Baldur’s Gate 3 will be entering Early Access for PC and Google Stadia on 30th September, Larian studio have announced at their The Panel From Hell livestream. The 90 minute stream also showcased some new parts of the game, fresh narrative details, and dove into what players can expect when they can get their hands on this earliest section for themselves.
Originally announced for an August release, Larian were always quite tentative about being able to meet that release date, citing the impact of COVID-19 and the scale of their ambitions. That turned out to be quite wise, helping to set expectations.
The panel opened with a stunning CGI intro that shows the start of your journey in Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells. This location featured in the Descent Into Avernus module for D&D, seeing the city of Elturel almost dragged into hell, and this event shapes the events of Baldur’s Gate 3.
You start captive aboard the nautiloid, but break free and seek to gain control of it, presenting you with a moral choice when addressed by an exposed brain in a corpse. What is it, and will you… free the brain that’s talking to you?
While classes and races available in the Early Access release will be confirmed closer to release, Larain did reveal the five initial Origin Characters: Astarion (Elf/Vampire Rogue), Gale (Human Wizard), Lae’zel (Githyanki Warrior), Shadowheart (Half-Elf Cleric) and Wyll (Human Warlock). These will all give you different permutations in encounters and dialogues, with the game flowing around your choices.
While the game is heading into Early Access, the scope is going to be huge in comparison to that of Divinity: Original Sin 2’s Early Access. Creative Director Swen Vincke outlined the much wider scope through four stats:
- Number of combat situations: 22 in DOS2 EA vs 80 in BG3 EA
- Number of dialogue lines in English: 17.600 in DOS2 EA vs. 45.980 in BG3 EA
- Number of characters: 142 in DOS2 EA vs. 596 in BG3 EA
- Number of spells/actions: 69 in DOS2 EA vs. 146 in BG3 EA
While they missed their original August target, it’s clear to see that Larian have not been resting on their laurels with Baldur’s Gate 3, which is already sounding pretty darned epic. We look forward to seeing the game in action and more details as that 30th September date approaches.