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More Details on Rad-Sounding Baldur’s Gate Update

All but Android versions scheduled for September, with a slew of updates.

Enhanced Edition is a project much more ambitious than simply porting to a new platform.

If you, like me, have never played Baldur’s Gate, Beamdog is removing any excuses come September.

The company has announced new details about Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, a revamped and retooled version of the BioWare classic coming to PC, Mac, iPad and Android-based tablets.

All but the Android version is scheduled for September, with the PC and Mac versions costing $19.99, while the iOS edition is $9.99. On iPad, players will have to use in-app purchases for two new characters--one's included. The PC version arrives on September 18, while the other platforms are a more vague "September."

The new characters include Blackguard half-orc Dorn II-Khan, half-elf mage Neera, and Calishite Monk Rasaad yn Bashir. Every version includes Bashir, the others are an additional purchase on iPad.

Beamdog is also including a brand-new dungeon in the Enhanced Edition, The Black Pits. The Black Pits is Underdark-set environment which the studio is billing as having six hours of additional gameplay across 15 levels of “arena-style combat challenges,” and a “a bizarre cast of characters.”

Some of the new improvements sounds pretty great, too, including “over 400” fixes to the original game code, features taken straight from Baldur’s Gate 2 (class kits, new subraces and classes), and the ability to participate in multiplayer with other users on completely different platforms.

Getting games even just a decade old up-and-running on modern hardware is no small feat, and if a way does exist, you often have the hardcore communities of fans to thank. See: System Shock 2. In this case, Beamdog seems to be going the extra mile to treat Baldur’s Gate right. Good on them.

Also, I’ll no longer have any excuses. Good ones, anyway.

The full list of changes are available on the official website.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
Enhanced Edition is a project much more ambitious than simply porting to a new platform.

If you, like me, have never played Baldur’s Gate, Beamdog is removing any excuses come September.

The company has announced new details about Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, a revamped and retooled version of the BioWare classic coming to PC, Mac, iPad and Android-based tablets.

All but the Android version is scheduled for September, with the PC and Mac versions costing $19.99, while the iOS edition is $9.99. On iPad, players will have to use in-app purchases for two new characters--one's included. The PC version arrives on September 18, while the other platforms are a more vague "September."

The new characters include Blackguard half-orc Dorn II-Khan, half-elf mage Neera, and Calishite Monk Rasaad yn Bashir. Every version includes Bashir, the others are an additional purchase on iPad.

Beamdog is also including a brand-new dungeon in the Enhanced Edition, The Black Pits. The Black Pits is Underdark-set environment which the studio is billing as having six hours of additional gameplay across 15 levels of “arena-style combat challenges,” and a “a bizarre cast of characters.”

Some of the new improvements sounds pretty great, too, including “over 400” fixes to the original game code, features taken straight from Baldur’s Gate 2 (class kits, new subraces and classes), and the ability to participate in multiplayer with other users on completely different platforms.

Getting games even just a decade old up-and-running on modern hardware is no small feat, and if a way does exist, you often have the hardcore communities of fans to thank. See: System Shock 2. In this case, Beamdog seems to be going the extra mile to treat Baldur’s Gate right. Good on them.

Also, I’ll no longer have any excuses. Good ones, anyway.

The full list of changes are available on the official website.

Staff
Posted by darksagus

cant wait for this !

Posted by Salarn

Great!

Looking forward to Planescape

Posted by mrpandaman

I always wanted to play Baldur's Gate, awesome to see this coming so soon.

Posted by LiquidSwords

"Hey Baldur's Gate!"-Jeff G.

Posted by Jazzycola

Yay, I can own a 4th version of Baldur's Gate. I have the original 7 disc version which I lost for a year or so. Bought another 3 disc version then found the original 7 disc version in my room. Then figured I'd buy the GoGs one. Man the original manual that I have is like 200 pages long.

Posted by AndrewB

Reeeealy nifty with the new characters, although Baldur's Gate sure has a lot of them. But WIld Mage was so underrepresented in Baldur's Gate 2 and that character in particular interests me. Also sounds like she'll have a romance option... which was totally not something that existed in Baldur's Gate the first. At least... it says "a romantic adventure," which could also just imply that there's intrigue during whatever her side-quest might be.

The other thing that Baldur's Gate has enough of is dungeons, so an arena combat area sounds totally unnecessary.

And nobody has any excuse to not play the game right now. It runs on modern PCs and looks fantastic doing so because the artwork of the Infinity Engine games is amazing, and the resolution of even the original game designed to run at 640x480 scales up just fine.

Posted by Blearious

Well, they said it was coming this summer. Looks like they're keeping their promise, albeit by three days. Glad their putting this great game out for people like me who missed it the first time around.

Posted by JoeyRavn

I literally can't wait for this! :O

Yes. Literally.

Edited by Draxyle

It's certainly about time it gets a release date, they're only barely making it in to the summer window they talked about.

Not sure how I feel about the 20 dollar PC price-tag. It does come with the extra additional content, but the game really doesn't need it, and most of the dated problems of the original can be fixed via the Tutu mod on the 10$ GOG version. The mod isn't perfect though, so it all comes down to how far it goes beyond that mod in fixing it up for me to justify buying it. Functional online doesn't hurt either.

Looking forward to seeing how it turns out either way. I still rank Baldur's Gate 2 and its expansion to be my most favorite games of all time.

Posted by Fattony12000

What were your excuses before now?

Edited by Chemin

While I am stoked about this, I'm also a bit concerned. I hope they don't mess with it too much as far as feeling and gameplay goes. 
 
Well, they already did, to be honest, when they included stuff from BG2, but I suppose it's fair since tutu does the same.

Posted by mason20

Man I've always wanted to play baldur's gate. Now I have to check it it fire sure.

Posted by MrMazz

Guess I'll finally lay Baludrs Gate

Posted by AndrewB

@Draxyle: Tutu also requires Baldur's Gate 2, but even with the added cost you're getting the other half of the game you should already be playing anyway.

Posted by JBG4

Just take my money... I didn't need it anyway.

Posted by slyspider

I bought the D&D anthology pack and havn't finished a single one.... GUESS ILL BUY THIS TOO

i really need to work on self control

Posted by Baal_Sagoth

I do not get the excitement for this at all. If you'd love to play BG just fucking do it. It's reasonably timeless 2D style. It's on Gog.com for a comparable price as far as I can tell. Anyone who didn't give a shit until now probably doesn't need to play it is my guess. On another note - these new characters are actually party NPCs with full high-class dialoge for all the situations that might come up? The sort of individual that can hope to compete with Viconia or Minsc?

I'd love to be proven wrong and see this to be anything more than a cash-in for obsessive fanboys and "collectors" that'll buy it but never even get around to play the game. Also, did anyone still experience a significant amount of bugs as to be excited for "over 400" fixes? Because I sure as hell didn't. Anyway, I'm somewhat interested in how successful this'll be.

Posted by ManiacMaysin

It's not too difficult to get these games running. The GOG versions are preconfigured to run on windows 7. And the mod community is pretty great for these games. There are fixpacks that fix thousands of bugs, a widescreen patch and ui, a mod that ports baldur's gate 1 to the BG2 engine, restored content, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

I will probably still check out these new versions.

Posted by Ravenlight

From the site:

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for Windows will be available as a direct download from Beamdog, with no client install necessary.

I'd rather have it on Steam, or GOG, hell--even Origin actually. I don't trust that whatever fly-by-night hosting service they're using will let me download the installer in five years.

Posted by Dagbiker

Oh, 6 hours of aditional gameplay? In a game with only 100 hours?

I cant wait to get this on sale for 9.99.

Posted by Jimbo

I kinda have a feeling that BG1 isn't going to be all that well received by people who are new to it. I played it for the first time in about a decade last year and there are significant parts of how that game operates that just wouldn't be accepted by a modern audience. It'll be interesting to see how far they go to adapt it to modern expectations.

Posted by bhhawks78

20$ is too much for an old game using most of the original art.

Posted by MrKlorox

Has he played anything? Patrick hasn't played games like Brad hasn't seen movies.

Posted by Nentisys

Why the fuck would they add new characters ? I love this game but fuck, don't fix what isn't broken.

Posted by doobie

@Jimbo said:

I kinda have a feeling that BG1 isn't going to be all that well received by people who are new to it. I played it for the first time in about a decade last year and there are significant parts of how that game operates that just wouldn't be accepted by a modern audience. It'll be interesting to see how far they go to adapt it to modern expectations.

don't under estimate the modern audience jimbo, im sure there are some as clever as you

Posted by Xymox

If they also included Baldur's Gate II like in Baldur's Gate TuTu, I would spontaneously combust. Already own two copies of it (EU & US releases). Multiplayer support through steam though... That would just be sexy.

Posted by Draxyle

@Ravenlight said:

From the site:

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for Windows will be available as a direct download from Beamdog, with no client install necessary.

I'd rather have it on Steam, or GOG, hell--even Origin actually. I don't trust that whatever fly-by-night hosting service they're using will let me download the installer in five years.

That is my concern as well. If it's a DRM-free version then there's no problem, which I don't think they've clarified yet. They would be crazy to force it on an old classic like this.

@Jimbo said:

I kinda have a feeling that BG1 isn't going to be all that well received by people who are new to it. I played it for the first time in about a decade last year and there are significant parts of how that game operates that just wouldn't be accepted by a modern audience. It'll be interesting to see how far they go to adapt it to modern expectations.

I have to somewhat agree, sadly. It's very much a drop you in the world with no direction until you get eaten by gibberlings sort of game. You really have to do a lot of aimless waddling to find what you need to do for everything. No hand-holding of any sort here. It's going to weed off a lot of people, while only a select few will appreciate the kind of game it is.

BG2 is definitely a lot more acceptable for a modern audience and fits a lot closer to what modern Bioware is/was. The main narrative is a lot more clear and direct, as are all of the crazy involved sidequests it has.

Posted by cheesetriangles

This sounds like a definite pass. 20 dollars is double what they are offering is worth. New characters in a game that already has a lot isn't a big selling point and a new dungeon that is just hours of arena combat sounds tedious at best. The story is the only thing BG1 has going for it anyway, BG2 was a much better game. Even when playing with the kits and such from BG2, BG1 is a good story with fairly average gameplay. This team won't be adding much to the story it sounds like since that is already set in stone and it will just be some meaningless side adventure. Also Beamdogs own download service exclusive? What a joke.

Posted by MonkfishEsq

I don't know why everyone is hyping this up. The screenshots look fucking *terrible* compared to the original BG. They just added a blur over everything and called it a day.

1. The source art assets for Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate: Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal are lost.
All the original area art, paperdolls, monsters and character models are lost with the exception of a few 3D models of monsters from Throne of Bhaal. There is nothing anyone can do about it. Therefore, it is not possible for the devs to deliver Baldur's Gate HD, and/or re-render any art at higher resolutions. Significant modifications to sprites, like displaying cloaks and hats, adding new/more armor styles, or removing the mirroring effect from BG2 animations, are also off-limits.
As per Trent Oster, the devs are currently limited to the existing animations. There will be no new animations in BG:EE, so it is no use to ask for them. Recreating character models from scratch and rendering them at high resolution is out of question, because it would take more time and resources than are currently available to the devs. Also, recreating character models alone is not an option, as they would look glaringly better than all monsters that weren't re-rendered; if something got redone, then everything else should get the same treatment for the sake of visual consistency, thus making this an even more demanding (and unfeasible) task.
In light of the above, it doesn't make much sense to request new monsters, as they won't have distinctive animations to go (and I personally believe Baldur's Gate already has enough monsters that share the same animation or a recolored version of the same animation).
Posted by ripelivejam

@JoeyRavn:

Posted by Brodehouse
@Jimbo

I kinda have a feeling that BG1 isn't going to be all that well received by people who are new to it. I played it for the first time in about a decade last year and there are significant parts of how that game operates that just wouldn't be accepted by a modern audience. It'll be interesting to see how far they go to adapt it to modern expectations.

Yeah dude, anyone who hasn't had massive head trauma is going to take one look at 2nd Edition D&D; and wonder what the fuck is wrong with nerds. Add to that some very specific BG stuff like the pathfinding and micromanagement and it might go over like a lead balloon.

My tolerance for managing spell charges and trying to herd cats into proper fighting formation is nowadays very low. I think I might just set it on easy and avoid ripping my hair out.
Online
Posted by jasondesante

the humble music bundle is AWESOME

Posted by DarkS2K

I already own this game on the original discs. I dont think a few 'enhancements' will make me shell out $20 tbh. If it was on steam I would consider it more for the convenience and to complete my collection.

I dont understand, from what I can see a lot of people really want this on steam or gog. Why not give them the option? Doesn't mean it has to be a Steam/GoG exclusive.

Posted by Grimhild

@Brodehouse said:

Yeah dude, anyone who hasn't had massive head trauma is going to take one look at 2nd Edition D&D; and wonder what the fuck is wrong with nerds.

*gaaaaaaaaasp!* Infidel deceiver...

/THAC0

Seriously though, I'm looking forward to playing through this all over again.

Posted by buckybit
¿qué?

I stopped reading after "If you, like me, have never played Baldur’s Gate" ...

... I need a minute. I'm going to be ok soon. Glass of water. Thank you.

Posted by NicksCorner

Ohh, this is gonna be great. I remember playing the first one back when I could hardly understand English.

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

I tried to...God knows I did. But the size and open ended nature of the world is just too intimidating. But I'll try yet again to get into Baldur's Gate II. That came out wrong, didn't it?

Posted by Irvandus

Have Baldur, will gate.

Posted by AndrewB

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

I tried to...God knows I did. But the size and open ended nature of the world is just too intimidating. But I'll try yet again to get into Baldur's Gate II. That came out wrong, didn't it?

We've all heard the Tales of the Sword Coast. Everyone's tried her Baldur's Gate.

Posted by Video_Game_King

*hopes somebody will buy me a copy*

Posted by AndrewB

@Video_Game_King said:

*hopes somebody will buy me a copy*

What if I buy you a copy of the version on GOG? Or for that matter, give you the CDs I have which are now redundant?

Or just listen to this on loop for 24 hours.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@AndrewB said:

What if I buy you a copy of the version on GOG?

I'm down with the clown that.

Posted by Saganomics

@cheesetriangles said:

...and a new dungeon that is just hours of arena combat sounds tedious at best.

Yeah, that sounds completely underwhelming. Think I'm just gonna stick with BG Tutu.

Posted by thebatmobile

@MrKlorox said:

Has he played anything? Patrick hasn't played games like Brad hasn't seen movies.

I was thinking the exact same thing. Which is why it's hard to trust Patricks opinions/facts on video games. Kind of strange, him being a video game journalist and all.

Posted by Stackboy

Am I foolish to think this will pop up on Steam?

Posted by TorMasturba

I'm going to have to wait for the Android version and I don't care either, it'll be worth the wait to play this classic again! CAN NOT WAIT!

Posted by MarkWahlberg

@AndrewB said:

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

I tried to...God knows I did. But the size and open ended nature of the world is just too intimidating. But I'll try yet again to get into Baldur's Gate II. That came out wrong, didn't it?

We've all heard the Tales of the Sword Coast. Everyone's tried her Baldur's Gate.

On a less sexual note, I tried Neverwinter Nights 2 recently and got kind of bored with it pretty quickly, both from a gameplay and a story perspective - compared to Dragon Age it just doesn't hold up at all. What are the chances of having a similar reaction to Baldur's Gate?

Posted by GalacticPunt

I went to that website and clicked on the iPad version. That is $10, but the fine print says the new quest/new character/new PORTRAITS will all be separate micro-transactions. Baldur's Gate brought to the 21st century, folks!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Ok. So basically they're adding what modders have accomplished over the past 15 years and then charging double. For that money, you could get both Baldur's Gate games and install mods that do the same thing. New characters are all well and good, but if they're more fleshed out than the relatively shallow characters of the first BG it's going to stick out like a sore thumb.

Either way, I give Patrick like 90 minutes. Unlike similar Bioware titles, Baldur's Gate kinda throws you to the (literal) wolves for the first few hours, before your party gets to a level where they won't get one-shotted by the various enemies. It's also a lot more exploration-focused (i.e. wandering around wilderness areas) and basically pursuing main-quest goals immediately is to your own detriment. BGII is a lot more accessible in that regard, but of course it still uses 2nd ed AD&D, which is needlessly obtuse with its mechanics and also starts you at a much higher level.

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