Larian Studio’s game was due to launch on October 6, but the Early Access finally premiered on October 7. The developer has not shared the release date of the full version yet.
The Baldur Gate saga is based on the tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons. Beamdog Studios created the previous entries. As Baldur’s Gate new dungeon master, Larian Studios deliver the unique opportunity to play the campaing either solo or online.
Baldur’s Gate III Early Access only includes the first chapter of the game. Your save file won’t be compatible once the full game comes out. That said, let’s see if the game is worth your money right now.
Baldur’s Gate III Info
” From the creators of Divinity: Original Sin 2 comes a next-generation RPG, set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.”
|October 7, 2020|
|Larian Studios||Larian Studios|
The third entry of the fan-favorite RPG series returns to the Forgotten Realms dark-fantasy setting. The game follows a group of characters, companions, as they face absolute power for survival.
Our main character becomes infected with a dangerous parasite that makes room on the brain. The mutant grants host mysterious powers that come with temptation and corruption. The gameplay will make you choose which path you want to take.
The game takes a Century after Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Ann. That said, it works like a stand-alone adventure, so you don’t need to check the previous entries to understand.
But, once again, the forces of darkness threaten the realm’s stability, only now commanding the power of the Mind Flyer parasites.
You are also captive of the Mind Flyers, dangerous mind-draining monsters invading Faerûn. Your primary goal is getting rid of the “Illithid” tadpole, which will eventually turn you into the otherworldly nightmare.
As you strive to survive against the parasite, you’ll encounter other survivors of the fight against the alien race. The survivors become members of your party, traveling together to survive.
Where to buy?
You can buy the Early Access version on Steam:
How does Baldur’s Gate 3 plays?
Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access offers a 30 hours campaign, and we expect the full game to be at least twice as long.
You can play the campaign both solo or as a multiplayer co-op experience. Players can create one or more warriors for the party to travel alongside the established NPCs. Likewise, players can go online and team-up with other real-life players to make the group. We find it to be a riveting, unique idea for the RPG genre.
The campaign is akin to what we saw a previous Larian franchise. Baldur’s Gate III offers turn-based combat, much like Divinity: Original Sin I & II.
There’s fair exploration, plenty of character interaction, dialogue choices, and various layers of complexity other than combat.
How does the game look?
Far from its humble beginnings, Baldur’s Gate III Early Access looks like a AAA video-game. Many comments on Steam are pointing the current version is very buggy, though, as the game is far from done.
The cinematic cuts have nothing to do with the game’s graphics, though. Baldur’s Gate III benefits from its isometric looks. Still, close-up cinematic dialogue and explosive scenes are a great addition to an otherwise standard-looking dungeon crawler.
The plot is also larger than we’ve ever seen in the series. Instead of a more grounded setting city, we’re taken to interdimensional travel, squid creatures, dragons, space ships, and the Underdark realm. Moreover, there’re no cities and no central hubs available on the Early Access version.
Larian sets the stakes and the graphics properly since the beginning. The game jumps right away into the action by placing your character in a crashed ship. It also helps that there’s a haunting soundtrack traveling alongside your party.
Deep character creation
For most, a fascinating part of RPG games is the character creator screen. The lack of such a feature is the only thing I miss on The Witcher 3, an absolute masterpiece otherwise.
That said, Baldur’s Gate offers the character creation screen after the initial cinematic cut.
The character creation screen is quite hefty. There’re options to choose a genre, origin, background story, race, sub-race, class, sub-class, deity, appearance, skills, and abilities.
The classes available on the Early Acces are Cleric, Fighter, Warrior, Rogue, Ranger, and Wizard. The full version of the game will have 12 different classes available, though.
Abilities are the game’s stats. You will find Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, ad Charisma on this branch. Most RPG fans already know how these standard set of stats work, so there’s not much to say in that regard.
Your custom character has different access to Skills, Spells, Abilities, and Proficiencies. However, there’s another layer of complexity when you go to the Skills menu on the character creation screen. Depending on your other choices, you can unlock Proficiency in two out of five skills. These skills might help you in combat or outside of combat.
All in all, the character creation is very similar to Divinity: Original Sin. Also, the Deities, races, and classes stay very similar to the series’s previous entries.
Remember that you can create various characters for the party. That means you could make a custom protagonist with neat combat abilities; backup characters with the charisma you need to take care of all of the conversations.
I have to note the game makes you create your custom romance, which is an exciting feature. Your romantic partner is part of the party as well.
Turn-based combat with sandbox elements
Combat is equally flashy and high-quality. The party has an arsenal of magical, ranged, and melee abilities. From poisoning to a breath of fire that burns an entire row in front of you, the game’s combat is as versatile as it gets.
Every fight scene is full of craters, dangerous barrels, torchers, and many scattered objects. You can use any of those elements to your advantage.
You can even you the environment against your enemies. For example, you can break the ground, so your enemies fall below. Better yet: you can push your enemies from the edge!
These elements give Baldur’s Gate III sandbox features you won’t find on any other turn-based RPG.
Moreover, your own Mind Flyer parasite gives you the advantage of influencing minds. However, each time you use the ability, you risk falling prey to the alien host. Still, becoming proficient in intimation and persuasion can take you very far.
Lastly, as this is a turn-based combat game, each ability either creates or consumes Action points.
Baldur’s Gate III exploration
The adventure is lineal, but every scenario is tricky. There’re many ways to get around the maps. You can even use your skills to discover hidden pathways.
As you travel, you’ll gather the five available NPC companions very fast. These characters also have a parasite in their heads. The characters seem fleshed-out, full of drama, secrets, romantic opportunities, and background stories.
At the moment, the companion NPCs are set y .defatul. The full version game is apparently offering the opportunity to customize each of these NPCs, though.
Traveling the world with a party is very important. Character proficiencies will go pass the various gateways and puzzles the game presents. For example, you’d need a Religion proficiency to read a mysterious inscription; or Perception Proficiency to track an enemy down.
Much like on the tabletop game, Baldur’s Gate III is a game of odds. The title is rolling the dice -literally- to see if your party checks the requirement to avoid obstacles and enemies.
For example, if you want to pass the confrontation against a group of bandits, you have to roll the dice. The game’s system will check if you have enough charisma and persuasion to convince the bandits to let you pass. Otherwise, you’re going to have to fight.
That’s how the game takes the D&D tabletop game rules and presents a cinematic RPG result. Let’s revisit the gameplay of Baldur’s Gate II and see how it has improved while still retaining its turn-based combat:
Baldur’s Gate III Early Access bugs
With all said and done, you can still see the cracks. See, buying an Early Access game is like paying to help developers create the full version. You’re supposed to tell the studio where the bugs are, even though you’re paying the full $60 price.
From the opening sequence, you’ll see the game is still a work-in-progress. Most notably, chat cuts show weird psychic like your party standing in the same place, one…inside the other?
Other rough edges include minor bugs, glitches, and occasional crashes. A game-crashing bug is how the game can erase your entire save file, which forces you to start all over again.
Larian Studios will work on the game for another year, approximately. The developers intend to create more classes, races, and additional features.
Larian Studios revealed its gameplay on February 2020’s Pax EAST video-game presentation.
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Baldur’s Gate III is building itself as a unique RPG. It has unique sandbox elements, interesting elemental features, and a graphical style that mixes cinematic cuts with isometric looks.
The third entry stays true to the original tabletop game while steering the series into the Original Sin direction. The result is a promising match.
However, I still don’t recommend buying it just yet. Overall, the game is still janky and not at it best, even if it’s fun, original, and great looking.
You can still try it on Steam and ask for a refund, though, just as long as you play it for less than two hours. Moreover, the refund option won’t be available in the game has been in your library for more than 15 days.