Picture this: You see a crowd milling about, entertained by a character playing a musical instrument, all while another party member pickpockets them. Dastardly, right? In another instance, you might whisper sweet nothings to a companion, only to sleep with someone else so you can break your other companion’s heart. Sounds vile, no? Indeed, Baldur’s Gate 3 offers many opportunities for misdeeds and general assholery. Unfortunately, it also fails to deliver on a purely evil experience, at least one where you aren’t severely punished.
Don’t get me wrong: Baldur’s Gate 3 is an amazing game–the reactivity and multiple outcomes are overwhelming and impressive. Well-written dialogue, character personalities, and memorable quests kept me engaged for roughly 270 hours, from early access until the present.
Although I did start out as an evil character (via the Dark Urge origin), I approached the campaign as a redemption arc of sorts. With countless backups for save-scumming, I was able to check different results based on key decisions throughout the campaign. That’s when I realized how being purely evil in Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t just mean dealing with the harsher consequences of my actions, but also how there’s very little to gain in return. In effect, what could’ve been an interesting or compelling role-playing hook leads to a rather unrewarding conclusion. Also, it goes without saying that this article contains major spoilers.