Jaheira, of Baldur's Gate fame.

‘Baldur’s Gate 3’ Finally Has a Release Date

I gotta focus, I'm shifting into Goth Half-Elf mode.

Bugghghb … bububbbbb … blubbb … Sorry, I just can’t believe we finally have a release date for this game. Baldur’s Gate 3 released its early access demo right when I had to evacuate my college due to COVID-19. I’ve played that demo enough that I consider this game my “COVID game.” After so many letdowns in gaming lately, it feels so good to finally have an end in sight.

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If you haven’t heard the news, haven’t heard of the game at all, or you’re just a fan hungry for any info you can get, like me—here’s everything you need to know about Larian’s upcoming RPG, Baldur’s Gate 3.

When will Baldur’s Gate 3 be released?

We finally have an official release date. Baldur’s Gate will be available on August 3 for PC, and September 6 for PS5.

Baldur’s Gate 3 trailer

Blublbublublbulblbu … Oh, guys, you don’t know how good this feels. That intro music brought me all the way back to those early days when I had no idea what was going to happen to the world and had to take my comforts wherever I could. I can already tell that this game is going to be an incredibly special thing, the sort of fantasy RPG we’ve been waiting for.

Yes, Elden Ring good, etc. etc.. But I’m here to speak for the fans who miss that Dragon Age-type beat; the ones with memorable companions and potential romances who follow you through rich stories that take fascinating twists and turns.

Now, the biggest hiccup is the price. BG3 will come with a hefty $59.99 price tag, as well as a digital deluxe edition that will cost $79.99. Most of the additions that come with this edition aren’t exactly “necessary,” as BG3 isn’t promising DLC and is a pretty full game on its own. However, credit’s due where credit’s due: Larian will reduce the deluxe price by $20 for pre-orderers, and will give early-access players an entirely free upgrade. It’s an expensive business, but Larian does truly care about its fans!

Related: Best Diablo Games of All Time, Ranked on Twinfinite

Companions and romances

'Baldur's Gate 3' official companion art.
(Larian)

I have never, ever played an RPG with such nasty little assholes as companions, and I love it. Apparently the roster will expand as we go. There are data-mined spoilers which I won’t disclose, but for now, these are the most important characters we’ve met (and been shown) thus far:

  • Shadowheart: A half-elf cleric of Shar whose unabashed gothness would be funny if she wasn’t also incredibly pretty. Her romance is surprisingly sweet and vulnerable, but you get the sense that she’s holding back because of a darker secret we’ve yet to uncover.
  • Gale: A human wizard who I want to slap around—in more ways than one. He’s cocky and confident, with a secret that’s devastating both literally and figuratively. But you can’t help but want to root for him with his nerdy charm and thick, stupid hair.
  • Astarion: A high-elf vampire who’s become the internet’s blorbo. I don’t know how else to describe him. Astarion is a petty bitch who feels vindicated whenever you do bad things to other people because it validates the pain he’s had to endure in his life. And while that’s not really my romantic cup of tea, I still love the guy.
  • Lae’zel: A Githyanki warrior who has some very choice opinions about who to murder and when. She’s pragmatic and rough, but you can’t help but admire her for how hard she’s fought to get where she is. And also, her romance is spicy!
  • Wyll: A human warlock who fronts as a noble-born hero of the people, but is hiding a massive amount of baggage in the form of a succubus. He’s the most jovial and well-intentioned member of the group, and his romance is painfully tender, although he absolutely has his own agenda.
  • Karlach: A Tiefling barbarian and refugee of the Blood War, who got caught up in all this Mind Flayer nonsense after fleeing her captor, the Archdevil Zariel. Despite her intimidating appearance, Karlach is one of the more righteous companions, and only wants freedom from her bloody past.

If it isn’t already clear: Yes, all of the above are romance-able. Romances in this game will apparently be a lot more fleshed-out than most RPGs, in the sense that you can influence how your companions grow and change throughout the course of your relationship. As well as this, all of the above characters will be playable as origin characters, similar to Larian’s past game Divinity Original Sin 2.

Along with these companions, we will also be able to recruit, work with, and potentially smooch the following:

  • Halsin: an elven Druid that you rescue in the first act, who then leaves his position as leader of Silvanus Grove to join your quest. He’s big, hunky, and a literal bear—and after years of begging, Larian finally made him a romance. Just go on Twitter to see what all the fuss is about.
  • Minthara: A Drow who’s the de facto leader of the goblin camp. If you side with her and wipe out the druids, you can initiate a romance with her. Where it goes, no one knows, but it’s definitely the most graphic romance scene in the game thus far.
  • Jaheira: A half-elf druid who’s endured great strife, yet always managed to persevere thanks to her tough nature.
  • Minsc & Boo: A human ranger and his space hamster companion. Minsc is the brawn, Boo is the brains. Also, Matt Mercer will be playing Minsc. Oh my god????????????????

Of course, there’s going to be quite a big cast of characters to meet, as there’s over 2000 lines of dialogue in this game. From a devil you can sell your soul to, to J.K. Simmons as a bona-fide villain, and even a couple of pets you can adopt, Baldur’s Gate 3 will be absolutely brimming with colorful personalities throughout your adventures.

Gameplay

Minsc getting out in 'Baldur's Gate 3'
(Larian)

In total, players will have 12 classes and 48 subclasses to choose from, which they can further multiclass and/or respec to their liking. There will also be 11 races you can play as, with sub-races depending on which race you choose (i.e. Black Dragonborn, Asmodeus Tiefling, etc.).

Character creation is both in-depth and fairly simple. It’s what I call the “Larian Style”: There are many faces to choose from, but you can’t alter them beyond cosmetics, such as tattoos and makeup. I don’t personally mind this, and I’ve already been quite vocal about my appreciation for the diverse array of faces to choose from. The hair is also incredibly well-done, which is unfortunately rare in RPGs.

Gameplay itself is what you’d expect from a turn-based, top-down RPG, but obviously quite polished for modern standards. It’s a lot of fun! A bit simpler than the company’s predecessor, Divinity Original Sin 2, but still fun and creative in its own ways. Your stats are determined by your predetermined histories, your selected talents, and, of course, your class, which can then be whittled further into a subclass upon leveling.

Depending on how carefully you level, the game can either be a breeze or a nightmare. The story takes you into zones that you’re either ready for or not. Luckily, even in this first act of the game, there’s quite a bit of exploration you can do to max yourself out and be as prepared as you can be. Then again, I bring Astarion everywhere I go. That guy is a stealth-archery powerhouse, so I don’t have to do too much heavy-lifting.

Regarding co-op, not only is it super fun: it’s super versatile! You can play on the couch in the same room, or you can do as Alyssa Shotwell and I did and play across states. You can adventure right alongside your friend, or you can go off and do your own thing. The possibilities

Should you play Baldur’s Gate 3?

YES. Stop asking and join us in tadpole land.

(featured image: Larian Studios)


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Author
Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).