Wait… Is My Wife Better Than Me At Baldur’s Gate 3?

Watching my wife play Baldur’s Gate 3 is fun, fascinating, and occasionally frustrating. She likes Dungeons & Dragons, and as a more methodical gamer, the turn-based nature suits her playstyle. She’s always liked stories in games, but she has no time for bad dialogue and has higher standards than most gamers, keeping studios on their toes. She has almost cleared Act One, having explored most of the map, and is proving highly accomplished in battle. She still needs some direction with reading the maps or giving everyone the best loadout, but she’s pretty much handling everything on her own now. So well, in fact, that she just found something I missed.


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I’ll be honest – most of the time the frustration from watching my wife play comes from her… let’s call it ‘idiosyncratic’ style of playing. For melee attacks, rather than click on the person she wants to attack, she clicks right next to them, opens the menu again (even when she has her weapon out), then clicks the person she wants to attack. She has no interest in conserving spell slots. She summons a boar to fight alongside her and then gets annoyed when it is attacked. But these are good frustrations. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Related: Long Rests Are The Key To Baldur’s Gate 3’s Story

Sometimes though, this frustration is caused by the fact she’s better than me, or at least that she sees things I never got to. Hang on, I think to myself. I play video games for a living. This is my Game of the Year, it’s in my all-time top ten. I’ve played the older games in the series. I come to this with close to a thousand hours logged in similar titles like Dragon Age and Neverwinter. You’ve just wandered in off the street. How are you discovering stuff I missed?

Baldur's Gate 3: Tiefling Player Approaches Goblin Camp Entrance

Of course, this is the genius of Baldur’s Gate 3 – there’s always something new to find. In the Goblin Camp, she found a treasure hoard loaded with gold. In the early game, gold can be in short supply, to the point where I’ve advised her only to use merchants to sell, as she’ll quickly outgrow the meagre armour and weapons Act One has for sale, not to mention looting better stuff for free. But now she’s weighed down with gold, she might be flush enough to splash some early cash.

Into the bargain, there are things I saw that she hasn’t, even with me guiding her that it’s too soon to go to the Mountain Pass. In the Goblin Camp, she missed the chance to bask in Lovitar’s Love, meaning she was not subjected to strange BDSM acts by a creepy stranger. She may have turned down this offer even if she discovered it, although given the chance to impress Wyll with her adventurous tastes I’m not so sure.

She’s faring far better at combat too. I help a little with direction, having done the battles before and knowing what to look out for, but ever since my monk was forced into an early retirement she’s been doing it all on her own and giving a great account of herself. As (mildly) frustrating as it can be to have her stumble onto a treasure den I missed, seeing her play through it fresh is crucial to my own appreciation of the game.

As I’ve already written about, the game could be clearer with advertising its points of no return, so I ended up missing the whole githyanki creche arc. She seems far more keen on that than the Underdark, so I’ll get to discover it soon. As a female drow, and therefore Underdark Barbie, I obviously opted for the Underdark, and I’m keen to see what I could have won.

Wyll holding a sword in Baldur's Gate 3

There has to be a little slice of competition with this. I love giving my wife the basic tools for success, be that ‘go here’ or ‘give that hammer to Lae’zel’ and then watch her run with it. Seeing her figure out plans I had missed, or use clever quirks in battle over my ‘Karlach hit with stick’ strategy, is almost as good as discovering those routes for myself. Almost. But I really could have used that early game gold.

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