Baldur’s Gate 3 is a DnD style RPG developed by Larian Studios. Larian Studios made other games like Divinity Original Sin. Baldur’s Gate 3 is still in early access, which launched on October 4th 2020. As of February 25th of 2021 the Druid class was added. This class functions just like 5th edition’s druids. Allowing you nature spellcasting when in humanoid form and the ability to transform into animals with Wild Shape.
Baldur’s Gate 3 and Death
Baldur’s gate 3 is designed after Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, making the game more accessible for new players. But don’t let this trick you into thinking that the game will make it easy on you. Dungeons and Dragons is still a game that requires some strategy. Baldur’s gate will punish you for leaving your spellcasters undefended, and while death can be undone, it comes with a heavy price.
When knocked down, your character attempts a death save, with 3 successes they stay unconscious but alive. Upon 3 fails or being attacked while on the ground twice, the character is dead. And the only way to bring them back is a lot of gold or a revive scroll, and the scrolls are rare and hard to come by in Baldur’s Gate 3. But healing spells and damage spells pulling from the same pool of resources. You have to make key decisions about whether or not you should heal someone or use those slots to kill your enemies. And if you heal someone who is unconscious you can get them back up, preventing death saves from happening.
Who Are the Party Members?
As of May 2021 there are a total of 5 party members to choose from to accompany you in Baldur’s Gate 3. They are Astarion, Shadowheart, Gale, Lae’zel, and Wyll. Each person has their own views, beliefs, and opinions and while you make decisions in game, their opinion of you will shift. For example Astarion is all about what helps him the most. So if you refuse to waste time trying to help people and focus of dealing with the party’s parasites, he approves. But if you are being too altruistic, he won’t appreciate the disregard for your group’s health.
Astarion is a vampire spawn from the city of Baldur’s Gate. Practically enslaved by the vampire who turned him in the first place, he was mistreated heavily. Now with his supernatural healing and other powers, he was able to withstand the torture and abuse by his master. But after being kidnapped by mindflayers and then subsequently freed, he is now released from that hold. And the parasite in his head gives him immunity to light, allowing him to freely roam the surrounding country. Through Baldur’s Gate 3 you will find out more of his master and his past and possibly get closer.
Shadowheart is a cleric of Shar, the Goddess of Darkness. Shar is the mistress of the night and all forms of shadow, she was sent on a suicide mission to steal a powerful artifact. And like Astarion, Shadowheart is more worried about her life being possibly ended in 7 days. Just like everyone else in your party, that is how long the parasite takes to consume their host. She has a secret buried deep within you may uncover if only you can get past the tough exterior.
Gale is a wizard of great skill and intellect. He claims to have had been in a relationship with the goddess of magic herself, Mystra. But she left him and he did all he could to regain her affection, ultimately ending up with a powerful curse. His body became the host of a Netherese Destruction Orb. The orb is like a bomb, able to destroy whole cities entirely once it’s timer is gone. In order to keep that from happening he sacrificed powerful magic artifacts to extend the timer. This means in Baldur’s Gate 3 you may choose to sacrifice rare and powerful items to help this curse from gaining power.
Lae’zel is a Githyanki Fighter who helps you break out of the Illithid ship. Githyanki culture is centered around hunting down and slaying their captors, the Mind Flayers. While Githyanki slay evil creatures, they themselves are evil too. Their culture outside of killing mind flayers, is based around piracy. Stealing from lesser, weaker beings so they can continue their war against the creatures who feed on the grey matter of living beings. Herself having been disgraced by being captured and the spawn put inside her skull. She wants the rest of the party of Baldur’s Gate 3 to follow her to a Githyanki healer to eliminate the parasite.
Wyll is a Human Warlock who made a pact with a Succubus after being abducted by goblins and tortured. After slaying the goblins with his new powers and later gaining fame as the “Blade of Frontiers” he regretted making the pact and seeks to free himself from it. Thus he is not a fan of goblins and extraplanar monsters, specifically the deal making kind. Despite this hatred towards these groups he is a kind and giving person, wanting to be the hero of people unable to defend themselves.
Waking up on the beach
After breaking out of your pod on the Nautiloid and making your way through it, the ship crashes and you wake up in the wreckage. From there you can head further down the beach and find Shadowheart trying to break into a locked door to no avail. You can also head up and find Asterion who has an intellect devourer cornered and needs some assistance. And lastly you can head into the wreckage of the ship and finish off the last of your captors. The one who put the brain eating parasite in your skull is trapped and some civilians are being mind controlled to free it. There are multiple solutions to this, if you approach the Mind Flayer it will attempt to mind control you. But maybe getting closer to it will help you glean some information?
This is just one of the many decisions in Baldur’s Gate 3. Like deciding whether to assist the goblins or the tiefling refugees? Or will you forgo assisting the refugees at all and focus of cleansing yourself of the parasite? This is you and the party’s story, you decide who you help or leave to their own devices.
Baldur’s Gate 3 and Combat
Baldur’s Gate 3 is a turn based roleplaying game based around Dungeons and Dragons. So at the start of the turn, all characters roll initiative, this decides who moves first. Faster characters naturally roll higher but it’s never guaranteed where anyone will be in the line up. After this is done, combat starts and the character that rolled the highest initiative goes first.
Each class has a unique skill set that they can use in combat and in the overworld to manipulate the field of battle. And Baldur’s gate 3 goes very in depth with interactivity. If you understand the map you can control the flow of combat and turn it to your advantage since the party is outnumbered pretty often. Using spells that make difficult terrain can be incredibly helpful in slowing advancing enemies, preventing you from being flanked. And stronger characters will have better luck pushing enemies, this gives you a new type of control over the battlefield. And while this doesn’t do damage, you could push someone down a floor or into binding roots that will entangle them.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is insanely in depth with the ability to manipulate the world around you. Almost every object can be interacted with, destroyed, used, or grabbed. This allows you to create elaborate set ups and traps you wouldn’t be able to do in most other games. Like stealing an item in the back room and placing it on a small bridge and luring the boss onto it and destroying the support beams underneath it. Or using your Mind Flayer parasite’s psychic powers to convince the goblins to let out a wild bear that will proceed to kill them. Or pushing goblins into the spider pit that they sacrifice people to.
The only limit to how you get where you need to be is your imagination, so don’t be afraid to explore and mess around with possible traps.
Baldur’s gate 3 is an amazing DnD styled RPG. Made by the same people who made Divinity Original Sin, it takes a lot of inspiration from it. But it is unique enough to stand on it’s own. With so much freedom in how you tackle your situation, I never feel like the game is forcing me to do anything. In my game one of the healers made me promise them something and I could just say no. Enemies are only as difficult as the player lets them be. Or if planning isn’t your thing, you can run right into the fray and force your way through. It is a must play for any fans of Dungeons and Dragons and other fantasy Role Playing Games. And it is the only one that makes me feel like I have any agency in my character’s life.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is still in Early access and costs $60. The full release date is yet to be announced. But it is constantly improving and has expanded. New classes and subclasses are yet to be put out but upon their respective update will be available. Decide for yourself if $60 feels right for you, for me seeing a game improve over time is fine and I’m not above waiting. But Baldur’s Gate 3 has a lot of potential and I know the developers will properly utilize it.
Baldur’s gate 3 is available on steam right now.