Baldur’s Gate Tease Is Probably The Pre-Interquel

Oh what mystery!

You may have seen folks cooing over the Baldur’s Gate site’s addition of a cryptic countdown due to run out of ticks in the wee small hours of Friday morning. Folks in the know, like me and you my dear friend, will guess that it’s counting down to a reveal of the pre-sequel that Beamdog are making on ye olde Infinity Engine.

Alternatively, you may skip over everything I write and so be wholly surprised by this – like a certain colleague of mine whose name rhymes with Flay ‘Em Pith. That’s what you get.

Beamdog are the lot who revamped the first two Baldur’s Gate games recently, a studio founded by BioWare co-founder Trent Oster and a former BioWare codeman. They’ve been teasing this new and original Baldur’s Gate for a good few years now, but never really given it a proper announcement or spoken about it in much detail. I assume that’s what’ll be coming when that time runs out. I bet they have some words, some pictures, and probably even some moving pictures where a person’s speaking over the top.

The core of what we currently now is that it’s set between those two original Baldur’s Gate games, and uses the same old Infinity Engine. A Beamdogger snapped a few photos of the game off a screen back in January and they sure looked like an Infinity Engine RPG (I don’t know what more to say), but pulled the pics a while after.

So, next week, eh?

23 Comments

  1. grimdanfango says:

    Can’t say I’m much interested by this – I tried the Beamdog versions of BG1 and 2, and in my opinion they really didn’t achieve anything more than hacking them around a bit. BG2 was actually rendered unplayably buggy by the “enhancement” process, and at one point irreversably corrupted my playthrough. I was forced to go and grab the GOG original version, which worked far better with the freely available community patches applied.

    Their additional characters and plots just felt out of place and fan-fictiony too. I guess that’s almost inevitable when you walk this close to mimicry rather than taking the spiritual-successor route.

    I think they should forge out and write their own story, in their own world, rather than trying to immitate and pad out one that was already complete.

    • Dicehuge says:

      Yeah this just feels like a bad idea on Beamdog’s part. I got the 2 BG enhanced versions after they were patched and cleaned up so didn’t have the same performance issues other people had but yeah, the bits they added in just didn’t really fit.
      The voice acting on one of the new characters was so gratingly annoying, the bug that made her suddenly disappear from the world was a godsend. The BG games are so revered I can’t imagine why they would bother trying to add a new entry to the series. Better to make something new rather than try to live up to an impossible comparison.

    • pekingduckman says:

      Except all of the bugs has been long patched, and the recent Icewind Dale EE was released in a relatively buggy free state. Beamdog said due to Atari’s contract, BG1 and BG2 EEs were pushed out early, whereas with IWD EE and the new game, they underwent a through QA process and will push them out when they feel ready.

      And each to their own, but the EE also added proper HD and dual core processor support, zoom, quick loot, multiplayer matchmaking, and other nifty features which made it surpass the original release. And you can always ignore the new NPCs if you dislike them.

      • bill says:

        2 questions, if you happen to know:

        1 – If I played the regular non-EE BG1, will the EE BG2 import that information when I start?
        2 – Is there an easy way to enable sync between the PC and Android version, so I can continue play on either version at any time?

        Plus, is the Quick Loot button viable? Because I’d pay just for that! It’d cut the playtime by 25%

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I agree with you about the additional ‘original’ content, but as far as their efforts of fixing/enhancing the original games go I couldn’t disagree more. I’ve played the originals to death, with/without mods and the BG:EE/BG2:EE versions to me are the definitive versions. There’s just so much care and attention there it’s difficult to imagine playing them any other way now.

    • thmal says:

      Their additional characters and plots just felt out of place and fan-fictiony too.
      I would have loved to experience those characters and plots had they been part of a stand-alone, smaller bonus adventure. The EE content was implemented with seemingly no regard for consistency or retaining the same level of quality.

      Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to edit out with the Near Infinity utility- all it takes is an automated search through the game scripts and editing a few lines to prevent the characters from spawning.

  2. aliksy says:

    If it uses the old AD&D rules I have to admit I’m not interested. Those rules are just not very good.

    • Asurmen says:

      With the exception of THAC0, which is counter intuitive but you soon get used to it, not sure what is ‘wrong’ with AD&D.

      • aliksy says:

        4 hit point wizards, minimal options in melee (are there any at all? i don’t remember if it had flanking or special moves for players), the whiff-whiff-whiff-CRIT-DEAD swinginess / “You didn’t do anything wrong, but you still died” nature of combat at certain levels, geometric wizards and linear everyone else… uh… spells-per-day promoting weird metagame behavior… yeah. It doesn’t really bring anything exciting to the table for me, either.

        • malkav11 says:

          The BG games did implement a few maneuvers and things for melee types, at least at later levels or with kits, although I’m not sure what if anything they had to do with the actual tabletop rules. But yes, D&D’s long had a problem with fighters being boring as sin and even 3rd edition doesn’t really do that much to address the disparity between them and casters. 4th did, but a) nobody’s ever going to make a CRPG of that since 5th is out now and b) people complained it was too MMO-y. I’m not sure those people have played MMOs. And c) it did it at least as much by making casters much -less- exciting to play as by making fighter-types more exciting, which makes me sad.

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          Phasma Felis says:

          AD&D (i.e. 1E/2E) didn’t have crits except as optional rules, and its 3E successor still had d4 hit dice for wizards, save-or-lose effects, the linear-fighter/quadratic-wizard problem, and spells-per-day. Have you maybe got AD&D and 3E confused?

          • aliksy says:

            I only really know AD&D as implemented in the BG games. 3.x is also a steaming pile of shit in my opinion.

  3. trn says:

    Your post reminded me of not very fond memories of attacking my first rat in Arcanum, fumbling my sword, scarring myself and permanently losing charisma. There are worse combat options than AD&D, but not many : )

    • HopeHubris says:

      I tried to get into Baldur’s Gate a few times, the combat was just so bad.

      • skyturnedred says:

        Low level combat, which is what the whole first game has, is a bit boring. It picks up in the second game, where you have more options. Mainly, more spells. Fighters are pretty boring from start to finish.

  4. Corwin71 says:

    Beamdog has done nothing to inspire confidence in me that they are the folks for this (very big) job. Which is fine to me, really, since I fail to understand how the words “Balder” and “Gate” are meant to evoke some faerie magic that guarantees a good game. The isometric RPG is making a comeback, and are being made in some cases by some genuinely talented folks. I’m very much looking forward to Torment, for example. I don’t care what the games are called; I care that they are good games.

  5. Nibblet says:

    The days when people were clamoring for a “BG3”, back when the original team were still together, are long gone.
    This just seems like a sad attempt to cash in on the nostalgia that are already being met by the resurgence of new and original isometric rpgs.
    Nothing they did to the first two games were even close to the quality or style of the base games, and at best only managed to meet the level of community mods that have been out for years.

  6. RProxyOnly says:

    They can’t even live up to their promises of fixing the games properly, exactly why would they think that the are qualified to make an entirely new one?

    Their add-in content has been the bullshitiest excuse for new gameplay I’ve seen and certainly not up to any excusable standards for such a shining example of the RPG genre.. a few crap NPC’s and an ARENA????

    Give it up Beamdog, Second rate work from a third rate company…. and will you please fix BG1 properly like you were supposed to YEARS AGO, you don’t get to leave the game with YOUR bugs in it, considering that bugsquashing was your mandate. This isn’t a new project where the thing is given a general polish and left a bit broken, as has become the general attitude these days.. Your ONLY excuse for rereleasing it was to polish it properly, do your job.

    You suck.

  7. Assirra says:

    Why not make something new instead? Something that looks and plays the same but in a different universe with a couple ideas of your own.

    What is this with trying to revive older franchises. We all know it won’t be the same so leave those sleep forever in their glory instead of dragging them out and ruining them forever.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      I know, looks like a total ripoff of Pillars of Eternity.

  8. cpt_freakout says:

    I hope they make a joke out of the whole thing and give us a postmodern self-aware story about dragon lances and monarchies no one remembers except they kind of do. Otherwise… what’s the point?

  9. Ancient Evil says:

    I’m disappointed that they haven’t announced an Enhanced Edition for Planescape: Torment yet. They said the switch to 3rd Edition rules was what prevented them from doing Icewind Dale 2, but PS:T uses 2nd Edition rules like the ones they’ve done already, so what’s the holdup there?

    Anyway, I wish these guys the best of luck on their Baldur’s Gate interquel. If Atari hadn’t forced them to rush out their BG remasters early maybe there wouldn’t be all this unfortunate negativity toward this studio.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Minsc_N_Boo says:

    I really don’t want to see a new Baldur’s Gate game. A new AD&D game set in the Sword Coast would be great, but call it something different and start a new franchise.