Larian is teasing a new game. It's Baldur's Gate III.

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#1 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15756 posts) -

As if Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines 2 wasn't enough of a RPG announcement for this year, the front page of Larian's official site is currently displaying a big fat teaser with the number 3 on it. While this initially spurred speculation towards it being Original Sin 3 (or just plain Divinity 3) some digging into the metadata by enterprising souls revealed... Baldur's Gate.

I guess this has been rumored for a while, and it makes sense given that the upcoming big D&D adventure is partially set in Baldur's Gate but it's still one of the more "HOLY SHIT WHAT" moments for me in recent memory. If there's a studio I would trust to do right by Baldur's Gate of all series, it'd be Larian at this point. This also makes sense when you consider that Divinity: Fallen Heroes, the XCOM-ish spinoff announced a few weeks ago, was outsourced to Logic Artists, the team behind Expeditions: Viking.

I'm still kind of floored over here, but it does leave me with a lot of questions: How are they going to integrate the ruleset? Is it going to be turn-based or real-time with pause? Will we finally have another good D&D video game after Neverwinter Nights 2? I'm interested in finding out.

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#2 Posted by TheRealTurk (599 posts) -

I'm trying to temper my expectations between someone who really (and still, after the remasters) enjoys the original Baldur's Gate's, and now knowing who is making it.

I'm just not as hot on Larian and Original Sin as a lot of other people, despite generally being a really massive RPG guy. The games had their charms, but I ultimately bounced off them a lot harder than I was expecting. The titchy side stuff and inventory management really detracted from the experience for me, and while I liked the combat systems in theory, I felt like the actual implementation made battles a tedious slog more often than not. Maybe they'll do better with a more defined rule set?

I think I'd prefer it if Obsidian were taking the lead as the Pillars of Eternity games were generally excellent and a lot closer to the old Baldur's Gate games than Original Sin (People keep saying they are close, but they kinda-really-aren't when you get down to it). I feel sort of strange saying that, since Neverwinter Nights 2 was an awful, unplayable, buggy mess, but Obsidian has always had really good writing and PoE showed what happens when they focus more on polish.

So I guess I'm cautiously optimistic.

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#3 Posted by TheHT (15890 posts) -

Oh god, this is gonna make me feel compelled to go and play all those old games.

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#4 Edited by BrunoTheThird (854 posts) -

@therealturk: As much as I like OS 1 + 2, I have to agree with you to a point. For me, Pillars is the more captivating and enjoyable modern take on the genre, and my knee-jerk reaction if Obsidian had teased this would be more hopeful.

However, you know what... Why not? Let's see what these guys can do with it.

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#5 Posted by Efesell (4635 posts) -

Pillars of Eternity was the revival and extension of Baldur's Gate that I had wanted for many years so the brand isn't hyping me up quite as much as it might just a few years ago.

But whether or not they make a good facsimile of Baldur's Gate isn't as important. I think Larian is poised to be able to actually make the first good modern ruleset D&D game in ages and that's exciting whatever they call it.

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#6 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15756 posts) -

@therealturk: I've said that Original Sin 2 is the single best game to come out of the recent CRPG renaissance. It makes the single best case for this kind of crunchy, involved RPG without being mired in nostalgia, and the leap in basic writing quality from the first game to the second was actually sort of incredible. As far as RPG studios being at the top of their game in this very moment, Larian would be the first one I'd mention.

That said, my heart will always be closer to stuff like Pillars of Eternity or even Pathfinder: Kingmaker, so I absolutely know where you're coming from. It sort of broke my heart to hear that Pillars II and Tyranny underperformed, and I'm always a little sad to hear people say they can't get into RtwP combat (which feels like the actual onus for Pillars II getting that turn-based mode.) I think I'm more surprised that it isn't Beamdog who's doing it, given how Siege of Dragonspear felt like a giant audition tape to make BG3. Apparently they were working on something Planescape related that got canned, which sounds like a bummer.

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#7 Posted by Efesell (4635 posts) -

I respect Beamdog for their efforts in polishing things up and making those games available for newer systems but I was never impressed by any of their attempts to inject new content so maybe I'm good with them not being the choice to actually inherit.

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#8 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15756 posts) -
@efesell said:

I respect Beamdog for their efforts in polishing things up and making those games available for newer systems but I was never impressed by any of their attempts to inject new content so maybe I'm good with them not being the choice to actually inherit.

I thought the original content they threw in BG 1 was sort of terrible and stuck out like a sore thumb. For a game that very much leans into a very swashbuckling, almost intentionally generic feel, all of the C-tier Bioware Companion dingbats they added feel so out of place. Haven't gotten around to the enhanced edition of BG 2, but I sure as hell don't care about the continuing storyline of "The whiny wild mage girl" or "That monk who's voiced by Male Shepard"

Despite that, I didn't hate what I played of Siege of Dragonspear, even if the whole thing feels like fan-fiction or a really contrived reunion special. It's fanservice-y as hell, but I kinda love that they put the effort in to do stuff like find a lot of the original voice actors (even if, unsurprisingly, a lot of them sound 15 years older.) Really, it just made me want them to make their own thing, so they weren't shackled to an ancient engine and an even more ancient ruleset. Definitely prefer Larian doing BG 3 though.

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#9 Posted by frytup (1367 posts) -

Huh. Not much of a fan of Larian's writing, but I guess I'm glad someone is doing it.

The controversial decision will be turn-based based or real time w/pause? Given Larian's recent history, you'd assume the former.

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#10 Posted by Hayt (1698 posts) -

That's a pretty interesting fit seeing as Baldur's Gate was famously a RTwP game and Larian are very much into their combo oriented turn based stuff. In a world where we have Pillars of Eternity I wonder how much Baldur's Gate this game even is?

I wonder if it will use modern D&D rules. Hell will it even be set in Faerun? What year?

I'm all for more CRPGs though. Flood the world with CRPGs

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#11 Posted by Efesell (4635 posts) -

I like real time with pause just fine and there's a history there with the brand sure but..

It would be a shame to not have Larian play to its recent strengths and would also be nice to have a D&D game that plays like actual D&D for once.

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#12 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8958 posts) -

That's a perfect pairing of studio and license. Hope they do it justice.

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#13 Edited by TheChris (550 posts) -

@arbitrarywater: Mark Meer, male Shepard, has been doing voice acting for the original Baldur’s Gate 2, so him being in the remasters isn’t all that out of place.

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#14 Edited by TheChris (550 posts) -

As for having Obsidian do it instead. Well, I feel without Avellone it is hard for me to be excited about that prospect, except if they got Josh Sawyer to work on it, I kno he worked on Pillars. Didn’t like the first Pillars but I’ve heard the sequel is very good so I might try to pick that one up in the future. And Original Sin 2 is a phenomenal RPG so Larian doing this has me excited alone.

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#15 Posted by Relkin (1222 posts) -

The story of the Bhaalspawn (the player character) is pretty firmly finished by the end of the BG2 expansion, so...

Regardless of which developer is creating it, what the hell would a new Baldur's Gate even be about?

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#16 Posted by creutzfeldt (95 posts) -

There's practically no other studio I'd trust with the D&D license than Larian. Obsidian is a first party studio now, and from reading up on the reasons Avellone left - maybe not under the greatest leadership. Larian (and @fiddlecub - among others) really understands open storytelling.

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#17 Posted by Gazoinks (113 posts) -

Boy oh boy. Larian are awesome and are one of the few studios who feel like they're putting out crunchy RPGs that actually push the genre forward and aren't appeals to nostalgia, so this has the potential to be awesome. I don't love Real Time With Pause Combat, but it'd be weird if this was turn-based even if I'd prefer it. I hope it uses D&D's 5e ruleset. It's really solid and a lot less fiddly and weird than the AD&D days.

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#18 Edited by Junkerman (538 posts) -

I'm curious on why they're keeping the nomenclature of Baldur's Gate 3 at all - 1 and 2 follow a pretty complete story of the Bhaalspawn exploring the aftermath of a very cataclysmic and very specific event in Forgotten Realms Canon. A third game being about something completely different just seems weird... call it Baldur's Gate: The Something Else or w/e.

Maybe I'm just pedantic about naming and bristle at marketing though I recognize its value for a company trying to pitch a product and generate hype.

While I 100% love Larion's body of work they've essentially been riffing on the same variation of evolving gameplay since day 1 and its a bit of a divergent evolution to Baldur's Gate's style of W-CRPG imo.

However the ridiculous and incredibly deep forgotten realms lore is the only fantasy fiction I feel like consuming in video game format and I'm 100% ready for more. Bring on some mind flayers!

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#19 Posted by fisk0 (6967 posts) -

I probably would've expected Obisidan rather than Larian to make another one of these. Obsidian's games have explicitly been evoking the Infinity engine games, and Baldur's Gate in particular, while Divinity: Original Sin have been going more for that Arcanum and Lionhearts (and Fallout 1 and 2) style turn-based GURPS-ish RPG with a hint of Ultima. I mean, Baldur's Gate, Ultima and Arcanum aren't super far apart, but they're still pretty distinctive styles of isometric CRPGs. I always preferred the latter two, but I know that general consensus favors Baldur's Gate ... and I'm not quite sure Larian will nail what Baldur's Gate fans are after given what they've focused on in Original Sin.

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#20 Posted by newhaap (512 posts) -

@fisk0: Lionhearts, wow I forgot about that game, was it actually ever released?

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#21 Posted by fisk0 (6967 posts) -

@newhaap said:

@fisk0: Lionhearts, wow I forgot about that game, was it actually ever released?

It was released (available on GOG too), but kinda broken and never patched. There are fan mods to make it more playable, but it hasn't gotten quite as much love as Arcanum. I think it's the closest match to Original Sin in what they attempted to do though, even had some of that character interaction where you provide both sides of the dialogue as I recall.

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#22 Posted by TheRealTurk (599 posts) -

@relkin said:

The story of the Bhaalspawn (the player character) is pretty firmly finished by the end of the BG2 expansion, so...

Regardless of which developer is creating it, what the hell would a new Baldur's Gate even be about?

The trailer has some sort of giant Mindflayer invasion. Some people might find that cool, but personally I'm a bit burned out on Cthulu-themed games.

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#23 Posted by Relkin (1222 posts) -

@therealturk: Yeah, I just saw it. Guess the BG name is just for name recognition, which is disappointing. I guess it still could be linked to the story of the Bhaalspawn in some fashion, but probably not?

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#24 Posted by TheHT (15890 posts) -
Loading Video...

"Developed by the creators of Divinity: Original Sin 2, Baldur's Gate III is the official next adventure in the venerable Baldur's Gate series. The teaser trailer shows a return of a malevolent presence to Baldur's Gate, intent on devouring it from the inside out, corrupting everything that remains in the Forgotten Realms. The fate of the Forgotten Realms lies in your hands."

I dunno what's goin on in this teaser or in this world or in this series (besides there being a guy with a hamster?), but this is a fuckin cool ass visual.

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#25 Posted by Onemanarmyy (4597 posts) -

Wish them all the best. Obsidian would be the only other reasonable choice

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#26 Edited by FrodoBaggins (2120 posts) -

Oh god please let this come to PS4.

Man between this news and the new Boulders Gate DnD 5e campaign book I'm a happy man.

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#27 Posted by Hayt (1698 posts) -

@theht: The squid dudes are kinda like psychic brain eating vampires who used to have a galaxy spanning empire but now hide in the Underdark which is basically the bottom floor of a roguelike dungeon. They have ships that fly between planes which also look like giant squids and you can see one in the sky in this trailer. Seems like they're invading Baldur's Gate. Needless to say those are some high stakes.

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#28 Posted by MStankow (73 posts) -

I hope this game has 5e races. 3rd edition was ugly.

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#29 Posted by Captain_Insano (3541 posts) -

@hayt said:

@theht: The squid dudes are kinda like psychic brain eating vampires who used to have a galaxy spanning empire but now hide in the Underdark which is basically the bottom floor of a roguelike dungeon. They have ships that fly between planes which also look like giant squids and you can see one in the sky in this trailer. Seems like they're invading Baldur's Gate. Needless to say those are some high stakes.

Despite having played Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and listening to Critical Role, that is my only knowledge of DnD. However, as a boardgamer I have heard of the "Tyrants of the Underdark" which I presume are these squid fellows?

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#30 Posted by Relkin (1222 posts) -
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#31 Edited by Seikenfreak (1545 posts) -

Mindflayers? Don't know D&D stuff but in broad scope of fantasy enemy types, that's what it looks like to me.

Also, awesome. That transformation actually made me wince a bit, which is hard to do anymore.

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#32 Posted by Efesell (4635 posts) -

@hayt said:

@theht: The squid dudes are kinda like psychic brain eating vampires who used to have a galaxy spanning empire but now hide in the Underdark which is basically the bottom floor of a roguelike dungeon. They have ships that fly between planes which also look like giant squids and you can see one in the sky in this trailer. Seems like they're invading Baldur's Gate. Needless to say those are some high stakes.

Despite having played Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and listening to Critical Role, that is my only knowledge of DnD. However, as a boardgamer I have heard of the "Tyrants of the Underdark" which I presume are these squid fellows?

That's probably referring to the Drow but it works either way.

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#33 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15756 posts) -

Very excited about Mind Flayers as the primary villains, even if they're being really cagey with details (not even saying if they're doing turn-based or real-time with pause combat.) In a couple of the interviews, Swen from Larian teased some Spelljammer stuff, which would be wild as hell to see in a modern Dungeons and Dragons game. Basically, imagine D&D literally transposed into outer space, with a decent helping of Star Trek-type stuff thrown in for good measure.

@efesell said:
@captain_insano said:
@hayt said:

@theht: The squid dudes are kinda like psychic brain eating vampires who used to have a galaxy spanning empire but now hide in the Underdark which is basically the bottom floor of a roguelike dungeon. They have ships that fly between planes which also look like giant squids and you can see one in the sky in this trailer. Seems like they're invading Baldur's Gate. Needless to say those are some high stakes.

Despite having played Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and listening to Critical Role, that is my only knowledge of DnD. However, as a boardgamer I have heard of the "Tyrants of the Underdark" which I presume are these squid fellows?

That's probably referring to the Drow but it works either way.

There are definitely a couple different races who that moniker could apply to. Beholders, Drow, Mind Flayers, Aboleth, Duergar, etc. Point is, the Underdark is a bad place to be filled with bad things that want to kill, eat, and/or enslave you.

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#34 Posted by TheHT (15890 posts) -

@hayt: welp. that sounds rad. i'm in.

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#35 Edited by BladeOfCreation (1437 posts) -

Very excited to play this like I play every other CRPG:

Buy game (back game on Kickstarter in some cases)

Play religiously for a month

Stop playing

Go back to game two years later

Might as well start a new character

Play obsessively for a month

Forget about game for a while

Come back, saying I'll just do the main story

Obsessively complete every little task and quest and finish the game

Kick myself for not finishing earlier

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#36 Edited by Tennmuerti (9465 posts) -

Hopefully Larian can overcome their constant jovial and tongue outside the cheek style of writing for this one game, considering it's what they have been used to writing around in all their previous output for the good last decade. The tone of BG games is very much different to what Larian are used to doing in the past. And it's one of the two main things that have consistently brought down their games for me, as it robs all the more serious events and story beats they then try to do of their bite. When the whole rest of the game is just playing with its own britches strings 24/7, it's hard to build any gravitas.

And also hopefully the significant structure and breadth of variety in the nitty gritty of D&D rule set will also substitute one of their other core failings in my eyes, where they make a good base for a system but it tapers out quickly and becomes very bland in the end with not a lot of skill variety as OS1&2 progressed. If they have the D&D well to draw upon it might give them the much needed creative crutch in their abilities and systems tail end.

Obsidian was obviously the much better suited company, considering Pillars 1&2 are basically the spiritual successors to BG in all but setting. But well Microsoft ^.^and business dictated otherwise I guess.

And my second choice would be Owlcat, considering Pathfinder:Kingmaker is basically D&D3.5, but well, they're with Pathfinder atm.

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#37 Posted by Efesell (4635 posts) -

@tennmuerti: Honestly in regards to tone I would say that BG 1 to 2 and Original Sin 1 to 2 map pretty fuckin' identically. Baldur's Gate 1 is a sort of serious bare bones story and then you run into a man in the woods named Bub Snikt who rattles off all of the Wolverine quotes you can fit into a text box. Baldur's Gate 2 is the part of a D&D campaign where everyone realizes they like the characters they made more than they thought and it all has to turn serious.

The tone of Original Sin 1 was similarly hard to really take seriously because it wasn't interested in doing that either but that's definitely hammered out of the second game quite a bit.

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#38 Posted by MerxWorx01 (894 posts) -

@bladeofcreation: I don't back games but this seems to be how I play them as well. Maybe one day I'll actually start Torment in earnest but that's after I actually see the end of POE2.

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