rarely exciting. The cutscenes and character models suffer: while they are artistically well done, they are terribly dated (low polygon count, low resolution). And inventory management... well, it isn't too bad, but was it ever fun in any games?
Also, this Enhanced Edition crashed a lot on me (maybe some 20-30 times over the course of the long game); it was never a huge problem (I quick saved a lot, and the Auto-Saving is also fairly generous), but it took me out of the game a little, once in a while.
Back in 2003, I gave this a 95/100 score. Despite the dated graphics at times, I still find this to be an essential game, so let us give it 93/100 this time around.
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- * Writing and setting;
- * Characters with personality;
- * Cutscenes and characters models very dated from a technical point-of-view;
- * Game crashes a lot -- save often!