New Baldur’s Gate Set Between 1 And 2 Coming This Year

Look, don't blame me for this being a photo of a screen.

Do you remember when Beamdog, the folks who’ve been revamping Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, announced they were making a new Baldur’s Gate game? Do you remember – one set between the first two games and using the same dear old Infinity Engine? No, me neither. But, acting as if we all totally knew all along, they’ve now announced that it’ll launch this year. Beyond that, it’s a bit of a mystery, but gosh! An actual new Baldur’s Gate!

You can pore over the announcement on Beamdog’s blog for details, but you won’t find much more. They’ll have more to say about a release date and what’s even in the game in late spring. It seems the initial ‘announcement’ we missed was in scattered tweets and teasing posts over 2012 and 2013, as collected in this forum post. A Beamdogger popped up later to share some off-screen photos which they don’t say are the game codenamed Adventure Y, but obvs totes are.

Beamdog are also now teasing a new game codenamed Adventure Z or Project: Beartrap or something or other, which… will be a video game. They say it’s “a departure for us in terms of what we’ve done in the past” and that “the project might involve sharks”, which might be a joke or a double-bluff or… we won’t know until they say more. Their marketing plan will have them opening up about it in late summer. Right-o.

What even.

63 Comments

  1. ChairmanYang says:

    Very skeptical of this, given the weakness of the added content in the BG1/BG2 Enhanced Editions (although I don’t know what their new Icewind Dale stuff was like).

    I’m guessing Pillars of Eternity will be a much better way to scratch the Infinity Engine itch.

    • Cinek says:

      Aye. I can’t see these guys matching the Pillars of Eternity nor coming with something I would consider a worthy game of a series. I’d love to be proven opposite, but chances for that are very, very slim.

    • thmal says:

      The additional content they’ve produced for BG1EE/BG2EE is, unfortunately, not up to par. It upsets the cohesion, immersion, and overall narrative of otherwise brilliant games. Worst of all, there’s no simple way to fully opt out of the new content in BG2EE- the new NPCs unwelcome interlopers are placed in key locations and are obnoxiously scripted to interfere with you unprovoked.

      Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, on the other hand, was brilliantly pulled off, with none of that nonsense, sticking only to actual enhancements.

      • Asurmen says:

        I can’t say I’ve noticed any issues with their additions.

      • wlerin says:

        Well, to be fair, Icewind Dale didn’t exactly have a story they could clash with.

  2. Zallgrin says:

    Does anybody know whether their writers are any good? Cause right now it looks potentially interesting and potentially disappointing.

    • inf says:

      To be honest anyone that was a decent writer from back in the days of the original IE games is now at Obsidian or inXile (or both, as they’re doing cross-development on some projects, eg Chris Avellone). Also, production values when it comes to writing and how they influence the literary quality have kind of shifted for RPGs, in a very bad lowest common denominator way. I really can’t see these guys spending huge budgets on writing. Don’t count on anything even remotely comparable to the original BGs, let alone the masterpiece that was Planescape Torment. My advice if you want a strong narrative RPG experience? Play through that again, while waiting for Pillars of Eternity and the new Torment.

      • wu wei says:

        But Path of Exile has already gone into open release…

        (Stupid acronym namespace clashes….)

        • Tacroy says:

          I remember reading a funny article back before BG2 came out, praising it for largely using made up words in the title.

      • Arglebargle says:

        While I am not a hardcore player, the Path of Exile story has been quite nice to follow. Well written, and the voicings are pretty enjoyable as well.

        • inf says:

          Not sure if trolling, but PoE (in this case) stood for Pillars of Eternity.

    • atticus says:

      In my opinion: sadly, no. The new content/characters don’t seem to really fit with the existing game(s), at least that’s what I felt when I was playing.

      It could be that my 300 hours of Baldurs Gateing prior to the enhanced editions had made me too set in my sword coast ways, but BG EE feels somewhat like Star Wars Original Trilogy Special Edition to me.

      I appreciate the effort in bringing it to new formats and systems, but I don’t appreciate the new content.

  3. Frank says:

    Yeah, the advance of technology doesn’t make developing an IE game much cheaper. They’ve still got to make a ton of art, find good writers, and make the game logic for the story work. I’m skeptical that these HD-ifyers can do that.

    • Oozo says:

      It just does not make any sense to me. I mean, I can get behind nostalgic projects like Shovel Knight or (I presume) the upcoming PoE, games that took elements that were good in those times and use them to do something new, and good.

      And I could understand why bringing the original games to new devices was a worthwile project (while the added content at least made for an acceptable, albeit uninteresting hook for potential buyers).

      But doing a new game in that old engine? I mean, it’s maybe the only one the are used to work in. But is there really somebody out there who longs for another game in that exact engine? It seems to be a gross miscalcuation, or like pandering to nostalgia of the most problematic sorts.

      • mattevansc3 says:

        Well to put it some form of perspective the modding community has successfully built BG1 using the NeverWinter Nights engine and are in the process of building BG1 as a Dragon Age: Origins mod.

        • Blackcompany says:

          I never played BG1 all the way through. Both of the older PC’s I installed it on, promptly died. I took the hint.

          Being as I already own Dragon Age: Onions, I would gladly give the mod a go if it ever gets finished. That would most likely be brilliant. And undoubtedly preferable to the Fade and Deep Roads…

      • Hex says:

        On the other hand — wouldn’t it be kind of weird for a game linking the first two games to suddenly be in a totally different engine?

      • paddymaxson says:

        Oh lord no. The infinity engine was good for its day. I personally hate it. Its aged very poorly. It can still look pretty but those pathing issues make me want to fellate a gun barrel

        • drewski says:

          I’m (entirely coincidentally) replaying BG2 (non enhanced edition) at the moment and the pathfinding. Oh god the pathfinding.

  4. padger says:

    Could THIS cheer John Walker up? We can only hope.

  5. Wytefang says:

    Sad that they can’t be bothered to use a better engine for this. I lost all interest once they told us that little (lame) fact. I’ll pass now. If they can’t be bothered to modernize things, I can’t be bothered to open my wallet for it. Sorry Beamdog!

  6. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Does the story of Baldur’s Gate really need an intermission there? I’d rather people made Throne of Bhaal longer, so, you know, you can actually reach the maximum level 10,000 you need to be to win the game without cheating. ;_;

    But I’m always skeptical of prequels and sequels made long after the fact. Let your favourite franchise go, people, it’s rarely worth the pain.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      You seem to be considering the new title as something which was decided upon after considering whether it made sense from a story/universe perspective rather than from a business perspective.

      No, I don’t think this is likely to be what fans of the genre would like. Thankfully we have other games to play and look forward to.

    • Oozo says:

      Huh? Just being curious, and certainly not wanting to brag: is Throne of Bhaal considered to be unbeatable without cheats? I only beat it once, back in the day, but there certainly were no cheats involved. Only a “naturally” overpowered bard, if I remember correctly. (High-level rogues and bards are devastating with their traps.) I remember Torment being way more impossible, at least if you tried to battle your way through, for example.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        ToB is actually fairly easy, assuming that no difficulty mods are installed and you aren’t 12-year old me who didn’t understand THACO or how to dispel protections. I’m probably not the only kid who had that problem.

      • Great Cthulhu says:

        Depending on your party composition, the final battle can be extremely difficult. The first time I finished the game, that battle took me half a dozen tries. Second time, with a different party, it was a breeze.

      • Rao Dao Zao says:

        To be fair, I may still be a 12-year-old that doesn’t understand THAC0. I think it’s that pocket-plane fight with the infinitely respawning magic-immune swords where I cease being able to cope. :(

      • Anders Wrist says:

        It’s possible to solo with a couple of classes. I personally find it easiest with the tried and true dual classed kensai/mage combination. There are probably guides out there if someone is interested in how.

      • ZanathKariashi says:

        BG2/ToB is soloable with a 161,000 xp capped (the maximum for Bg1) character of any class (though only the most hardcore masochist would do a shapeshifter, since you’re going be effectively playing as a normal druid with an extra penalty since werewolf form becomes useless about 5-mins after leaving irenicus’s dungeon). And even if you use the Ascension Mod to boost the difficulty of the ToB Encounters, you only need a party, rather then raising the cap. And come class combinations can still solo even with that.

        DnD is all about strategy and tactics. The fore-thought to keep a good spread of options available, so that you can choose the appropriate tactics for a given encounter. (and this is assuming you refuse to use any of the completely borked adaption spells, like Wish, CC, Improved Aclarity, or Project Image, don’t abuse resting (only in an inn and only when fatigued), and avoid cheese like pre-trapping around a non-hostile enemy.)

    • Det. Bullock says:

      Never felt the need for cheating in Throne of Bhaal, the last battle was difficult but still doable (quicksaving like crazy just in case) and while I never hit the xp cap I was still fairly high level with some overpowered weapons that helped a lot thanks to my “never leave any stone unturned” policy when it comes to RPGs, there is also a thing in the megadungeon (that also provides some of the overpowered equipment above), that lets you have some extra expierence (of course, with some save scumming as the in-game thing that works like a lottery that kills you if you lose), and this without killing the big invisible monster (never even tried, the non-violent choices were more logical for my neutral good charismatic hyper-wise ubersmart wizard).

  7. Jakkar says:

    I heard their added content was abysmal, standing out starkly in comparison with the original. And let’s be honest, while BG2 was beautifully written the original was just a tacky D+D adventure book to diceroll your way through, so that’s hardly a high standard to meet.

    I am not hopeful.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      The new content is up to the standards of BG2’s writing. Some of the new npc personalities and romances are perhaps overly dramatic and florid, but that’s perfectly in keeping with a cast that includes histrionic characters like Aerie, Anomen and Edwin.

      The biggest problems with the added content:
      -The voice acting for Neera is not very good.
      -The added content stuck out like a sore thumb in BG1:EE, which is mostly just a hack and slash adventure as you described.
      -Almost every conversation tree has 3 answers: evil, good or comically wacky. The writing is fine, but it ends up feeling a bit formulaic, which gets in the way of role-playing.

      If Beamdog take some feed back from their forums regarding the writing, it’ll probably turn out ok. I’m hoping for a return of BG:EE’s secret character (arguably the best part of the enhanced edition) and the addition of some new kits.

    • ZanathKariashi says:

      BG2 was %^$& compared to BG1…and that’s assuming you don’t include ToB, which just brings it down even more, since THAT was a rushed POS that even the original devs mentioned wasn’t nearly as fleshed out as they’d liked.

      Sarevok is easily the best written villain out of the entire Baldur’s Gate franchise. Irenicus isn’t bad, but he isn’t quite up to snuff (though David Warner’s VA work DEFINITELY makes him better then he would otherwise be, given his ridiculously generic evil wizard plan).
      Now don’t get me wrong…party interactions were BETTER, this is without contest (and Jan Jansen being the best thing ever created ever), but that alone does not make a game good…and all the %^$&-ups they did in the mechanics just annoy me so much.

      BG1 was no saint in adaption either, but it was a better adaption then what BG2 did, since for everything they genuinely did better, they did, literally 12 things MUCH worse.

  8. Core says:

    There really doesn’t need to be a Baldurs gate 3 or 1 1/2.

    • Herbal Space Program says:

      Indeed, between the new Torment game, Pillars of Eternity and the incomming Divinity mods we can easily let BG rest in peace in the cRPG hall of fame.

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    teije says:

    Bleah – this makes me sad actually. There’s no need for Beamdog to resurrect the BG franchise, it should be left alone in the pantheon of old RPG greats. The remake underwhelmed me certainly.

    We’re in a new golden age of RPGs – they should make something new, rather than poorly resurrect old IP with some kind of filler content. For my classic RPG itch, much more looking forward to Torment, Pillars of Eternity, and still enjoying DoS and W2.

  10. Drake Sigar says:

    If memory serves, Baldur’s Gate 2 begins with the protagonist getting jumped right beating his brother and leaving the city of Baldur’s Gate, so there’s not much room for a story between unless it takes place in the city itself. Or they could just retcon. I’m sure that will go over well.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      The party (including by default Jaheira, Khalid, Minsc and Imoen) are ambushed at night while camping in the wilderness. I forget exactly what the narration is, but I think it’s implied that the PC and friends have been travelling for a couple months.

      • Asurmen says:

        Yep. Definitely states you’ve been followed for some time and you’ve been running for your life.

      • ZanathKariashi says:

        Actually, Minsc and Dynahier weren’t with the party when they were taken. They learned that the party had went missing and decided to try to find them and their snooping around lead them to Athkatla where they were captured as well (by a Bounty Hunter). This is an easy detail to overlook if you don’t pay attention to Minsc’s dialog in the dungeon while he’s in the cage.

        —————

        Of course….it’s also an easy detail to overlook (due to requiring you remember a lot of little details and conversions between both games and connect the dots yourself) that You were Irenicus’s 2nd pick, he originally came to Baldur’s Gate to get Sarevok and had been laying in wait planning the snatch for some time*, but after you came into conflict with Sarevok, he decided to simply wait and watch how things played out.

        *Talking to Centeol she pretty clearly spells out that Irenicus had come and stayed with her for quite a while, but then left her for a local noblewoman (since he needed to get closer to Sarevok who was a member of high standing in the nobility), who she stabbed in a fit of jealousy (after which Irenicus turned her into ….whatever that was as punishment, and Bodhi apparently vamped the noblewoman so they wouldn’t lose their progress since a noble vampire with the same name appears in her lair in BG2).

  11. mattevansc3 says:

    Not holding any hope for this. Between BG2 and BG2:ToB there are no loose ends from BG1. Also BG2 is very specific about who was in your party prior to being captured by Irenicus as well as who wasn’t. That means either the content will be restrictive on party choice which goes against one of the main principles of the game or the content is unrelated to BG2 and is just filler. In the case of filler you might as well download any of the numerous NPC mods out there.

    It also sounds a bit iffy. Like their existing contract does not allow them to make new games or use new engines but they’ve exploited a loophole that allows them to make this game as long as its based between BG1 and BG2 and uses the Infinity Engine.

    • derbefrier says:

      Well they only said it was set between BG1 and 2 they didn’t say they were using the same characters. Either way I don’t see why it won’t be a decent game. Some people seem to hold biowareaks writing on a pedastal but I played thethe enhanced additions and thought their extra content was on the same level as the orginial. Whether they can keep it up for a whole game is a good question but I think they can do it.

      • mattevansc3 says:

        Is mostly nostalgia but I think of it stems from the almost cash grab feel of it/its not your game.

        When a new developer takes over any IP they will naturally put their spin on it, be it Crystal Dynamics take on Tomb Raider, 2K’s take on XCOM (especially the originally announced Declassified) our worse EA’s take on Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper. Now these companies did the decent thing and rebooted those games so that their product was distinct from the original product. Their product could sully the name of your nostalgia bit it couldn’t sully the memories.

        Beamdog are effectively rewriting your memories. They aren’t making their own distinct product, they are taking the product of your memories and changing it. They made Minsc shoot first.

        The other thing is that Beamdog are also trading on your memories without “earning” it. All they’ve done to date is take somebody else’s product, played with it, bolted on some additional content and released it. They haven’t shown they understand the product and want to insert a new chair that nobody really asked for.

        If they turned around and said they were making a game based around Baldur’s Gate using the IE engine but was separate from your original party then that would be fine. They’d be doing their own thing telling their own story but they aren’t.

        • drinniol says:

          Honestly, that’s the biggest bunch of bullshit I’ve heard in a long time. The BG modding scene hasn’t ruined anyone’s memories, has it? And the original games are still widely available (unlike, say, Star Wars)? GO PLAY THEM THEN.

          The EEs have introduced players who quite honestly don’t want to be fucking around with mods and geting the originals running on modern systems. Don’t for one second try and say that’s a bad thing, especially in an age where DA: Inq and The Witcher exist.

          Bloody grognards *grumble*

    • Dezmiatu says:

      The BG2 starting party never matched mine. In fact, I had to kill Minsc in my playthrough of BG1 when he went crazy because I didn’t rescue his crappy mage right then and there. The mismatching is a necessary fudge with sequels and don’t reflect the impossibility of room for an interlude.

      That said, I’d rather a whole new story set in and around Baldur’s Gate again. With all that was learned since then, it can be revisited and done better.

  12. Philomelle says:

    All I’m getting out of this announcement is that I’d really like for Josh Sawyer to make a third attempt at developing the Black Hound.

    I wonder if he can convince Obsidian to let him try once he’s done working on the Pillars of Eternity.

    • Werthead says:

      Not Obsidian’s call. It’s Atari’s and Wizards of the Coast’s, and they already turned down Obsidian’s attempts to make a new D&D RPG a few years ago when they proposed ICEWIND DALE III to them. It was that rejection which seems to have led to the decision to develop PILLARS OF ETERNITY.

  13. Moraven says:

    There is also the two Baldur’s Gate ARPG console games that fit in the timeline somewhere.

  14. Biaxident says:

    This is just going to be like the abused step child locked in the cellar compared to Pillars of Eternity and the new Torment. The re-releases of 1&2 were a complete joke, basically just a tablet release and taking away mod support on PC. No need for this at all and it is a travesty to the legacy of the Baldur’s Gate series.

  15. Wowbagger says:

    I feel it is beholden of me to say “Go for the eyes Boo, Yaaa!”

  16. ResonanceCascade says:

    Well I (and apparently I alone) will play this if it’s even a little good. I love Baldur’s Gate and am always down for some new adventures in that world.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      And we all wanted further adventures in the Star Wars universe after Return of the Jedi and look how well that turned out ;-)

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        To be fair, I did qualify that it would have to be at least a little good!

  17. K_Sezegedin says:

    Nothing like paying money for fan-fic quality content.

    Yes, I am jumping to conclusions.

  18. krait says:

    What I would much rather like instead of a BG 1.5 are new NPCs, new romances, new quests and new areas and dungeons to explore for BG2. There are some mods, but none of them are commercial quality and there is little in the way of added dungeons.

    A pre-sequel… nooooooooooooooo…

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Define commercial quality. Most of BG1’s NPCs were characterless with very little in the way of inter-party interaction, quests or storylines. There are still plenty of commercial games being released with bad dialogue, bad scripts, bad voice acting, generic designs and gameplay and keys not further the general lack of polish and bugs.

      Even modern Bioware games have their issues, especially around relationships, be it DA:O’s Prostitution (the gifting system meant you could effectively buy sex from your companions) or Mass Effect’s and DA2’s “Nice responses mean you are in a relationship” dialogue system.

      In comparison there are more commercial level IE mods than there are commercial level commercial releases.

      • krait says:

        mattevansc3, I guess by commercial-quality I mean “stuff that could have been from the vanilla game.” I tried quite a few of the mod NPCs, and all of them seemed to be someone’s ideal NPC or someone’s personal fantasy romance as opposed to an NPC that is generally likeable even if you’re not a fan of sexy drow boys or whatever. The mod NPCs’ behaviour was often so grating compared to even the more extreme things the vanilla NPCs do or say that I would boot them from my party because I couldn’t stand it.

        Fan-made maps/missions are extremely rare, and the ones that do exist often have bad difficulty tuning compared to the rest of the game.

        That’s what I meant by “commercial quality.”

        • drinniol says:

          You should be says “exceptional quality”, because the commercial quality of writing in games is, quite frankly, crap.

  19. gwathdring says:

    Is the pre-sequel starting to become a trend now?

  20. icemann says:

    What we need is part 3 of the Dark Alliance series, as there was supposed to be the closing game to complete the story.

    Those games were awesome. Sure they didn’t stick to the formula of the PC games, but they were still very enjoyable. The first game in particular.

  21. vorador says:

    Ten years too late. And with nobody from the original team on board, i’m not expecting anything good.

  22. Malah Ram says:

    shut up and take m money.