Forget free delivery on all your, I don't know, microSD cards and mass-produced pantaloons, the real benefit of Amazon Prime is the games the company hands out on its Prime Gaming page once a month. For anyone as hopelessly dedicated to '90s RPGs as me, next month's headline offering is a doozy: Prime subscribers can pick up Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition completely for free from March 2 through the end of the month.
This is, you might surmise from the name, the gussied-up 2012 re-release of the original Baldur's Gate, which came out in 1998. Although it was controversial among fans for a while, it's had a bunch of updates since its release, and I feel fairly confident saying it's now the definitive way to play the old classic. In contrast to the '90s version, it's got a more intuitive UI, a raft of bugfixes, and will, praise be, run at modern resolutions without having to install mods.
Unhelpfully, Amazon hasn't said what platform it'll be for, but last month's offering of Morrowind (you should really grab Morrowind while it's available, by the way) was a DRM-free GOG version. Hopefully the same is true of BG:EE.
Steam tells me I have nearly 300 hours in the first Baldur's Gate, and I don't regret a second of it. While Baldur's Gate 2 draws most of the plaudits these days for the sprawling, fantastical adventure it sends you on, I've always had a soft spot for the more grounded nature of the first game.
I mean, I use the term 'grounded' loosely, this is still Dungeons and Dragons, but where the second game is a high-level campaign that sees you battling dragons and demons, BG1 starts you off at an eminently-killable level 1 and tasks you with unravelling a multi-layered economic conspiracy. Your two quests—finding out why someone wants you dead and why all the iron on the sword coast eventually rots and breaks—merge to tell a story that's both personal and political. It was, in Disco Elysium terminology, the first "stereo-investigation" in a CRPG, as far as I know.
And hey, with Baldur's Gate 3 bearing down on us, there's never been a better time to familiarise yourself with the roots of the series.
BG1's enhanced edition isn't the only thing coming to Prime Gaming this month. You can also look forward to a list of games I've bullet-pointed below for your convenience, plus some free goodies for games like Valorant, Legends of Runeterra, and League of Legends. You can get a full run-down of the stuff available on the Prime Gaming blog, and here's that list of games:
- March 2: Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
- March 9: Adios
- March 9: I am Fish
- March 16: Faraway 3: Arctic Escape
- March 23: Book of Demons
- March 23: Peaky Blinders: Mastermind
- March 30: City Legends: Trapping in Mirror – Collector’s Edition