Coincidences pile up, creating stepping stones to a fun and exciting adventure in Legends of Baldur’s Gate #3.
This issue of Baldur’s Gate keeps things simple plot-wise, but also showcases a large scale fight in an unusual setting that’s rich with opportunities for humor, action, and characterization when our heroes unknowingly crash a high society party. The story skips over plot points at times, opting for easy fixes or coincidences to keep things moving along, but all of it’s in service to creating a breakneck pace for snappy charm, comic mischief, and action from Jim Zub’s stable of vibrant characters. Not only do the players find themselves in all manner of humorous fish out of water situations, but as each enters the party they start taking part in one of many different activities and scenarios happening around them, consistent with their personalities. It reinforces their presence in the story by giving them their own minor agendas to pursue; a small detail, but it’s vital to creating realistic characters. It serves to build a fluctuating world that continues to evolve based on the presence of different participants in the plot that provide their own unique take on the world of Baldur’s Gate, and react in ways that add to the reader’s perception of their character. It’s these aspects of the story that create a nearly limitless wellspring of potential igniters that create ripples that can affect the story in dynamic ways.
And this is all well and good for the future of the series, which is undeniably bright, thanks to an approach that reminds the reader that medieval fantasy is supposed to be…y’know…fun (You know who I’m looking at). The scenes carry with them the same sense of individualism and personality that makes a session of tabletop gaming so engaging. In other words, the characters actually act like an adventuring party, and as a huge gaming enthusiast, I found these elements were incredibly effective at capturing the true essence of playing a tabletop campaign, while still telling a multifaceted linear tale. It’s the situational humor that wins Baldur’s Gate #3 though. Everything from slanted rooftops and armor, free hors d’oeuvres, and even bumping in to the guy who just tried to kill you a couple of hours ago really use the setting to the fullest to pull as much action and comedy out of the pages
Of course it’s all perfectly captured by Max Dunbar’s art, which is just as focused on defining the world’s personality as it is the characters’; and accompanied by John Paul Bove’s sense of tone defining colors, prove the work that’s been put in to laying out the details of Baldur’s Gate has definitely increased the tangibility and personality of the world. All that, and an ending that comes out of left field makes Legends of Baldur’s Gate #3 the most consistently entertaining volume in the series thus far, and with a series of persistent characters and a setting that just won’t quit, it’s likely that we haven’t even seen it’s best yet.