Baldur’s Gate III was first announced back in June of 2019, and fans have been waiting impatiently for actual gameplay footage ever since. Earlier this morning, a handful of screenshots leaked, which showed a game that looked rather similar to Larian’s own Divinity: Original Sin series in terms of viewpoint, visuals, and combat, albeit with much more lavish production values. Well, the actual gameplay reveal is finally here, and the similarity to Divinity and other old-school RPGS has been confirmed. Check out the footage for yourself.
If you'd like to check out the gameplay without the commentary, restarts, or other fumbles, you can do that below.
The footage opens with some intense cutscenes, as we see a mind flayer implant a “tadpole” in a hapless victim’s eye. This worm will, of course, eventually turn them into a mind flayer themselves. We then see a pack of dragons pursuing and attacking a Nautiloid Spelljammer ship, which makes the jump through several portals before finally being brought down to earth.
We also got a peek at character creation, which includes a wide gamut of races (Human, Elf, Half-Elf, Dwarf, Tiefling, Drow, Half-Drow, Githyanki, and Halfling) and classes (Wizard, Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, and Warlock). These are just the races and classes that will be available in Early Access – even more will be included in the full game. Early Access will also come with five different “origin stories” featuring different characters, with Larian opting to show off Astarion, a debonaire vampire spawn who suddenly finds himself able to walk in the sunlight after having the mind flayers’ worm put in his head.
During exploration, you can either play using your standard CRPG overhead view, or you opt for use a slightly zoomed in third-person view. Combat is turn-based, and interestingly, you can enter turn-based mode outside of combat as well, making strategic and stealthy moves easier. Combat itself looks quite challenging, as Larian founder Swen Vincke died on the very first battle, but you’ll also have plenty of unique abilties at your command. For instance, you can summon a spectral hand to do your bidding, and almost everything in your inventory, including your boots, can be thrown at the enemy. Here's an official rundown of Baldur's Gate III's features:
- Online multiplayer for up to four players allows you to combine your forces in combat and split your party to follow your own quests and agendas. Concoct the perfect plan together… or introduce an element of chaos when your friends least expect it.
- Origin Characters offer a hand-crafted experience, each with their own unique traits, agenda, and outlook on the world. Their stories intersect with the entire narrative, and your choices will determine whether those stories end in redemption, salvation, domination, or many other outcomes.
- Evolved turn-based combat based on the D&D 5e ruleset. Team-based initiative, advantage & disadvantage, and roll modifiers join combat cameras, expanded environmental interactions, and a new fluidity in combat that rewards strategy and foresight.
- Define the future of the Forgotten Realms through your choices, and the roll of the dice. No matter who you play, or what you roll, the world and its inhabitants will react to your story.
- Player-initiated turn-based mode allows you to pause the world around you at any time even outside of combat. Whether you see an opportunity for a tactical advantage before combat begins, want to pull off a heist with pin-point precision, or need to escape a fiendish trap. Split your party, prepare ambushes, sneak in the darkness -- create your own luck!
I imagine some cranky old CRPG fans are pretty happy right about now! Since announcing Baldur’s Gate III, developer Larian Studios has grown into a true AAA developer, with over 350 employees and they’re promising BG3 will be the proper 100-hour epic western RPG fans have been hungering for. Here’s the game’s official description:
Created in close collaboration with the Dungeons & Dragons team at Wizards of the Coast, Baldur’s Gate III is based off current D&D mechanics and spells and is the official new chapter in the legendary series. Baldur’s Gate III will push the boundaries of the RPG genre and offer a rich narrative with unparalleled player freedom, high-stakes decisions, unique companion characters and memorable combat. It is Larian Studios’ biggest production ever and will be playable together with friends or as a single-player adventure.
Baldur’s Gate III is coming to PC and Google Stadia. A release date has yet to be announced, but Google recently let slip that the game will arrive sometime in 2020. What do you think? Are you excited for BG3 now that you’ve seen it? Or were you perhaps hoping for something a little bit more outside Larian’s usual box?