Belgian video game company Larian Studios has finally showcased the first footage of the all-new third instalment in the Baldur’s Gate franchise at PAX East 2020, and so far it has proven divisive. Based on the fifth edition ruleset of Dungeons & Dragons, it looks very reminiscent of Larian’s excellent Divinity: Original Sin, but it’s with the combat system where some fans have voiced their concerns.
Larian’s presentation of the game, which is still in a very early alpha build and nowhere near ready for release, operates with a turn-based combat system. This shouldn’t surprise, as the tabletop Dungeons & Dragons game has always been turn-based. The game is following the ruleset closely. The issue for some fans arises from the fact that the original Baldur’s Gate duology made use of a real-time system with the option to pause the action and issue commands, and Baldur’s Gate III is moving away from this.
The gameplay footage can be seen in this video, presented by Larian CEO Swen Vincke.
Baldur’s Gate was developed by BioWare and released for Microsoft Windows to critical acclaim in 1998. It was followed two years later by Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Baldur’s Gate II is widely regarded to be one of the finest role-playing games ever made, with the title remaining a firm favourite for fans around the world. Both titles were remastered by Beamdog and released for a variety of platforms over the last few years, although these Enhanced Editions have been met with a lukewarm reception from long time fans.
Baldur’s Gate III was originally announced in the early 2000s and was to be developed by Black Isle Studios, but the closure of Interplay caused all titles in development by Black Isle to be cancelled. Only time will tell if Larian does the series justice, but based on the reception so far it may have a hill to climb to win over some returning fans.