Baldur’s Gate 3 – 10 Reasons it’s Looking Like an RPG Behemoth

Larian Studios' upcoming RPG has the potential to be one of the genre's most gargantuan offerings ever.

Posted By | On 24th, Jul. 2023

Baldur’s Gate 3 – 10 Reasons it’s Looking Like an RPG Behemoth

Even in a year that’s as densely packed with massive new releases as this one, Baldur’s Gate 3 stands as one of the most significant and gargantuan new releases on the horizon. From the pedigree of the Baldur’s Gate franchise and its unshakable legacy to the stellar track record of Larian Studios, which has established itself as possibly one of the best RPG developers in the industry right now, there’s no shortage of reasons to be excited for Baldur’s Gate 3.

It is, in fact, looking like an inreasingly monstrous achievement the more we see and hear of it. Larian has spoken a great deal about the game in the lead-up to launch, and in doing so, has offered plenty of details on just how staggeringly big the experience is going to be, and in more ways than one. Here, that’s exactly what we’re talking about, as we take a look at some of the things that suggest that Baldur’s Gate 3 may very well turn out to be one of the biggest RPGs ever made.

LENGTH

Opinions these days tend to be split on how long a game should ideally be, with a seemingly equal amount of people preferring long, sprawling adventures and ones that are snappier and more condensed- but it’s safe to say that for RPGs, a smattering of content is what you usually want. And it doesn’t look like Baldur’s Gate 3 is going to fall short on that front. Larian has confirmed that a standard playthrough of the game is going to be about 75-100 hours long on average- and that’s just a standard playthrough. If you want to do everything the game lets you, according to Larian, your playtime will be closer to 200 hours, if not more.

And that’s just a single playthrough, because Baldur’s Gate 3, as you’d expect from a game in this genre and coming from this developer, is promising tons of replay value, owing to how much it lets you personalize your experience and tailor it to your prefered play style. Speaking of which…

PLAY STYLES

Larian Studios showed with both Divinity: Original Sin games just how good it was at delivering an experience that truly replicated that DnD feeling, where you can craft your own adventure in seemingly infinite ways. Baldur’s Gate 3 is making also grand promises in this area as it looks to elevate those aspects even further, from the build of your character, to the choices you make and how they shape the story, to how you approach different situations, to whether or not you’re playing solo or co-op, to what level of difficulty you’re playing on, and so much more.

CINEMATICS

Baldur's Gate 3_02

We all love a goog cutscene, especially in a game that’s focused on narrative, and Baldur’s Gate 3 is seemingly leaving no stone unturned on this front. According to Larian, the game has a total of over 174 hours of cutscenes, which is just a stupidly big number in this context. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll be watching all 174 hours of cinematics on a single playthrough- there will, in fact, be a vast amount that you’ll miss based on what character you’re playing as, what choices you’re making, and so on. But again, that just goes to show how heavily the game is emphasizing meaningful choice and consequence mechanics, and how much control you will have on how you want to shape your playthrough.

SCRIPT LENGTH

Given how long a single Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough will be and given how many different possible permutations each playthrough can have, it won’t surprise you to learn that the game has an absolutely gargantuan script. According to Larian, BG3 has three times the dialogue of all three Lord of the Rings books combined, and has a script that’s roughly 2 million words long. Add to that the fact that the entire script has been completely localized in thirteen different languages, and it becomes an even more impressive and monumental achievement.

NPCs

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NPCs tend to be the lifeblood of an RPG that’s built on the strengths of its interactivity, and Baldur’s Gate 3 is seemingly going to have plenty of options in this area for players, as it will in other areas. As per Larian, there are over 2000 characters for players to interact with throughout the entire experience. Again, the choices you make from the first second of your playthrough to the last will impact how much you interact with them, or if you even interact with them- which, in turn, means that on repeat playthroughs, players will potentially be able to experience completely new stories and characters that weren’t a factor in prevous playthroughs.

ENDINGS

Games have touted choice and consequence mechanics for a long, long time, but very rarely do we see examples of meaningful choices rather than simply the illusion of them, and regardless of your actions, the final act of the story can often be affected very little. That’s apparently not goin to be the case in Baldur’s Gate 3, which has over 17,000 unique ending variations. No, that doesn’t mean there are over 17,000 different endings, but similar to, say, Divinity: Original Sin 2, in addition to having a much smaller number of main different endings, the game will also add, remove, or change different details based on your actions throughout the duration of the playthrough.

BALDUR’S GATE

Baldur's Gate 3_03

Unsurprisingly, Larian has said that the titular city of Baldur’s Gate is going to be a highlight of the experience in BG3. It’s looking staggeringly massive, and equally dense. The sprawling structure is promising to be impressive not only in terms of its size and the sights it will hold, but also the density of content that players will find, from a deluge of side quests and NPCs to interact with to any number of optional activities to dive into. The inhabitants of the city will react to you in different ways, depending on your race and class (more on that in a bit), as well as your exploits out in the world, while you’ll even be able to buy the newspaper and tamper with the headlines to spread false propoganda about yourself, if you so wish.

CUSTOM CHARACTERS

True to form, Baldur’s Gate 3 is also promising a great degree of control when it comes to creating your own custom character, inclduing your class and race, subclasses and subraces, and of course, things such as appearance, gender, and what have you. It’s worth pointing out that custom characters were a bit of a sticking point for many in Divinity: Original Sin 2, owing to how detached they felt from the story and the world, unlike when you played as premade origin characters. Larian Studios has said that BG3’s custom chaarcters are going to be much more strongly linked to the story and integrated into the world much better, so hopefully the game can live up to that promise. Either way, given the range of options that will be available, the degree of control players will have in shaping their character however they see fit is exciting.

CLASSES AND RACES

Baldur's Gate 3 - Dragonborn

Picking a class and race for your character and then experiencing how the story shapes itself around those choices is a crucial element of any DnD (or DnD-adjacent) experience. Divinity: Original Sin 2 impressed massively on this front, and Baldur’s Gate 3 is looking to elevate that even further. There are eleven races in total, with many of them also having individual subraces, all of which will determine your backstory, culture, and more. Then there are the classes, where you can choose between 12 main options, in addition to 46 different subclasses on top of that. All of these will impact how characters in the world might react to you, what choices you can make, what actions are available to you, what gameplay and story opportunities are available to you, and much more.

ORIGIN CHARACTERS

While the veteran players and DnD fanatics will want to create their own custom characters and decide every single detail themselves, many will just want to jump in with a premade character. Like Larian’s past efforts, Baldur’s Gate 3 will, of course, have plenty of options on this front, with a total of seven different origin characters available, each belonging to different races and classes and having unique backstories and motivations. Whether you want to play through as several (or even all) of them across multiple playthroughs or you want them in your party with your own custom protagonist and experience their stories that way, clearly, there’s going to be plenty for players to dive into.


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