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Everything we know about Baldur’s Gate 3

Journey into Baldur's Gate 3 next month!

The ability to have full creative and visual control over an image in your head. To take an idea and see it manifested. To make a character and see them fully realized. It’s the ultimate dream for a certain niche of gamers. Specifically, tabletop role players. There is something visceral about making the ultimate character, getting down to the minute details and having that become real. It’s one of the reasons why I love games with highly in-depth character customization. The rest of the game I’ll rarely touch and I’ll spend hours making characters that fit what I have in my mind’s eye. I think that this is a bug that anyone who plays Dungeons & Dragons has.

Baldur’s Gate has a history that goes back to 1998. And since the release of that first game many others have come out to try to replicate the tabletop experience.  And an experience was definitely had, to varying degrees of success.  Since the official announcement in 2019, Baldur’s Gate 3 has been the highly anticipated and highly scrutinized next attempt at a D&D video game. However, since it’s soft release and somewhat controversial development choices, some people have already disregarded it before the game was finished. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the top and see what has become of an old franchise reemerging in the modern day. It’s time to roll for initiative, this is everything we know about Baldur’s Gate 3.

What is Baldur’s Gate 3?

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a role-playing strategy adventure game based off of the very popular Dungeons & Dragons system. In it you will create a character that will serve as the main protagonist for the story. There are many features that make a return in Baldur’s Gate 3 that came from older games, just a bit updated.

Not the early issues that Baldur’s Gate 3 faced was its decision to release in an unfinished State at full price. It’s initial release date was October of 2020, and by early records only one third of the game was available. However they were still charging the full price tag, and understandably a lot of people weren’t okay with this. With the final release set for August of 2023, and it presumably leaving early access at that point, we will see what the game has in store.

You all begin in a tavern…

first and foremost it needs to be stated that the difference between Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 and Baldur’s Gate 3 is fairly massive. The former two are isometric titles where you control a party of adventurers going on a quest. Baldur’s Gate 3 is more closely honed, running on the Divinity 4.0 engine. Some people have not like this, saying that it’s too much like the titular Divinity 2. As for the story, the game takes place 100 years after the events of Baldur’s Gate 2.

Your character is on a search for a powerful cleric to heal them from a transmutative infection of the Mind flayers. Without getting into too many spoilers, a lot more happens on this journey. Early playthroughs of the first part of the game didn’t show much in terms of story choice. However later reports as it gets closer to release, people have been saying that there is impactful player choice put into the game in many ways.

It wouldn’t be Dungeons and Dragons if fighting wasn’t involved in some way, and Baldur’s Gate appears to surpass expectations. Hundreds of items and spells are yours to play with. Leading off from that, combat is also fairly unique. You see an above head perspective that you then send your character down on different paths.  Moving them behind cover, or interacting with the environment all in real time. The world is constantly in motion, however you can pause time to think about your next move and plan things out. Depending on where you are will affect your chances of successfully Landing an attack or remaining hidden.

Roll to charm the barkeep.

In between combat there will be moments where story takes place. These moments of cinematic will have you interact in various ways. Some will be multiple choice answers where the intent behind them can lead to a different outcome. But there are others where ability checks will be called for. In D&D fashion your character, or the character you’re currently controlling, will need to make an intelligence or Charisma or some other check. This result can also affect how things turn out.

As stated earlier, character creation for me is one of the biggest and coolest things in a video game. And as a D&D nerd being able to make a D&D character in a video game is kind of a big deal for me. Baldur’s Gate 3 now has 11 different species to choose from, ranging from dwarves and elves to Dragonborn and the Mysterious Githyanki. Facial and body features are also plentiful, allowing you to get your character looking the exact way you want. While you can’t roll dice for your character’s stats, like you could in holder games, you will be able to initially give to attributes a buff from the start. I don’t know if I like this or not, but we’ll have to see how it goes in practice.

Min Maxed? Maybe.

Finally, the classes. D&D 5th edition initially has 12 classes, each providing a unique and different play style. These classes have sub classes tied to them, allowing you to further have a more unique character. Some classes got a little more attention than others, like clerics and paladins each having more subclasses than most of the others. This isn’t so much a problem, as I know that it would be very difficult to code the literal dozens of subclasses into the game. However looking at the list, a lot of the choices just feel very safe and predictable. Again, we’ll have to see how it plays out in game on full release. It has been said that multi-classing will be a thing in Baldur’s Gate 3. If this is true it would alleviate a lot of my concerns.

Something that I find very interesting as a design choice is the difficulty scale. There are three options you’ll be able to choose from, Explorer, balanced, and tactician. Explorer is for more of a, I guess you could call it cinematic experience? Is more catered to people who wish to well, explore the world and see what all there is without having to worry too much about dying. Tactician on the other hand is all about making smart choices in a very hard and dangerous world. And as you could guess, balanced is a balance of the two. What if I’d interesting though is the difference in difficulty isn’t explicitly Limited to hire difficulty equals tougher enemies. Apparently the AI will use tactics and weapon choices in tactician mode that they normally wouldn’t use and Explorer or balanced.

Baldur’s Gate 3 journeys out next month

Baldur’s Gate 3 release trailer

Some other things of note that I don’t have enough information to go in depth on our as follows. Hirable Mercenaries to help fill out your party. The ability to respec your character, including origin and background and class. The ability to also respec your companions.  Crafting is present in the game, including Alchemy for potions and poisons.

As it stands right now, Baldur’s Gate 3 is looking to be a massive game with tons of replayability, hundreds of ways to make characters and interact with the world, and so much more. Enough things have changed that anyone who was a die-hard fan of the old games might find a bit of trouble making that transition. For new players however, I think it’s going to be an interesting experience nonetheless.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is developed and published by Larian Studios. It launches for PC on August 3 and on PlayStation 5 on September 6.

Are you excited for Baldur’s Gate 3? As always, let us know what you think in the comments!

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