Hold onto your cerebella, because Baldur’s Gate 3 has been announced this E3 as the next big project helmed by developers Larian Studios – they of Divinity: Original Sin fame. While details on this ambitious follow-up to one of the most beloved RPGs of all time are thin on the ground, we’ve broken down everything we know so far in the below Baldur’s Gate 3 guide, from details on estimated release date to trailers, gameplay and story info, and much more.
First, let’s tackle what everyone wants to know up-front: when is the release date for Baldur’s Gate 3? Unfortunately, we haven’t yet been given a specific release date, nor even a potential quarterly window. But we can make an educated guess that it’ll be released sometime in 2020, thanks to the news that Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the frontrunners for Google’s Stadia platform, which is currently set to release this November.
I mean, I guess Baldur’s Gate 3 could be coming as early as November or December 2019, but I wouldn’t necessarily count on it. Even so, it’s quite likely that we’ll see the release of Larian’s next (and apparently largest) title to both PC and Stadia within the next 12 months.
Baldur’s Gate 3 trailer (uncut) – E3 2019
If you managed to miss the announcement trailer for Baldur’s Gate 3 when it was first broadcast during Google’s Stadia Connect conference on June 6th ahead of E3 – well, you’re in luck, because we’ve popped it just below. It’s the uncut version, no less, so you get to see the transformation from Flaming Fist to Illithid in all its gruesome splendour.
The setting and story of Baldur’s Gate 3
As mentioned earlier, so far details are thin on the ground when it comes to the actual content of the game – though of course we can assume the traditional story-driven CRPG experience of the previous Baldur’s Gate games and of Larian’s own Divinity series. The trailer above shows us a glimpse of a phenomenon familiar to D&D players: ceremorphosis. For those unfamiliar, the oh-so-friendly-looking Zoidberg people in the trailer are called Illithid, or Mind Flayers, and they have a penchant for psionic powers and chomping brains. Ceremorphosis is what happens when an Illithid tadpole burrows into the brain of a humanoid (in this case, the unfortunate Flaming Fist mercenary) and slowly transforms the host into a full-grown Illithid. However, this process usually takes days rather than seconds, which means something more is going on than meets the eye with this new threat.
Larian CEO Swen Vincke has stated that you’ll begin the game just outside of the city of Baldur’s Gate itself, and you’ll obviously encounter a great deal of Illithid thanks to whatever plan it is they are unleashing upon the city. That plan also includes the presence of a Nautiloid – the big flying Kraken silhouette you see at the end of the trailer – which is the Mind Flayers’ “ride”, so to speak, through the Astral Plane. Only it’s quite a bit bigger than Nautiloids as we understand them.
So clearly there’s a bunch of unanswered questions here, and we don’t yet know whether these deviations from the norm are plot elements or Larian taking the 5e formula and putting their own spin on certain elements to tell their own story, or both. Either way, we can all agree on one thing: that trailer was certainly the goriest thing we’ve seen so far at this year’s E3.
That’s all we’ve got for the time being on Baldur’s Gate 3, but be sure to bookmark this page and check back for all the latest updates if you’re excited to see what Larian are capable of creating with this venerable and much-adored franchise.
See our E3 2019 tag for more news, previews, opinions, and increasingly surreal liveblogs.