Throne of Bhaal is the expansion pack to the ever-popular Baldurs Gate II: Shadows of Amn. This is actually the final chapter in the whole Baldurs Gate saga and it does seem a fitting way to conclude it.

The game, being an expansion pack obviously requires Shadows of Amn (SOA) but does not require that you use the same characters, if you want you can create a new character from scratch, which I did. I noticed that you get to choose a hell of a lot of spells and a load of good items, I later found out that this is because the game is very hard, even from the outset and the first fight, which is right at the beginning is a good test to your fighting skills.

The game adds onto SOA a new dungeon known as the Watcher's Keep, which is definitely the hardest of the dungeons in the series yet and to accommodate this difficulty your characters can now attain the super powerful level 40. With this your character can also gain some special abilities, some of these come to your character as spells while other come as specialities to your character.

A nice addition to Throne of Bhaal (TOB) is the Pocket Plane, this is essentially your residence which you teleport to and from here you can summon any of the friendly NPC's from SOA, rest your character and update the inventory of any of your party members without any worry of being attacked. The only slight problem is that you always teleport back to the area you came from so if you wanted to teleport to your Pocket Plane then onto another area your cant!

The magic in TOB has also been given an overhaul, you now have another character kit, the Wild Mage, this extra mage class allows you to use magic more powerfully and shape it into spells that you wish to cast. You can also use this to create special magical items in the Pocket Plane by combining items. However the problem with the wild mage is that the raw power of the magic that is being dealt with can cause magic surges, which are completely random and can cause unpredictable effects.

The characters and magic are not the only aspects that have been updated, the interface has been tweaked slightly to make some things easier and to make it friendlier. Things such as allowing mages to remove spells permanently from their books help the whole game move along nicely and allow you some more control.

The visuals and sound of the game have also had some tweaking, the backgrounds look slightly crisper and seem more alive while the background music is also better than that of SOA, I didn't have any problems with the SOA music but the music in TOB is much better and on par with the great music that was in Icewind Dale, which I think was the best music in any of the Black Isle RPG games.

These features and additions are what make TOB a great expansion pack and a fitting end to the whole Baldurs Gate series. If you're a Baldurs gate fan then you need this expansion pack, its good, its hard but ultimately it finishes the whole saga off in good style.