- August 10, 2020
- Last Update July 26, 2020 10:33 pm
If you’re excited about D&D and Larian Studio’s long-awaited Baldur’s Gate video game, you will likely be happy with their treatment of DnD 5e rules in the new RPG from the creators of Divinity: Original Sin 2
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What we should expect from Larian Studios’ Baldurs Gate video game
We knew Larian Studios would do our precious D&D justice but the reveal today at PAX East showed what I thought was the perfect marriage between the RPG mechanics, cinematic intuitive design and seamless, fluid storytelling of the Divinity: Original Sin series and the experience and core ingredients of the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying Game.
This is everything I harvested from the gameplay reveal and presentation – with a comprehensive breakdown of what was confirmed, but not outright said in the demo. We’ll start with a complete rundown on everything I could sherlock out of the content and a walkthrough of all the little Easter eggs we saw in the full gameplay presentation.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Character Creation
If you are familiar with the Divinity: Original Sin series, you’ll be familiar with both the highly customizable nature of character creation, as well as the feature-rich, baked-in origin story characters. Baldur’s gate has both of these familiar offerings as well. Staying true to the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition ruleset, the custom character options tightly reflect the options that fans of the D&D tabletop game will expect and appreciate.
Larian goes beyond the base races, offering distinct sub-races like High-elf, Hill-dwarf, Lightfoot Halfling etc. straight from the 5e Player’s Handbook. In similar fashion, the class offerings seem to offer the sub-class options that we would expect to see as D&D’ers, like Trickery Domain Clerics and Fied Pact Warlocks. The six player classes available in early access will include the Wizard, Cleric, Ranger, Fighter, Rogue and Warlock, with more being added pre-launch according to Swen (pronounced ‘Sven’) Vincke from Larian.
From there, players can also choose their favourite skill proficiencies, just as we do in a well-crafted avatar at the table, that go beyond the hack and slash with arcana, investigation, religion, deception and the rest. Each of them all featuring often and naturally as you play through the game.
What origin story characters are available to players in Baldur’s Gate 3
Swen continued on to confirm that early access will feature five (5) origin characters, including Lae’zel – a githyanki fighter who first appears in the opening scene as the game begins, captive to the Illithid – mind flayers – who are preparing an assault on the denizens of Faerun, The Forgotten Realms and the Game’s setting.
Other origin story characters include: a wizard named Gale, a Cleric named Shadowheart, warlock named Wyll and a rogue named Astarion.
Who are the ‘bad guys’ and what do we know about mind flayers
Contrary to popular new Stranger Things lore, mind flayers are not monolithic Cthulhu-esque demon overlords, but rather an alien astral-planar humanoid assimilated race. They traverse the spanse of the astral (space-like) plane on massive motherships called Nautiloids, which we see porting in over the unsuspecting city of Yartar in the opening scene. While some speculate that this is the city of Waterdeep or Baldur’s Gate, herself, that is not the case.
Mind flayers, otherwise known as their more formal name – Illithid – are eldritch creatures that lay waste to and assimilate populations to reproduce. The process of assimilation is called ceremorphosis and involved implanting a fairly f*@ing gross larvae behind the eyes of a humanoid host. I never get used to it, no matter how many times I watch the opening cinematic.
Once transformed, the host becomes an Illithid and begins to develop the trademark pscionic or telepathic/telekinetic powers that are native to the alien race. Even the most base-level mind flayers are considerable threats and they reach near-godly levels of power as they become more ancient.
The closest faction that represents a natural enemy to the Illithid are the primal gith or githyanki and their dragon riders who are sworn foes of the mind flayers. In fact, many tribes require a successful raid of an Illithid colony to be fully inducted into the ranks of their warriors.
Baldur’s Gate 3 release date, consoles and early access
At the end of February this year, Swen alluded that the game could go into early access within the next couple of months and they have since suggested that the current global state of operations in the wake of COVID-19; however, in recent interviews, Larian has begun referring to early access as coming later in 2020 so I would expect that it’s a bit up in the air, understandably.
In the meantime, Swen has been adamant about not divulging any details around the games full release date beyond committing to “when it’s ready.” Furthermore, we know that Baldur’s Gate 3 is only confirmed for release on Google Stadia and PC at the moment.
Secrets revealed in the official Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay demo
All that aside, the gameplay release demo looked like a hell of a lot of fun, especially if you enjoyed Divinity: Original Sin 2. A lot of folks were turned off by how close it actually was to Larian’s multi-award winning title, but that game has also been celebrated as one of the greatest RPG video games of all time. That can’t be such a bad thing, can it?
I do think it’s fair to consider this coming offering on the highly-anticipated Baldur’s Gate series a D&D game built on the bones of Divinity, but as a dungeon master and regular fan of the D&D tabletop game, as well as a die-hard video gamer myself, I think the pairing is a match made in heaven. No persuasion check required for me!
Baldur’s Gate 3 Gameplay Demo Breakdown
Baldur’s Gate release date is on the horizon and yesterday Larian Studios revealed a complete gameplay demo and trailer at Pax East. In this breakdown I took a deep look at what we can expect from the new Baldur’s Gate RPG from the makers of Divinity: Original Sin 2, as well as the little secrets and juicy details that were shown in the footage, but not outright said!
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