Larian Studios finally revealed the official update for their highly -anticipated D&D game Baldur's Gate 3 as it will drop in late September. Earlier today the company held their "Panel From Hell" in which they delved deeper into the game and revealed the Early Access release date as September 30th, 2020. Throughout the entire feed, we got a glimpse into a lot of how the game mechanics will go as well as an in-depth discussion about the choices to make the game run the way it does. Two of the nigh highlights we got to see were the Lobotomy scene and your first encounter with an Owlbear. In the first one, it shows you trying to seize control of the nautiloid as you end up finding a corpse with its brain exposed. The brain itself talks to the player and essentially gives them multiple options as to how to proceed. The Owlbear clip shows you approaching a creature in the wild and how you can choose to examine and interact with it, but the cut the rest off to avoid spoilers.
We have a little bit more info about the stream released by the devs for you to check out below, as well as the entire stream featuring Larian's Senior Writer Adam Smith and Creative Direct Swen Vincke, D&D Principal Design Chris Perkins, and Summer Game Fest host Geoff Keighley.
Swen Vincke, Creative Director of Larian Studios, also showcased the scope of early access, giving details on how the size of Baldur's Gate 3's first act compares to Larian's previous release, Divinity: Original Sin 2, when it launched in early access. Here are a few numbers that will emphasize the depth of Baldur's Gate 3 in comparison to Divinity: Original Sin 2:
● Number of combat encounters: 22 in DOS2 EA vs. 80 in BG3 EA
● Number of English dialogue lines: 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
Classes and races will be announced closer to September 30, but Larian today confirmed that Baldur's Gate 3's early access will include five Origin characters (as well as player-customized characters), with more to be announced throughout early access. The five launch characters are: Astarion (Elf/Vampire Rogue), Gale (Human Wizard), Lae'zel (Githyanki Warrior), Shadowheart (Half-Elf Cleric), Wyll (Human Warlock).
Through gameplay footage, and audience interaction, Vincke demonstrated how the game allows players to discover different permutations in encounters and dialogue depending on the characters they play and the choices they make. This depth of reactivity means that even in early access, multiple playthroughs will lead to different outcomes and developments not only for players and their companions, but for the many NPCs they meet and the world around them, too. In simple terms, playing "good" and "evil" will offer wholly different experiences with many twists and turns (all performance-captured) that other players may never see, depending on their choices.