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Baldur’s Gate 3: what we learned from the PAX demo

Larian Studios got us interested the moment Baldur’s Gate 3 was officially announced last year. With the PAX gameplay demo that we saw last night, however, it’s now got our attention. Yes, even with the numerous bugs and encounters.

Messiness aside — which is what I expected from a game still in development — this new game already exceeds my expectations. Larian looks to have truly crafted a game that combines the best things about Dungeons and Dragons and the Divinity Original Sin series: the freedom to explore, thrilling combat and, funnily enough, TPKs.

Dungeons and Dragons fans in particular are going to have a field day, especially at seeing the CGI trailer where two races, the Illithid and the Githyanki, going up against one another. The Illithid, also known as those creepy-looking mind flayers, previously enslaved the Githyanki. So we just know that our Githyanki companion, Lae’zel is going to be an interesting character to talk to.

Baldur's Gate 3

To sum up what we learned from the CGI trailer shown during the PAX demonstration: mind flayers have been capturing people, ourselves included, and have been inserting parasites into our brains in order to transform us into one of them. Eventually you escape, and come across a group of people who also have parasites in their head.

The only problem is that you don’t seem to be having any real negatives from the parasite. If anything, your power seems to be growing. But is something else amiss? We’ll just have to find out when we play Baldur’s Gate 3 for ourselves.

The demo showed more about the character creator, and a few races such as Drow, Halfling, Githyanki and Half-Elf. More races will be included, and we hope more classes too. Because hey, who doesn’t want to be a bard?

We also know that, at early access at least, there will be 5 companions for you to recruit if you so wish. These companions are:

  • Shadowheart, a half-elf cleric
  • Lae’zel, a Githyanki warrior
  • Gale, a human wizard
  • Astarion, a high elf rogue
  • Wyll, a human warlock

You will be able to romance these companions, but it won’t be as simple as choosing this and that answer. Larian Studios have said they want to move away from the ‘BioWare model‘ of romance.

Baldur's Gate 3

Combat also looks to have been revamped, with far more new features and spells that players of the tabletop game will recognize. Have a mage hand? You can use it to throw weapons at enemies thanks to it having its very own initiative and thus, action points. Or if you lack weapons, try out the boots. Trust us.

We weren’t kidding when we said that there will be a lot of features that Dungeons and Dragon’s fans will recognize. In combat you’re able to dash, shove — which is pretty funny to watch — jump, and even make stairs out of crates. All new features that combat much more interesting.

We’re not certain when Baldur’s Gate 3 will officially release on early access, but we’re looking forward to it all the same. Until then, check out the opening cinematic and get pumped.

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