After a whopping 19 years since the release of predecessor Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, it’s been revealed that there’s a third Baldur’s Gate game coming, and that it’s being developed by Larian Studios, one of the best RPG developers on the market right now.
The game will be a classic CRPG rather than an action RPG in the style of spin-off series Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, and Larian are suggesting the game will be a mash-up of all of the best parts of their own award-winning Divinity: Original Sin series and Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.
Other than this, and the fact we’ll supposedly be revisiting the Forgotten Realms where Baldur’s Gate is set 100 years after the events of Baldur’s Gate 2, we don’t know much. Here’s our wishful thinking, though.
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1. Return of The Last Bhaalspawn
In Baldur’s Gate and its sequel, you play as The Last Bhaalspawn. There are many Bhaalspawn, children of Bhaal, the god of murder, and women of a variety of different species. Generally they have special powers, but enough about them because we’re here to talk about The Last Bhaalspawn, the player character.
Baldur’s Gate, in a lot of ways, is The Last Bhaalspawn’s story. It would be great if the game closing out the trilogy gave us more on the character, although as everything is set 100 years from now, it’s unclear what role he’ll take.
It does segue nicely into point 2, though.
2. Importing your character
This one feels almost impossible, but it would be a dream. In Baldur’s Gate you could take your character and import that save file into Baldur’s Gate 2, bringing across some of your characters special traits and skills into the new game.
For a roleplaying game, this feels great. It’s like your tabletop roleplaying character surviving one campaign and heading straight into another, with all the identifying quirks still attached. Most people won’t have their save files from the older Baldur’s Gate games, but being able to import your save from the Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Editions would be great.
If that isn’t possible, what about being able to select which choices you made in the Baldur’s Gate sequel at the start of this one? The ripples from your actions 100 years ago.
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3. Elemental combat
Divinity: Original Sin 2 has the best combat in the turn-based roleplaying business, as far as i’m concerned. There are a few reasons why it edges out some strong competition, but the real strength of Divinity 2 is the way you have to think with elements to make things work.
Cast a wall of fire, and the ground is aflame. You can’t get through it, and neither can the enemy. So you cast rain, which puts out the fire and any of your burning party members, but also makes the ground wet, making you more susceptible to lightning. Then there’s poison, which explodes when it is set on fire, or ice, which means there’s a chance to fall over and miss your turn.
It adds a layer of tactical depth to Divinity: Original Sin 2 that few other CRPG’s have, and with the wide range of ridiculous spells in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, one of the best additions to a third Baldur’s Gate game would be the addition of elemental combat.
4: Dungeon Master Mode
Both Divinity: Original Sin and the other huge Dungeons and Dragons series, Neverwinter Nights, had a fully featured Dungeon Master mode that allowed one player to take others on a mystery tour, managing encounters, loot and other aspects to give them a campaign experience like no other.
This option in Baldur’s Gate would open us up to a bunch of fun Twitch and YouTube content, and could well be, with full support, one of the best ways to play Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition in video game form.
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5: Make Mind Flayers really scary
From the look of the terrifying body horror trailer, Baldur’s Gate 3 is all about Mind Flayers. These have always been horrific, ever since the earlier days of D&D’s first edition. Larian should lean into this horror, delivering some grotesque for us to avoid.
There’s some real darkness in Divinity: Original Sin 2 if you know where to look, and I would love to see the team bring that to Baldur’s Gate 3, embracing the true horror of Mind Flayers, creatures feared throughout the land for their psionic abilities.
Larian Studios has already shown a deft grasp of tone in their previous efforts, and it’s important that the tone isn’t just pitch black. Letting in humour, hope and entertainment will only serve to make it all the more effective when Mind Flayers show up as an incredibly potent threat.