Dark Light

Today, Larian Studios revealed the eagerly awaited Early Access Release date for its upcoming RPG Baldur’s Gate 3. During the Panel From Hell livestream, the studio announced that it’s aiming for September 30th, 2020 as the date PC and Stadia players are able to jump into the first Act of Early Access.

Speakers on The Panel From Hell (Swen Vincke, Chris Perkins, Adam Smith, and Geoff Keighley) went into some depth about Baldur’s Gate 3’s Early Access content, and the journey Larian is soon embarking on with its players.

You can watch the entire stream below:


The final part of the game’s now roughly six-minute CGI introduction revealed that players begin their journey in Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells. Avernus featured heavily in the recently released D&D adventure module Descent Into Avernus, which saw the entire city of Elturel dragged into hell. The city was saved, but the aftermath of that cataclysmic event casts a shadow over the events of Baldur’s Gate 3. But players won’t just see the aftermath – captive aboard a nautiloid, they take part in a daring escape as the ship jumps between planes of existence, and is caught up in the fury of the eternal, apocalyptic Blood War that rages across the hellscape. Avernus will be featured throughout the game, alongside many other locations (to be announced later).

A highlight of the Panel From Hell was the “lobotomy scene”, a new gameplay snippet shown during the stream. As players attempt to seize control of the nautiloid, they find a corpse with its brain exposed. The brain itself seems to address the player, asking them to free it. At this point, the player can decide to get their hands dirty, extracting the brain from the skull, which leads to the discovery that it’s not a brain at all, but rather a trapped Intellect Devourer. These creatures feed on the intelligence of sentient beings, taking over their victims’ bodies on behalf of their Mind Flayer masters.

Swen Vincke, Creative Director of Larian Studios, also showcased the scope of Early Access, giving details on how the size of Baldur’s Gate 3’s first act compares to Larian’s previous release, Divinity: Original Sin 2, when it launched in Early Access. Plus here are some extra details revealed during the livestream.

  • The heroes will start the game on Avernus, the first layer of hell amidst the never-ending blood war
  • Most of the Early Access content is in place and the game is on the audio-recording stage
  • The Early Access version will feature 20+ hours of content
  • Compared to Original Sin 2 EA, BG3 EA will be much, much bigger but as expected, not everything will be available on a single playthrough
  • Number of combat situations: 22 in DOS2 EA vs 80 in BG3 EA
  • Number of dialogue lines in English: 17.600 in DOS2 EA vs. 45.980 in BG3 EA
  • Number of characters: 142 in DOS2 EA vs. 596 in BG3 EA
  • Number of spells/actions: 69 in DOS2 EA vs. 146 in BG3 EA
  • There will be a big focus on evil alignment choices
  • Players will be able to reach up to level 4 in the EA version
  • Multiplayer functionality will be there from launch with the exception of splitscreen
  • The studio plans to make the game playable on a wide variety of low-end PCs
  • You can recruit an owlbear cub to your camp
  • The EA won’t ship with every class but the basics like Warrior, Rogue, Ranger, etc will be there
  • Romance options will be present

Classes and races will be announced closer to the date of September 30th, but Larian today confirmed that Baldur’s Gate 3’s Early Access includes (as well as player customized characters), five Origin Characters – with more to be announced throughout Early Access.

  • The five launch characters are: Astarion (Elf/Vampire Rogue), Gale (Human Wizard), Lae’zel (Githyanki Warrior), Shadowheart (Half-Elf Cleric) and Wyll (Human Warlock).

Through gameplay footage, and audience interaction, Vincke demonstrated how the game allows players to discover different permutations in encounters and dialogues, depending on the characters they play, and the choices they make. This depth of reactivity means that even in Early Access, multiple playthroughs will lead to different outcomes and developments not only for the players and their companions, but for the many NPCs they meet, and the world around them. In very simple terms, playing “good” and playing “evil” will offer wholly different experiences with many twists and turns (all performance captured) that other players may never see, depending on their choices.

While the studio is working towards the September 30th release date, there is still plenty that needs to be done before players can dive into the world of Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access on PC and Google Stadia.

For more information about the Early Access philosophy covered today in Larian’s stream, we recommend keeping up to date with the community updates. Today’s will cover heat-maps, and the topic of how player input is parsed into functional data to improve the game. Heavy stuff!

Baldur’s Gate is the seminal Infinity Engine CRPG that launched Bioware into the limelight over two decades ago. Based on the 2nd edition Dungeons & Dragons, Baldur’s Gate is remembered for breathing new life into the CRPG scene of the mid-’90s and influencing generations to come.

Since the conclusion of the Bhaalspawn trilogy, plans were made by now-defunct Black Isle studios to make Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound, but that fell through when Black Isle shut its doors. There were talks of Beamdog, who remastered Infinity Engine RPGs wanting to work on a sequel after releasing an expansion titled ‘Siege of Dragonspear’ for the original Baldur’s Gate. But nothing came of it either.

Larian’s Baldur’s Gate III is said to be the company’s most biggest and ambitious undertaking to date and we’re certain that the team who made the highly acclaimed Divinity series (especially Original Sin 2) has what it takes to do justice to the legendary series.


1 comment
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts