Early access: Our adventures with Baldur’s Gate 3

Lately, Shane’s been going on a spree of finding new multiplayer games for us to play. It’s actually really cute and sweet; he just loves when we can enjoy games together! It started with It Takes Two (which I plan on writing about soon), but lately, it’s been a lot of Baldur’s Gate 3.

If you’re not familiar with it, let me enlighten you—because I’m sure many of you will enjoy it just as much as I do.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the third in a series of video games built in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Specifically, it’s built using the Pathfinder ruleset, and takes place along the Sword Coast, one of the most popular locales. Despite that, though, it’s billed as an entirely unique story that you can’t spoil by knowing the Sword Coast stories. 

I was a little disappointed at first that I hadn’t heard of it, let alone Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2. In reading about it, though, I’m not super surprised that that was the case. Every single one of them came out long before I discovered my love of D&D.

But anyway. The reason why Baldur’s Gate 3 caught our attention was actually more about the developer than it was about the fact that it’s officially D&D. And who is the developer? None other than Larian Studios, best known for the Divinity series.

Which I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about here, but we were *really* into, especially last year during lockdown.

And now, we're just as obsessed with Baldur's Gate 3.

I should mention one really key thing about Baldur’s Gate 3. It’s technically in the very early stages of an early-access beta phase, and likely won’t be completely out until early next year. Which to any gamer means precisely one thing:

It is buggy as heck.

Like we’re talking random freak-out physics for tieflings’ tails. Issues tuning in when another player is having a conversation with an NPC. Instances of inventories turning to nothing more than a pile of numbers because the code forgot how to translate images.

Oh, and it caps you very solidly at level 4. That’s important to know too. And most of the open map is still under development, so it’s not nearly as sandbox as you’d expect anything based on D&D to be.

But despite that, I still really like the game.

It delivers the same sort of high-fantasy experience that I get from D&D, though it’s a little lazier (on my part) because I don’t have to imagine everything. It also challenges us as a party the same way I’d expect from a D&D table; I don’t think we’ve one-shot anything the entire game.

It’s also been teaching me things I didn’t even know about D&D, like how warlocks regain spell slots after a short rest instead of a long one (what?!) and how fun druids are. I never was sold on them because I couldn’t get behind wild shape, but now that I know how it works, I quite like it.

All in all, I’m excited to see what happens when the full game comes out. It might be a while, but I have a feeling it will be worth the wait.

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