‘Baldur’s Gate 3’: early access, classes and everything you need to know

After 20 long years, it's time to head back to the Forgotten Realms

Baldur’s Gate 3 has brought the beloved RPG series back with a bang, delivering all the series’ Dungeons And Dragons goodness in a modern format for fans to enjoy. Fresh off the success of Divinity: Original Sin 2, Larian Studios has stepped up to tackle the enormous challenge of creating an RPG that adequately captures the essence of D&D 5E.

The game was announced back in 2019 along with a cinematic trailer that gave fans the first look at the modernised RPG. Since then, Larian Studios has steadily updated the game with huge new areas, fan-favourite classes, and plenty more.

Here’s everything you need to know about Baldur’s Gate 3:

What is Baldur’s Gate 3?

Advertisement

Baldur’s Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3. Credit: Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the third instalment of the RPG series Baldur’s Gate, which is based on the Forgotten Realms campaign setting from the pen-and-paper game Dungeons & Dragons. The series, which launched in 1998 for the PC, was followed in 2000 by Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows Of Amn.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is based on the fifth edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rulebook, although modifications have been made while adapting it for a video game.

As to what the game itself involves, the Baldur’s Gate 3 Steam page shares the following:

“Choose from a wide selection of D&D races and classes, or play as an origin character with a hand-crafted background. Adventure, loot, battle and romance as you journey through the Forgotten Realms and beyond. Play alone, and select your companions carefully, or as a party of up to four in multiplayer.”

Release date, platforms and price

Baldur's Gates 3
Baldur’s Gate 3. Credit: Larian Studios

Advertisement

Right now, Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t have an official release date for the full game, however you are currently able to purchase the Early Access version of the game which first launched in October 2020.

You can play the Early Access version on PC via Steam, Google Stadia and Macbook at the cost of £49.99.

In terms of when Baldur’s Gate will officially release, there’s no particular date in stone just yet – however studio founder Swen Vincke has confirmed that Baldur’s Gate 3 won’t be leaving Early Access in 2022.

Baldur’s Gate 3 trailers

In 2019, Larian released the first cinematic trailer for Baldur’s Gate 3 which gave players the first look at the characters, villains, and locations.

The following year, an official early access trailer was released which showcased the first in-game footage, revealing its cast of main characters, a bunch of monsters as well as being voiced by the game’s own narrator.

Plenty more gameplay videos were shared by Larian when the game was in alpha as well just before Early Access launched. The footage showcased one of the first environments the player gets to experience and it was clear that many changes were made since the last time gameplay was shown off.

 

What is the plot of Baldur’s Gate 3?

Baldur’s Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3. Credit: Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3 takes place almost 100 years after the events of Baldur’s Gate II and opens with the player-made protagonist searching for a powerful cleric to heal them after being infected by a “mind flayer”.

Meanwhile, the mind flayers seem to be the game’s main antagonist. Also known as the Illithids, they have “rediscovered the secret of nautiloids” according to Vincke, and are using it to leave the Underdark and “restore their empire”.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is mostly separate from the original games’ Bhaalspawn Saga, where children of Bhaal, the Lord Of Murder, roamed the land. “It’s in living memory for some people [in the game], but most of the people who lived through it, who were very specifically attached to Baldur’s Gate and the Bhaalspawn Saga, most of them are dead,” Adam Smith, a writer on Baldur’s Gate 3, told PC World.

Baldur's Gate 3 patch 7 patch notes
Baldur’s Gate 3. Credit: Larian Studios.

However, the RPG still includes threads from the original games. “Everything in Baldur’s Gate I and II becomes more and more present as the story goes on,” Smith added. “It’s not gone away. It’s not forgotten and we’re not doing a story which doesn’t account for that.”

“You miss a lot in D&D – if the dice are bad, you miss. That doesn’t work well in a video game,” Vincke previously told PC Gamer.

“If I do that, you’re going to review it and say it’s shit. Our approach has been implementing it as pure as we can, and then just seeing what works and what doesn’t. Stuff that doesn’t work, we start adapting until it does.”

Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay and cooperative mode

Baldur's Gates 3
Baldur’s Gate 3. Credit: Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3‘s gameplay is generally a turn-based role-playing game, meaning you and a group of characters you can have join your party will take turns dealing damage to enemies. However, outside of battle you and your party are able to walk and around the environments freely if you turn off turn-based mode so you can carry on exploring.

You may find yourself spending a lot of time in certain areas, including the game’s first location so it’s especially important to explore as much as you can before moving on.

Players can choose to play the game solo and create one or more characters or play with friends in a formed party to experience the game’s story together. This is Larian’s first turn-based game in the Baldur’s Gate series, similar to games like Divinity: Original Sin 2.

Though a party of NPCs is available to play with, players can also team up with friends via online play. The same single-player campaign is available to play with up to 4 players.

Baldur’s Gate 3 classes and races

Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3. Credit: Larian Studios

In Baldur’s Gate 3, you’re able to customize your character in some very unique ways, including allowing you to choose what race and class you would like to play for the rest of the game.

For starters, the Early Access version originally launched with six classes including Wizard, Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue and Warlock.

Since then, Larian has added several more classes. This includes the shapeshifting Druid class, Sorcerer, and Barbarian.

Larian also intends to make all classes from the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition ruleset available when the game is fully released. The remaining classes to be added include the Bard, Monk, and Paladin.

Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3. Credit: Larian Studios.

Additionally, characters can also be multi-classed in Baldur’s Gate 3, according to Vincke during a Reddit AMA session. “Multiclassing rule will follow closely the [fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons],” Vincke said.

“On level[ling] up, characters will be able to continue with their current class or choose a new class, provided they meet the requirements.” However, the feature was not seen during the gameplay demo and it is currently unknown if it’ll be available during the early access or at launch.

As for races, players can also choose between nine as well as several sub-races in Early Access. Those main races include humans, elves, dwarfs and tieflings. Others in the sub-race section include drow, githyanki, as well as half-elves, half-drows and the halfling. More races are expected to be included but have yet to be announced.

How is Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access?

Baldur’s Gate 3. Credit: Larian Studios

In NME‘s review, Jordan Oloman expressed that the RPG understands “the dichotomy of Dungeons And Dragons deeply” saying that it’s dynamic and tons of fun.

“It’s an ambitiously built, well-written tale of adventure framed by lovable companions and stunning fidelity.”

As it’s in Early Access, frequent bugs were found when it released but Larian has since released new content updates that introduced patches to fix gameplay, environment and characters bugs.

When is Baldur’s Gate leaving Early Access? 

Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3. Credit: Larian Studios.

Although Larian hasn’t confirmed when the game will leave Early Access just yet, it has revealed that 2022 will mark the game’s last full year in development.

Speaking to PCGamesN, studio head Swen Vincke said that the company will “release it when it’s ready”.

“The main goal here is quality: getting the game at the quality level that it needs to be. That said, we do think we still need a year to do that. But it will be the last year. We’re getting to the end of it,” said Vincke, who added that the launch is “probably not this year, but it’s not going to be much later than that.”

That means Baldur’s Gate 3 could be set to leave Early Access in 2023, but that isn’t set in stone.

Advertisement

TRENDING

Advertisement