Larian Studios took the stage at Pax East today to premiere the first official gameplay of its upcoming Dungeons & Dragons title Baldur’s Gate 3. What was initially called a 10-minute gameplay video turned into nearly an hour-long demonstration. There was a total party kill, a variety of crowd-entertaining bugs, and a lot of great moments as Swen Vincke, founder of Larian Studios, played through early parts of a character’s origin story.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Opening Cinematic
Following the opening cinematic, Swen showed off a small portion of the planned feature set of Baldur’s Gate 3. The title seems to follow the rules of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition very closely, with every action and check involving behind the scenes dice rolls. Several companions were shown during the demo, with many more planned. There was talk of secrets, so many in fact, that you’ll never see them all in a single playthrough, according to Swen.
The world, classes, and races will be familiar to anyone that has spent any time in the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons lore. Everything we saw today immediately transported me into the world of Faerun and the Sword Coast. As somehow who’s been playing D&D regularly for nearly a year now, this game is at the very top of my most anticipated games of 2020 list.
A list of features planned for Baldur’s Gate 3 includes:
- Online multiplayer for up to four players allows you to combine your forces in combat and split your party to follow your own quests and agendas. Devise the perfect plan together… or introduce an element of chaos when your friends least expect it.
- Origin characters offer a hand-crafted experience, each with their own unique traits, agenda, and outlook on the world. Their stories intersect with the wider narrative, and your choices will determine whether those stories end in redemption, salvation, domination, or other outcomes.
- Evolved turn-based combat based on the D&D 5E ruleset. Team-based initiative, advantage and disadvantage, and roll modifiers join combat cameras, expanded environmental interactions, and a new fluidity in combat that rewards strategy and foresight.
- Define the future of the Forgotten Realms through your choices and the roll of the dice. No matter who you play or what you roll, the world and its inhabitants will react to your story.
- Player-initiated turn-based mode allows you to pause the world around you at any time even outside of combat. See an opportunity for a tactical advantage before combat begins? Want to pull off a heist with pinpoint precision? Need to escape a fiendish trap? Split your party, prepare ambushes, sneak in the darkness — and create your own luck!
Graphically, the live stream looked very well put together, but there is clearly more work to be done by Larian on a wide variety of bugs and gameplay features. We can expect an early access version in several months “when the bugs are ironed out.” Swen only confirmed availability on Google Stadia and PC at this time. While you wait, you can catch up on the gameplay stream in its entirety below.