Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur's Gate III, BG3
The third installment in a series of iconic RPGs, developed by Larian Studios. Baldur's Gate 3 is set about a century after the events of Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. One of the most significant changes is the now turn-based combat system.
developer: Larian Studios publisher: Larian Studios Official website
Games similar to Baldur's Gate 3
Divinity: Original Sin II
Pillars of Eternity
Solasta: Crown of the Magister
Baldur's Gate 3 is the third installment of the iconic RPG series, which debuted in 1998, originally created by BioWare. The game was developed by Larian Studios, world-famous thanks to their bestselling Divinity series, with support from Wizards of the Coast, the brand's owners. Its mechanics are based on the fifth edition of the tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons, though some of its elements have been modified to better fit the form of a video game.
Baldur's Gate 3 takes place about a hundred years after the events of Throne of Bhaal, an expansion to Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. The plot starts with the titular city - Baldur's Gate - being invaded by the Illithid (Mind Flayer). Before the local dragon riders chase away the aggressors, they manage to destroy a large part of the city and abduct many of its inhabitants, escaping aboard their ship - the Nautiloid - where they intend to subject them to a horrible process called ceramorphosis. Upon infecting the victim's brain with a Mind Flayer tadpole, the parasite starts devouring it, soon replacing it altogether, transforming its host into an Illithid.
The main protagonist manages to escape the kidnappers, but not without a tadpole of their own buried in their brain. Though at first they try to find a cure, they soon realize the parasite provides them with abilities others could only dream of. All this eventually uncovers a much larger intrigue, with our protagonist's fate depending on the decisions and choices we make throughout the game.
The story is less linear than in the series' previous installments. There are multiple ways to complete quests, their results having consequences later on.
Races and classes
Baldur's Gate III starts with us having to create our own character or choose a pre-made one. First, we choose our gender and race (aside from humans, dwarves, elves and halflings, as in the previous installments, we can also choose races such as tieflings, drow, githyanki and vampire spawn). We must them choose our class, starting skills (and/or spells) and stats: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma.
As mentioned before, there are also several pre-made characters to choose from with their own unique questlines. We can still add them to our party as companions even if we don't choose them.
The gameplay is shown from an isometric perspective, though the camera can be freely rotated and zoomed in to admire the game's fine details. The game's vast world (divided into regions) includes cities, villages, idyllic outdoor areas and dungeons - as well as the Underdark. Though we start the game alone, we're quickly joined by other adventurers; we can travel with up to three companions at once. They can be befriended and even romanced.
The game's driving force are main quests which progress the storyline, alongside numerous side quests. The camera zooms in on the characters during conversations, with the dialogue system resembling the one found in Dragon Age. It's worth noting some dialogue options require passing a dice check (of a skill or a stat). The dice is also plentifully used during other activities. For example, passing a perception check can reveal traps while exploring, while a successful death saving throw is the last chance of survival for a critically injured character.
Talking about death, turn-based combat is the game's core mechanic. Unlike in the Divinity games, the combat system is based on the rules of Dungeons & Dragons 5e, which means randomness and roll of the dice play a larger role. Before each battle, the combatants roll for initiative, which determines the action order: we're only guaranteed priority if we manage to take the enemies by surprise. During each turn a combatant can move up to a certain distance (limited by their movement speed), take an action, such as attacking or casting a spell (whether we hit or not is determined by a dice roll) and a bonus action.
Making use of our party's strengths and interacting with the environment is key to victory. Spilled oil can be ignited, some objects moved (if we're strong enough to do so) and damaged bridges - destroyed (sometimes sending enemies tumbling down with them). The terrain also plays an important role - ranged units, for example, gain increased attack range when on higher elevations.
Progressing through the game rewards us with experience and lets us level up. Unlike the series' previous installments, in which each party member levelled up independently of each other, this time each level up affects the entire party. Though rare, each level up makes us significantly more powerful.
Baldur's Gate 3 runs on a new version of Larian's engine known from their previous games - the Divinity Engine 4.0. The character models and the locations are full of detail. The spellcasting sound effects are also quite appealing. Though the game as a whole is still colorful, its palette is more subdued compared to the Original Sin games.
Baldur's Gate III is fully playable in singleplayer and co-op - both online (for up to 4 players) and local, using split screen (for up to 2 players).
The game first debuted in Early Access, containing the entire Act I, including 80 combat encounters and nearly 600 NPCs.
Last updated on 01 March 2023
Game mode: single / multiplayer Multiplayer mode: Internet Player counter: 1-4
Expectations: 6.8 / 10 based on 1525 votes.
Age restrictions Baldur's Gate 3: 18+
Baldur's Gate 3 System requirements
PC / Windows
- Intel Core i5-4690 3.5 GHz / AMD FX-4350 4.2 GHz
- 8 GB RAM
- graphic card 4 GB GeForce GTX 970 / Radeon RX 480 or better
- 150 GB HDD
- Windows 10 64-bit
- Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5 GHz / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 3.5 GHz
- 16 GB RAM
- graphic card 8 GB GeForce RTX 2060 Super / Radeon RX 5700 XT or better
- 150 GB HDD
- Windows 10 64-bit