- Act 3 of Baldur’s Gate 3 is filled with bugs and performance issues, including graphical glitches and broken gameplay.
- Many questlines in Act 3 seem promising but ultimately go nowhere, leaving players frustrated and unsatisfied.
- Player choices have little impact on the story in Act 3, with decisions feeling like an afterthought rather than driving the narrative.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is an absolute powerhouse of an RPG that swept the 2023 gaming awards for its jaw-dropping gameplay, characters, and loving adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons mechanics and mythos. But that’s not to say the game is perfect, which even the most die-hard fan will admit to. It’s buggy, certain areas are rushed, and the mostly beloved story has a few missteps.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Still Suffering from Major Act 3 Issues
Unfortunately for fans, it seems that Baldur’s Gate 3 Act 3 still suffers from some serious issues that have yet to be fixed.
Nowhere are these flaws more apparent than in the game’s third and final act. The urban setting of the game’s climax does little to hide the glaring performance issues and questionable writing choices that left players feeling underwhelmed with the game’s ending.
10 Bugs And Performance Issues
Rendering Textures? Never Heard Of It
Baldur’s Gate 3 is notoriously buggy all throughout, but Act 3 gets it the worst. The graphical glitches and buggy gameplay that were minor annoyances in Act 1 (which got a lot of smoothing over thanks to early access) became almost completely broken by Act 3. Most notably, the amount of buildings and details can lead to textures taking forever to render properly. Characters sometimes look like they’re wearing blobs of clay instead of epic armor for a few seconds, or the entire city like it’s built out of children’s blocks.
And for players with mods installed, the game’s script can break almost entirely, even skipping over Patch 5’s long-anticipated epilogue scene.
9 Dropped Questlines
Forget it, Jake. It’s Baldur’s Gate.
As the launch date drew closer, Larian had to make some tough calls when cutting content, and it showed all over Act 3. Many NPC interactions feel like the obvious beginning of a side quest but ultimately don’t go anywhere.
The saddest example of this is finding a Tiefling child in an alleyway, weeping over the bodies of his recently murdered parents. Players are left assuming there’s something they can do here, whether to track down the culprit or help the poor kid. But there’s nothing, not even a single clue or “Speak with Dead.” All gamers can do is keep on walking…
8 Player Choices Have Little Impact
Let’s Fight the Final Boss Already!
Baldur’s Gate 3 prides itself on allowing players to make decisions that determine the story. In Acts 1 and 2, the weight of these choices speaks for themselves. Save the Emerald Grove or side with the goblins? Spare the Nightsong or allow Shadowheart to fulfill Shar’s prophecy? But in Act 3, player decisions feel almost like an afterthought to a prewritten story. In fact, gamers can easily bypass many Act 3 quests if they want to and just get the game over with.
7 The Absolute’s Army Approaches…Or Does It?
Where Did All The Tension Go?
When Act 3 begins, the Absolute’s army is already marching on Baldurs’ Gate. The party rushes to beat them to the city gates, only to find…business as usual. The sun is shining, shops are open for business, and kids are playing in the streets. Sure, NPCs will gossip about their impending doom occasionally, but that’s about it.
The game’s tension is lost as there’s almost none of the panic and dread that, by all accounts, should be looming. While it’s true that players want to actually enjoy their time in the city, it’s like the game forgot about its own rising stakes and the threat of impending war.
6 Ulder Ravenguard
Great Leader, Terrible Father
In a game featuring brainwashed cultists, murderous gods, and literal devils, the most disliked character for many players is the Grand Duke himself. Introduced as one of the city’s last remaining forces of good, there are few who can forgive the man for disowning his own son at the age of seventeen. Even after the pair are reunited, he’s still cold and distant with Wyll, barely giving the poor guy a chance to explain himself.
Baldur’s Gate 3: 11 Characters Who Are Hard To Keep Alive
Baldur’s Gate 3 has plenty of lovable characters. Unfortunately, some of them are infamously hard to keep alive, and their deaths prove devastating.
Players are supposed to want to rescue the Grand Duke in order to save the city from corruption, but most only end up bothering to do it to avoid breaking Wyll’s heart. If they do it at all.
5 Gale Seeks Mystra’s Forgiveness
Pray They Don’t Get Back Together
Many companion questlines follow a similar theme: each one has had their life controlled, ruined, or dominated by another character that they need to confront. Breaking free of abuse and trauma is one of the game’s biggest themes, leading to some great moments of catharsis for many characters. And then there’s Gale.
Throughout his story, it’s clear his relationship with the goddess Mystra was unhealthy at best and downright predatory on her part at worst. And yet, in order to achieve Gale’s supposedly “good” ending, he is the one who needs to make amends with her. While the rest of Gale’s story of overcoming hubris is solid, the fact that doing so involves kissing up to his toxic ex-girlfriend did not sit right with many players.
4 Gortash And Orin
Two Underwhelming Follow-Ups to a Stellar Opening Performance
Act 2 did an amazing job introducing the Chosen Three as the game’s central antagonists. Ketheric Thorm’s menacing presence could be felt all throughout the Shadowcursed Lands. And the climactic battle against the Apostle of Myrkul left players frothing in anticipation for what Thorm’s counterparts had in store.
However, after their (admittedly fun) introduction, Orin and Gortah are rarely seen in Act 3 until it’s time to kill them. In fact, other than the Steel Watchers stomping around or the occasional shape-shifting assassin, it’s easy to forget they’re even there. Their boss fights are also tame compared to Ketheric’s, especially Gortash’s, if gamers completed the Iron Throne and Steel Watch Foundry questlines.
3 No Access To The Upper City
One of the biggest examples of cut content, literally. The Upper City is an entire district of Baldur’s Gate that’s completely sealed off until the very end of the game (when it’s being completely destroyed by the Netherbrain). After hyping up the game’s titular city for two whole acts, only being able to explore one small part of it feels like a major let-down.
It also leaves some of the game’s political subplots feeling underdeveloped. The city’s widespread classism and Gortash’s machinations amongst the nobility are often talked about, but players never get the chance to see it for themselves.
2 The Emperor Versus Orpheus
Sorry, Lae’zel, Better Him Than Us
Most Baldur’s Gate 3 players spend more time agonizing over character creation than with the game’s final choice. Siding with the Emperor means sacrificing Orpheus, the destined leader of the Githyanki revolution. But saving Orpheus means losing the Emperor’s alliance, leaving the party short one mind flayer to defeat the Netherbrain. This conflict is meant to wedge the player between a rock and a hard place, with someone needing to take one for the team and become illithid to save the day. Will it be the player themselves? A beloved companion? Or Orpheus – a character the player has no real attachment to who just conveniently appeared?
Between the Emperor’s defecting back to the Netherbrain, and the rebel prince’s becoming a sacrificial lamb, the whole situation feels a bit contrived, with a few cop-out solutions.
1 Karlach’s Unhappy Endings
None Of Her Good Deeds Go Unpunished
Of all the companion endings, Karlach’s was easily the one most players took issue with. She’s one of the sweetest, kindest, most likable characters in the entire game, and there is absolutely no way to save her. She’ll either die (thanks to her infernal engine), return to Avernus (her personal – and literal – hell), or become a mind flayer (destroying her soul in the process).
For a game touting so many possible endings, the fact that players were forced to just…give up on her is heartbreaking, to say the least.