There is a lot of drama and discussion around the game, sparked by a Twitter thread by an indie game dev that wanted to preemptively push back against the notion that BG raised the expected standards for games going forward. This take seems... weird to me.
See I played the original 90s Baldur's Gate games and now BG III. And while I love it, I don't see anything in the new game, which doesn't feel like a continuation or evolution on what we saw in the original games. Sure, technology has moved in the last 25 years and that is applied here. But I think: if Bioware (the dev of the originals) kept producing such RPGs, than what BG III now show is exactly what the genre standard would be.
Let me explain a bit. Sure BG III changes a lot in regards to the originals, but we have to keep in mind: there is 25+ year gap we have to consider. Technology has moved a lot since the 90s and with it also tools to develop such games, standards on funding (like early access which Larian used) and the industry learned a lot about game design. For instance Larian used motion capture in cut scenes, which was not a thing back then, and the 90s games had prerendered environments instead of rendering it live like BG III does, which allows for more complex interactions. But these are things that would have been done obviously, if such games had been made in the decades between.
BG III has a lot of narrative choices and branching paths. And this has evolved quite a but over the original two games. But the original games were already praised for their narrative complexity and flexibility. In these games Bioware started to use systems to have player choices reflect in the world, while still keeping an overall narrative. They refined these techniques over the years, just not with BG but instead in Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Larian applies these evolutions back to the series they originated from. An evolution, not a revolution, not a raised or new standard, just normal development over time.
BG III has a lot, really a lot of options what you can do in a fight. But this also feels like a natural evolution. Sure, while GB III might have around 100 options in each fight, the original had 30, maybe 50. But that seems like the obvious thing to develop on further. More spells and more 'other' options like throwing stuff or dipping weapons. But this is a natural evolution of what the originals had.
The originals also had a lot of funny and quirky dialogue. Which is exactly something some people like in BG III. A lot of games today seems to scale that back in favor of 'seriousness' and 'immersion'. Yes you can say and do stupid stuff. And characters do as well. You have a squirrel defending "it's" tree against these pesky humans. Or other squirrels that complain (if you use speak with animal) about the bad song of the bard. This is silly stuff. Exactly like you expect from a 90s game.
So in conclusion: Baldur's Gate III has no new or raised standards. Instead it follows the standards of the 90s, just with modern tech and dev experience. That is also true in one other area: as games in the 90s it is complete on release, without additional payments. So Baldur's Gate III sets no new standards, it just follows very old standards - and this feels out of place in the world of 2023.