Baldur’s Gate 3 – 10 New Details You Need to Know

Larian's upcoming RPG epic is absolutely massive - here are ten more things you should know before its launch on August 3rd for PC.

Posted By | On 28th, Jul. 2023

Baldur’s Gate 3 – 10 New Details You Need to Know

Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of this year’s biggest games on sheer content alone, whether it’s the dozens of hours of cinematics, millions of lines of dialogue or sheer replay value. With early access sales success, the hype is real, but the studio seems poised to deliver. Releasing on August 3rd for PC and September 6th for PS5, here are ten more things you should know about Baldur’s Gate 3 before buying.

Origin Characters

We’ve talked a lot about the Origin characters, particularly The Dark Urge and how Wyll’s story has been redone from the ground up. What about the others? In addition to these two, there are five more Origins to choose from. Astarion is a vampire with a “sadistic master”, and after being taken away, he can now walk in daylight. Of course, based on recent trailers, it’s not long before his master catches up with him.

Lae’zel is a Githyanki warrior who hunts Mind Flayers. When infected by the illithid tadpole, she’s in a precarious position and races to extract it (ideally before her people catch on). Gale is a wizard on a quest to become the greatest in Faerun. However, he carries a Netherese Destruction Orb in his body, and it will one day explode – where he’ll be when that happens remains to be seen.

Shadowheart is a disciple of Shar tasked with stealing a powerful item. She accomplishes this but gains numerous enemies in the process, and is thus wary of trusting anyone. Finally, Karlach, who was recently revealed along with The Dark Urge. Escaped from Hell after being sold into slavery, she has a Zariel beating in her chest. Nevertheless, she seeks to do good and hopefully not die at the hands of Wyll.

Villains

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Every good cast of heroes needs some villains to keep them in check, and Baldur’s Gate 3 has an ensemble trio. J.K. Simmons voices the necromancer General Ketheric Khorm, who leads an army of the undead to attack Baldur’s Gate. You also have Lord Enver Gortash, voiced by Jason Isaacs, in charge of protecting the city with his cadre of mechanical soldiers. However, he’s seemingly colluding with Khorm for his nefarious ends.

Finally, Orin the Red, a shapeshifter voiced by Maggie Robertson (who played Lady Dimitrescu in Resident Evil Village) that “tests” players throughout the game. It’s an incredible cast, and we can’t wait to see how all three will affect the playthrough.

Returning Characters

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Of course, it wouldn’t be an RPG without some returning heroes, namely Jaheira and Minsc. Tracy Wiles voices Jaheria, a Half-Elf Druid and member of the Harpers, an organization focused on maintaining the balance between good and evil. Minsc is a Human Ranger, voiced by Matt Mercer and beloved among the fandom for his heroics (and his hamster Boo). Both characters can join your party as companions if you play things right (or clash with you, if you don’t).

Companion Stories

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On the subject of companions, it’s been mentioned how they’ll interact differently. Maybe Wyll kills Karlach, or they become friends. Maybe Shadowheart and Lae’zel learn to get along, and maybe not. You get a different experience depending on the companions accompanying you, as their decisions intertwine with yours.

However, something interesting to note based on recent hands-on impressions is that companion plotlines will advance even if not in your active party. If you leave them at camp, their stories aren’t suddenly put on hold but continue progressing. How many of those involve being eaten by the adopted owlbear? Time will tell.

Companions Leaving and Betrayal

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You ideally want to make your companions happy and have them side with you. That doesn’t always work out in a role-playing game, much less a Dungeons and Dragons scenario and Baldur’s Gate 3 is no different. Make decisions that rub your companions the wrong way, and they may leave your party. They can even betray or attempt to kill you. That kind of unpredictability further adds to the dynamic nature of each playthrough.

Race Features

Baldur's Gate 3 - Bards

Baldur’s Gate 3 offers 11 races with 31 different subraces. There’s a lot to choose from, and since some loot is race-specific, you must make some serious choices. On top of each race offering starting bonuses to different stats, they also come with unique traits. For instance, the Drow has Superior Darkvision, allowing them to see up to 24 meters in the dark.

Tieflings have Hellish Resistance and thus take half the damage from fire attacks. Humans lack any distinguishing features (typical), but get a +1 in every stat, making them a decent choice for a starting character. While you can respec your class and subclass, resetting to level 1 to try out different options, you can’t do the same with your race. So choose wisely.

Dragonborn and Half-Orc

Baldur's Gate 3 - Dragonborn

Nine races are available in early access, but the full release brings two more: the Dragonborn and Half-Orcs. The former has Draconic Ancestry, and based on the color chosen (with ten available), you gain a different type of elemental breath attack and resistance. Enemies hit by the breath attack must make a saving throw to reduce its damage by half. The tradeoff is that it needs a short or long rest to recharge.

The Half-Orc is described as intensely emotional, and along with Darkvision, they have Relentless Endurance, where suffering a fatal blow instead drops them to 1 HP. They also possess Savage Attacks, where landing a melee critical hit allows for rolling a weapon’s damage dice again for additional damage.

Backgrounds

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If the sheer range of the character creation wasn’t enough, you also have Backgrounds. These are available to all classes and races and provide specific quests. Completing these quests grants Inspiration Points for rerolling Ability Checks and experience points. They also add more flavor to your character, influencing their beginning Proficiencies.

Do you want to manipulate others and take advantage of Deception and Sleight of Hand? Go with the Charlatan. Want some Athletics with Survival Proficiency? Take the Outlander. There are 13 known Backgrounds, and based on the available list of quests from early access, you’ll have tons of quests to work through.

The Shadowlands

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Act 1 of Baldur’s Gate 3 is already full of several locations to visit, like the Goblin Camp, the Druid Grove and the Underdark, but Acts 2 and 3 up the ante significantly. We’ve already discussed the city of Baldur’s Gate 3 and its three seamlessly connected districts that you can sink hours into exploring. You also venture to the Shadowlands, a zone that debuffs players that don’t have a special light source to protect them. You need to figure out where to get this light source, but without delving into spoilers, there are multiple interesting directions to take.

Cross-Platform Progression

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is already confirmed to feature online co-op for up to four players and local split-screen co-op for the entire campaign. PS5 players benefit from full DualSense support, but that’s not all. Larian also confirmed cross-save progression between the console, PC, Mac and GeForce Now.

Whether cross-platform play between PS5 and PC is possible remains to be confirmed, but those who want to start their journey in August and then jump into the PS5 version in September to continue playing split-screen can do just that.


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