Monday, October 5, 2020

Baldur's Gate 3: Our thoughts on Larian's very (very) promising RPG

Baldur's Gate 3

A true monument of the RPG history, the mere mention of the name Baldur's Gate is often enough to stir up the flame of nostalgia in the hearts of many players. Knowing this, we discovered Baldur's Gate III with some excitement. Unfortunately, I was not able to play it directly but  I saw a long session of live gameplay online and, all I can say, it is a nice slap. I was able to attend no less than 2 hours of gameplay. The developers at Larian have intentionally ignored the tutorial to show us the heart of the action with a well-established character. However, I was able to see in detail the character editor which is as always in this type of RPG a big piece and the assurance of spending a lot of time there. That of Baldur's Gate III is faithful to what Larian knows how to do: by that, it means something extremely close to Divinity Original Sin 2 in terms of aesthetics, design, and possibilities. Even the main menu and its music are very "Larianesque" and we feel that Divinity's imprint is strong. Finally, know that the developer had made the decision to choose a Rogue vampire.

Baldur's Gate 3 A big air of Divinity 2

A big air of Divinity 2

After the character creation, we move on to a particularly epic introduction. Once in the heart of the matter, the game turns out to be very beautiful,  so we can see very clearly in front of a Divinity 2 "++". More accomplished in terms of textures and different lighting effects, we are also entitled to more natural and less rigid animations. Once again difficult not to mention Divinity in the artistic direction since if the game displays a more serious and more "gothic" side, however, we remain on something close in line with what Larian can do. The noticeable visual difference is probably the camera angle. This is less high and a little 3/4 view. It is thus possible to follow our group of characters in an aerial traveling manner, which once again makes it possible to remove a certain rigidity from there. The game levels are built on a half-isometric, half-third person model (even if it's not quite a third-person view either).

Baldur's Gate 3 gameplay

Absolute depth

As you would expect in a Baldur's Gate, the role-playing part gladly looks towards the paper version. So I will give you the surprise concerning the scenario but know that the possibilities are astronomical and that it can happen to have up to 6 or even 7 possible answer choices for certain important dialogues. To go along with this, one of the nice additions that will please paper RPG enthusiasts is the presence of a roll of the dice after each important action or each decisive choice. You decide to break down a door? To rob an NPC? The dice represents the random and this will allows you to bring an additional touch of spice. Obviously, your skill points will add bonuses to the dice rolls. So a character with a lot of strength will obviously have a much better chance of being able to break down a door.

Baldur's Gate 3 some game characters

From the exhilarating fight

The fights take place in turn by turn "by team". That is to say that your whole team carries out its actions before the opposing team. A choice radically different from some other RPGs which often work on a classic turn-based basis: 1 character from your team acts and then it's the turn of an opposing character. This combat system has its advantages and disadvantages. It forces you to use a group strategy and to take the lead and this probably gives a little less opportunity to react actively to the opponent's movements. One of the combat possibilities that the present developer did not hesitate to put forward to make the assembly laugh is the possibility of violently pushing an enemy, especially when he is on the edge of a precipice. A good opportunity to get rid of pests without even needing to use a skill.

Baldur's Gate 3 shows off eight races

An ode to paper RPGs

In general, the staging is excellent both in the dialogues and in the fights and it is always a pleasure to see our character starting an action. It's less mechanical and robotic than in a Divinity. Everything is more natural. For example, it is possible to erect a staircase with decorative objects and by making stacks. If it was already possible in DOS2, it is here more intuitive and faster. The interface is also more sophisticated than in the previous production from Larian. The inventory system makes it possible to display the whole team at the same time and therefore to immediately have an eye on what is going or not in the equipment. The game is also full of good ideas such as sneak mode (very simple) but which allows you to have a character out of combat to continue to move him while the rest of your team faces the enemies. As long as it is not spotted, you can move it as you wish without using action points. On the way, it is even possible to switch off the various lights to go even more unnoticed in the dark. There are many strategies, especially since it is possible to interact with the decor in a number of ways.

Larian Studios Kicks Off Community Update Videos For ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’

Interaction above everything

The situation in our example is self-explanatory: one half of the team is in an underground dungeon while the other half is outside. Instead of walking a long and laborious path through a maze of corridors to help this underground team, the developer cast a spell on a piece of scenery that created a gaping hole in the ground. The away team was able to join the inside team in a few seconds via this hole. Finally, the developers insist on the importance of this part of the entire exploration tab. The game is full of rewards both in terms of XP and chests to force you to explore every corner of the map. It really is a game for the budding explorer, even more so than a Divinity 2.

WE EXPECT IT ... WITH A LOT OF IMPATIENCE!

Let it be clear, Baldur's Gate III promises to be a very good game from Larian and an excellent RPG. Even better, everything suggests that it is even the stage still above that Divinity 2 in terms of possibilities and depth. All the sensors indicate a vintage of the most qualitative. It remains to be seen now if the game will be little more than a Divinity with a Baldur's Gate skin and if the storyline and universe will be developed enough to do the fans justice. Get more information about the game by visiting the official website.

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