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Baldur’s Gate 3 Review | Projectors & Gaming

Posted on September 25, 2023 by Zachary Zanger
Baldur's Gate 3 secured a spot in the top 10 list of all-time highest-rated games and easily made it onto the Projector Reviews “Best Games To Play On A Projector In 2023” list.

Gather your crew and head back to the Forgotten Realms, a land filled with tales of friendship, betrayal, dedication, and the pull of immense power. Deep inside, something mysterious awakens—thanks to that pesky mind flayer parasite in your brain. Stand your ground, harnessing the very darkness that seeks to control you. But hey, if you're feeling a little rebellious, give in to that wicked side and become the embodiment of evil. How's that for a twist?

Baldur’s Gate 3 challenges players to play strategically. For instance, “turn-based mode" initiated by the player lets you halt the world at your command, regardless of whether you're in combat. If you spot a chance to gain a strategic edge, aim for flawless execution during a heist, or find a way out of a cunning trap, this mode is your tool. Divide your group, set up surprise attacks, and move stealthily in the shadows. Carve your own path to fortune! Baldur’s Gate 3 is truly a next-generation RPG!

With a purpose-built gaming projector projecting on a massive screen, the turn-based tactical game mode truly comes to life. You'll have a bird's-eye view of the battlefield, ensuring you're in total control. Everything's magnified, which means those sneaky goblins will have a tough time trying to surprise you and your motley team. Bring it on!

Baldur’s Gate 3, a fantasy-themed, turn-based tactical RPG, is a proud offering from Larian Studios (developed and published). It made its debut on Windows (10, 11) on August 3, 2023, followed by a release for PlayStation®5 users on September 6, 2023, and finally for Mac OS X enthusiasts on September 22, 2023. Xbox is supposed to be coming soon. And the best part? It supports cross-platform multiplayer with Steam. Whether you're flying solo, teaming up online, or sitting side by side in split-screen co-op, the game has you covered.

For PlayStation®5, Baldur’s Gate 3 – Digital Standard Edition (base game) can be purchased for $69.99. Baldur’s Gate 3 – Digital Deluxe Edition can be had for $79.99 and consists of the base game, Divinity Bard Song Pack, Exclusive Dice Theme, Treasures from Rivellon Pack, Adventurer's Pouch, and Bonus Digital Content. For a mere additional $10, opting for the Digital Deluxe Edition is a no-brainer. Trust me, once you dive into the game, you'll quickly realize that the bonus content easily surpasses that $10 value. It's a steal!

PROJECTOR UTILIZED – BENQ X3000i

BenQ generously supplied Projector Reviews with demo units of the X3000i and TK700 gaming projectors for assessment.

BenQ graciously sent over demonstration units of their X3000i and TK700 gaming projectors to Projector Reviews, specifically for our segment, "Best Games to Play on a Projector in 2023." To give you some perspective, I've logged a whopping 575 hours on the BenQ X3000i, with the lion's share of that time dedicated to gaming on my PS5. This extensive hands-on experience positions me uniquely to provide a detailed overview of what it feels like to game on a projector, especially on a sprawling screen.

For the purpose of this write-up, I handpicked Baldur’s Gate 3 to test out with the BenQ X3000i gaming projector. Why? The projector's RPG game mode beautifully enhances the survival horror elements intrinsic to Baldur’s Gate 3. Priced at $1,999, the BenQ X3000i stands out as a 4K HDR 4LED gaming projector, boasting 3000 ANSI lumens brightness and is equipped with dual 5-watt chamber speakers for immersive audio.

BenQ emphasizes that the X3000i is engineered with gaming consoles in mind, ensuring optimal compatibility and performance.

BenQ confidently proclaims that the X3000i is crafted to seamlessly work with gaming consoles such as the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch. Beyond mere compatibility, the X3000i 4K 4LED gaming projector is meticulously designed to elevate your gaming escapades. It boasts the 4LED HDR-PRO™ technology for vivid and lifelike colors, coupled with awe-inspiring visuals. Additionally, the dynamic virtual 3D sound ensures audio emanates from various directions, enveloping gamers in a rich auditory environment.

For a firsthand trial, I utilized what was within arm's reach. I simply set up my PS5 alongside the BenQ X3000i on a table in my living room. I projected onto a 110-inch (16:9) screen from Screen Innovations, the Solo Pro 2 with Unity AT Pure White 1.3 gain material. The simplicity of this setup allowed me to focus on the game and the projector's performance, without any unnecessary frills.

After clocking in about 25 hours with my initial simple setup, I decided to elevate my gaming experience and moved my testing process up to my projector lab. I connected my PS5 to the BenQ X3000i using a 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 cable and channeled it through the precision of a Marantz AV8805 Pre-Tuner and the power of a Marantz MM8077 7-channel amplifier. The visuals were magnificently beamed onto a 100-inch (16:9) Elite Screens Aeon fixed frame, which sported the CineWhite® UHD-B (Tensioned Matte White) with a 1.3 gain. The end results? A big-screen gaming session that felt akin to being in a theater, further amplified by the resonant, all-encompassing audio.

The X3000i stands out with its impressive brightness level of 3,000 ANSI lumens, allowing it to function optimally even in spaces with some ambient light interference. Coupled with its clear imagery, the projector's XPR (eXpanded Pixel Resolution) technology enables it to display a stunning 4K resolution. If you're curious about the nuances of 4K DLP combined with XPR technology, I'd recommend checking out the Projector Reviews' Projection Terms page. Beyond its stellar visual output, the X3000i is designed for convenience, featuring a wide array of connection ports such as HDMI, USB, and VGA, ensuring seamless integration with a multitude of devices and media sources.

The X3000i is packed with attributes that position it as a top-tier gaming projector. Notably, it boasts specialized game modes for FPS, RPG, and SPG, complemented by audio and visual configurations, as well as latency settings fine-tuned for next-generation RPGs, such as Baldur’s Gate 3. Opting for the RPG mode when playing Baldur’s Gate 3 amplifies the gaming experience, plunging players into a fully immersive cinematic adventure.

Shifting the X3000i's Picture Mode from HDR10 to HDR Game unlocks the projector's specialized Game Settings. Here, gamers have the choice to toggle Fast Mode on or off. Activating Fast Mode on the X3000i minimizes the latency between the input signal and the visual output. Of course, while diving into Baldur’s Gate 3, I had Fast Mode turned on. This ensured silky smooth gameplay, particularly during high-octane sequences where I battled the unreasonably fast Phase Spider Matriarch with all of her spider egg hatchings in the Whispering Depths and those swarms of Goblins seemingly everywhere.

Quick pro tip, the Whispering Depths are full of sticky spider webs. To bypass this hurdle, it's wise to equip at least one member of your party with Spiderstep Boots, which will make your journey through The Whispering Depths a lot smoother. Once you step into the Whispering Depths, take a left and continue straight until you arrive at a spacious room, once inhabited by an acolyte of Lolth. Search the skeleton nestled against the wall to the right of the exit to procure the Spiderstep Boots.

BALDUR’S GATE 3 ON A PROJECTOR GAMEPLAY

Pick from an extensive array of D&D races and classes, or opt for an origin character with its own rich backstory. Embark on quests, gather treasures, engage in battles, and form bonds as you traverse the Forgotten Realms and its surrounding territories. Go solo, choosing your allies with caution, or team up in multiplayer mode with a group of up to four adventurers.

Crafted using the advanced Divinity 4.0 engine, Baldur’s Gate 3 offers unparalleled freedom to delve into, experiment with, and engage in a world that morphs based on your decisions. A captivating, cinematic storyline draws you deeper into your character's journey, as you explore the vastest world we've ever created.

Navigating Baldur’s Gate 3 requires a well-rounded team, equipped with a mix of character classes, subclasses, spells, cantrips, weapons, and armor. Experiment with various combinations; each choice has its own set of benefits and limitations. Always be open to adapting and trying different strategies. The fate of your survival and the impact you make on the world rest solely with you. With every adventure being distinct, the game offers immense replay value.

Baldur’s Gate 3 boasts HDR (High Dynamic Range) support on compatible devices. This technology broadens the color spectrum and brightness levels in games and other visual content, crafting more vibrant and lifelike visuals. However, it's worth noting that HDR compatibility might differ depending on the platform and display being used. Employing a projector with an HDR gaming mode, such as the BenQ X3000i, amplifies the experience, letting you truly relish the advanced graphics of next-gen console games.

The BenQ X3000i's inclusion of HDR-PRO and Dynamic Black technology is a game-changer, especially when delving into titles with intricate lighting designs. These features ensure that every visual nuance, from the brightest highlights to the most subtle shadows, is rendered with impeccable clarity and depth.

The brilliance of HDR-PRO is its ability to reproduce a broader spectrum of colors and luminance, leading to visuals that burst with vibrancy and life. This technology, when combined with Dynamic Black, offers an amazing visual experience, as Dynamic Black meticulously adjusts the brightness levels based on the on-screen content. This intelligent adjustment means that scenes that might typically get lost in darkness come alive with crisp details.

What's particularly impressive about this integration is its application in the BenQ’s SmartEco mode. By optimizing light power in this mode, the projector doesn't just conserve energy but also ensures the best possible image quality. Whether you're trudging through a dimly-lit dungeon in Baldur’s Gate 3 or exploring the nuances of a dramatic movie scene, the technology guarantees that you don't miss out on the smallest of details lurking in the shadows. The result is a viewing experience that's as immersive as it is energy-efficient.

The BenQ X3000i features an Information screen. During my entire gameplay of Baldur’s Gate 3, it displayed a detected resolution of 2160p at 60Hz.

I experienced Baldur’s Gate 3 in its full 4K (3840x2160) @ 60Hz glory. On a sizable projector screen, especially at common viewing distances, 4K provides a markedly enhanced detail and image clarity compared to FHD, translating to visuals that are both more vibrant and true-to-life. Such refinement is especially advantageous for an immersive game like Baldur’s Gate 3, but it also heightens the game's intensity, given the augmented realism.

The BenQ X3000i's impressive 16.67ms input lag in 4K @60Hz was truly commendable. This low lag competes well with many standard flat-panel TVs, guaranteeing a gameplay responsiveness that would satisfy most avid gamers, and certainly outclasses what a casual gamer might expect. Thanks to this brisk response time, I could skillfully battle the relentless Goblin swarms without any hindrance from a tardy or sluggish system.

Ah, the hyenas! Yes, reacting swiftly here is crucial, especially when one tries to flee and alert the rest. That sneaky hyena can make your game a lot more challenging if it gets away. Trust me, you don't want a pack of their menacing friends descending upon you unprepared. The BenQ X3000i's low input lag was especially handy in these situations, ensuring that I could promptly address such threats without any delay.

For a relatively small gaming projector, one might not expect much in terms of audio prowess, but the X3000i challenges this notion. The treVolo tuned speakers, combined with Bongiovi DPS technology, BenQ is somehow able to weave an auditory tapestry that wraps around you, ensuring that you feel every nuance of the game's soundscape.

While I've always recommended dedicated sound systems for the best gaming experience, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and clarity of the audio that the X3000i delivered. Baldur’s Gate 3, with its intricate and layered sound design, thanks to its dynamic range settings, deserves an audio system that can keep up. The subtle whispers, rustling of leaves, or distant cackles of Auntie Ethel all resonated with an eerie clarity that enhanced my immersion.

It's a testament to the advancements in projector technology that the X3000i can offer both a visual and auditory experience that rivals more traditional setups. Whether you're engrossed in a narrative-driven moment or preparing for a tense showdown with an ogre, the built-in audio system stands its ground, delivering a sonic experience that adds another layer to an already exceptional game.

Having a gaming projector with a quality integrated audio system or connecting to an external audio system via eARC can amplify in-game sound and dialogue, enriching the gaming immersion.

My projector lab audio setup currently features Marantz components and Definitive Technology speakers, offering rich sounds and deep bass. This setup not only allows me to evaluate ARC/eARC HDMI ports on projectors but also provides an enveloping auditory experience. While Baldur’s Gate 3 was impressive on the X3000i's built-in treVolo audio, the game's sound reached its zenith when channeled through my premium Marantz and Definitive Technology system, delivering an unparalleled, spine-chilling auditory experience.

On my two projector area setups, my main character and the NPCs - both allies and adversaries - ranged in size from 13 inches to a whopping 37 inches, depending on the scene's context and their positions. Seriously, being able to see the battlefield in such magnified detail is a game-changer for strategizing.

Sitting about 11 feet from my 100-inch (16:9) Elite Screens projector screen in my projector lab and 14 feet from the 110-inch (16:9) screen from Screen Innovations in my living room, everything was scaled perfect for an all-engulfing Baldur’s Gate 3 experience. Of course, if you’ve got the room, scaling up to a larger projector screen will make those Baldur’s Gate 3 characters pop even more, giving you an unmatched bird's eye view vital for those pivotal turn-based tactics.

Experiencing Baldur’s Gate 3 on a massive projector screen is an absolute game-changer! Think about it: if you had the room, would you opt for a gigantic projector screen where your characters stand feet tall, or settle for a 55-inch or 75-inch TV with everything miniaturized (comparatively speaking)? My guess is that most would crave the grandeur, especially in a strategy-driven game like Baldur’s Gate 3 where every visual detail counts. Test it out, and I reckon you'll second my thoughts. The engaging gameplay promises to hold your attention and, at times, send chills down your spine for hours on end.

While Baldur’s Gate 3 boasts its Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition foundation set within the renowned Forgotten Realms, you don't need to be a D&D aficionado to get hooked. Step into a universe teeming with enchanting magic, daunting adversaries, and serendipitous romances. Power up that projector, and let the grand cinematic journey unfold!

Give it a spin, and you'll instantly get why Baldur's Gate 3 snagged a spot on the Projector Reviews' "Best Games to Play on a Projector in 2023" list. GG!

As an avid gamer, 2023 has been wild! We've dived into epic titles like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Destiny 2: Lightfall, Hogwarts Legacy, Forspoken, and now the already legendary Baldur’s Gate 3. Under the banner of "Best Games To Play On A Projector In 2023," we're hyped for bangers like Starfield (I already have 50+ hours into it), Dead Island 2, and Horizon Call of the Mountain. Keep it locked here, fellow gamers – you're going to want front-row seats for our upcoming projector gaming articles.

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