Baldur’s Gate is one of the great gaming franchises, thanks to a pair of storied RPGs from the good old golden days of isometric gaming.
With amazing stories to tell and some superb expansion packs, too, it’s been a long wait for Baldur’s Gate 3. Now the franchise is being continued by Larian Studios, creators of the excellent Divinity series. Here are all the details.
Baldur’s Gate 3 release date
Baldur’s Gate 3 has been available for a while – in a way. It entered Early Access on Steam way back in 2020, with the first chapter of the game available, and we previewed it back then.
Now it’s finally been given a real release date for its 1.0 version, which will come out properly on August 31, 2023. You can buy it now if you’d rather jump in, but that date will mark a version that’s really fully ready for the public, with hopefully no bugs or glitches.
Baldur’s Gate 3 platforms
While its Early Access version has only been available on PC, unsurprisingly, Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t going to skip consoles.
The game has been confirmed as coming out on PlayStation 5 on its release date, but things are a little bit more complicated for Xbox. Larian has confirmed that there is no deliberate console exclusivity, but at the moment it’s struggling to get the Xbox version ready for that release date.
This is apparently due to the challenge of getting its split-screen co-op mode to run well not just on the Xbox Series X, but also on the lower-powered Series S. The studio says it still aims to release on Xbox, but that it cannot currently commit to a timeline, which is a really interesting state of affairs. It underlines the fact that Xbox will only let games publish on its platform if they run smoothly on both its current-gen consoles.
Baldur’s Gate 3 trailers
Since Baldur’s Gate has been in Early Access for so long, it’s had a whole list of trailers to showcase its updates. Now that it has a final release date, things are getting even more dramatic, as the below trailer for its PS5 version proves.
We also got a moody teaser trailer at 2022’s The Game Awards which fleshes out the world and introduces a familiar face to big fans of the series.
If you want something even glossier, the intro cinematic that starts the game off is also available on YouTube, and it’s a stunner of a CGI scene-setter:
For those who want even more, be sure to check out Larian Studios’ YouTube output. the playlists you’ll find here has all the Baldur’s Gate 3 content it’s published, so will give you plenty to sink your teeth into.
Baldur’s Gate 3 story
Baldur’s Gate 3, in case you’re not familiar with the series, is set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons – so it’s very much cut from classic fantasy cloth.
The key story twist here rides on a classic baddie called a mind flayer. It’s a tentacled humanoid that loves to suck the minds of its prey and subjugate them, and as the intro cinematic demonstrates, there’s a particularly powerful and venomous cabal of them on the rampage in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Your main character, regardless of what species and class you choose, will be unlucky enough to find themselves infected by a parasitic tick of sorts, a wriggling little bit of mind flayer threatening to make you its slave.
So, your first priority will be to find a way to rid yourself of this wormy nuisance, but will quickly find that you’re drawn into the stories and tribulations of a wide cast of other characters, too.
Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay
Baldur’s Gate 3 plays like a bit of a mixture between its own series and the Divinity games from Larian – especially since it’s turned-based, unlike the first two Baldur’s Gate titles.
That’s no issue, though, when combat is free-flowing and easy to control as evidenced by 3’s Early Access experience.
If you’ve played Divinity 2: Original Sin, you’ll be on a firm footing with this game, although the rules are different since they’re based firmly on Dungeons and Dragons.
This means that things like magic spells are more tightly controlled than some players might expect, requiring rests to get charges back.
The game will let you explore large hub areas to talk to characters, encounter enemies and figure out how to progress through a range of spells, both central to the main plot and incidental.
There are a bunch of companions to potentially join your party, too, filling key roles like a support mage or a tanky warrior, all with their own personalities and backstories to discover.
After all, you’ll spend plenty of time in conversation, too, discovering more about the world you’re exploring and the threat posed by the mind flayers all the time.
Basically, an expertly-curated virtual D&D campaign that you can play through is what Baldur’s Gate 3 should offer – and it’s going to have split-screen and online co-op to make that even more collaborative.
If you’re keen to find out more about some of the games that we’re most excited to play in the coming months and years, don’t forget to check out our lists of the most interesting upcoming releases.