Since its first announcement during the last E3 2019 fair, and with the only arrival of a small teaser four months ago, fans of the role have been waiting to know more about Baldur’s Gate 3, and the return of this mythical saga. A wait that has certainly been worth it. And it’s just yesterday that D&D Live 2020 began, a three-day event in which the company will be showing some of the news and features of the development of this game.
So, on this occasion we were able to see and chat live with the founder of Larian Studios and director of the game, Swen Vincke, who with a still testing version (in which we could even see some bugs) showed us up to an hour and a half of gameplay about the gameplay of Baldur’s Gate 3, with various combat scenarios, some of the interaction options and background of the characters, and a little immersion in the game’s own history.
Starting with the combat dynamics, we have been able to see all the ways in which players will be able to interact with the game, the environment, the characters and the enemies, many of which come from the original Dungeons & Dragons, using it as the basis of their fifth editing, reinterpreting some of the mechanics to do it more agile and current.
The Initiative system has been tweaked a bit since we last saw it in February, and it’s now a hybrid of two Dungeons and Dragons systems: traditional and secondary initiative. Originally, Baldur’s Gate 3 planned to use a parallel initiative, in which an entire party, yours or the enemy’s, takes their turn, and then the action switches to the other party. This allows for more complex combinations of attacks, as several friendly characters can attack together.
However, the new system opts for a traditional order of initiative based on individuals. An example of this may be an order from two of your party members followed by three enemies and then another party member.
But the elements of the parallel initiative remain. If you have two or more members of your group grouped in the initiative order, you can activate them in the order you want. You can even jump back and forth between them if they have any remaining actions left. This allows you to combine the abilities of the characters, but also maintains a fast speed from one side to the other.
In the same way, we can also find other actions like reaction movements, which unlike the board game, will be represented by a condition in each character. A condition that will work in parallel to these initiatives, since even when we are out of turn, our character will automatically make some decisions to take advantage of some opportunities, such as reaching the back of an enemy when he tries to flee.
Another form of passive skill checking is Research, which is automatically launched again when exploring the world. An example was seen on the broadcast when a member of the group, Gale, was exploring a dungeon and discovered a crack in the wall thanks to a successful investigation verification.
Which in turn leads us the introduction of destructible elements of the environment, which will not only be limited to exploration, but will also allow us to use some structures such as bridges or buildings, with an impressive reality boost. And it is that a sword will not break the bricks, but a hammer or an explosion of fire or gunpowder does.
In fact, one of the great virtues that we can appreciate in Baldur’s Gate 3 is the enormous freedom of action and improvisation. As in the board game, there really will be no “correct” decisions, although there will be a huge number of choices that may affect our character, companions, and the course of history itself to a greater or lesser extent.
For example, if we abuse the use of the Mind Flayer tadpole inserted into some of the characters’ heads, which will normally provide us with the easiest option and exit for all situations, this will cause the wearers to fall into an increasingly dark spiral. .
A freedom that Swen Vincke made evident by basing all the choices of his game on the votes of the spectators, showing us a huge amount of options and additional content in and out of the main story.
Although we certainly cannot avoid making some comparisons with the Divinity: Original Sin saga, from the same study, and on whose graphic engine Divinity 4.0 Engine has been worked for this game. In this regard, we can also see a notable change in the user interface, with a redesigned action bar to show a clearer division between the natural actions of the characters and their class abilities.
Baldur’s Gate 3 maintains its release date for 2020
As Swen Vincke stated: «This is basically the game that will go into early access., but certainly not the game that will come out «. And is that the developer has taken the opportunity to confirm that, despite the current crisis of COVID-19, the first dates advanced for the Early Access version of the game are maintained, with a first release on PC via Steam, sometime from August.
Thus, the version for Google Stadia would remain confirmed, although for the moment without a release date, possibly relegated to the final version of the game.
Will we see Baldur’s Gate 3 on consoles?
At the moment the return of the saga is only confirmed for PC and Google Stadia and seems totally ruled out in the current consoles. “I don’t think the current generation is capable of making it work,” acknowledged Larian Studios a few weeks ago. However, this would not rule out its possible compatibility with PS5 and Xbox Series X, and more seeing the latest and very positive statements that these consoles are accumulating by other developers.