Old thread is here
. I figured it was old enough to not be worth necroing.
Website for the game is here
For those of you who don't know the original Baldur's Gate, it is a game that was released in 1998 based on second edition dungeons and dragons, the forgotten realms setting. The player controlled a party of up to six characters, who could be chosen to the preference of the player. It had an expansion called Tales of the Sword Coast (Totsc) released in 1999, a sequel titled Shadows of Amn (SoA) released in 2000 and an expansion to the sequal titled Throne of Bhaal (ToB) released in 2001. It is related in name only to the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance series. The series was praised near universally, being noted for its open world and replayability. The number of different NPCs and the number of routes that problems could be tackled was large, allowing for an enormous range of playstyles. The series has won countless awards, revolutionised the genre and still has a firm place in many of the lists of best games. The games featured a gripping central plotline that saw the protagonist grow from a solitary, vulnerable level 1 weakling, to a great force of the planes, as their journeys through Toril saw them interacting with an incredible detailed world, packed with countless unique and unforgetteable characters and quests.
For the years after it was released, there were many rumours of a third game, but none came though. The grand plotline that had tied the series together was brought to a magnificent climax in ToB, and there was no was to build on it for a sequel. Furthermore, soon after the release of ToB, second edition DnD and its associated products started to be phased out by Wizards of the Coast, to be replaced with third edition, and the rights to the name became seperated from the companies that produced the games. The chances of a third game were minimal.
However, the first two games had a strong enough community, and still do. The modding scene fell in love with Baldur's gate, even creating a new language (Weidu) to help with the mod manufacturing. The mods are still being produced and enjoyed to this day, fourteen years after the game had originally came out. Notable almong these mods was TuTu, and BG Trilogy, which allowed one to play the content and story of the first game with the engine and features of the second.
And a few months ago, there was sudden news on the horizon. The domain name baldursgate.com was registered, featuring only a countdown to some date and nothing more. Speculation was wild. Tensions mounted as the countdown got closer and closer to zero, and when it finally did, we were greeted with the announcement of BGEE. Overhaul games (A division of beamdog) had acquired the licence for the Baldur's gate series and second edition content, and were remaking the games.
At first, details of what exactly the enhanced edition would entail were shaky. Would the old content stay were it was? Would the existing characters have new content added? Many members of the original BG team were assembled. The answers were slow at first, and vague, but as time passed they became more clear. And a release date was announced, for september 18th...
There are countless minor changes far too many to get into now, so I'll go over the main ones. However, note that they are not creating a new game from scratch - they have taken the old code and refurbished. Some part of it have been gutted and redone, and some parts have needed minimal work, but it is still largely the same basic engine and it's not going to be something completely different. They have removed a lot of the hardcoded limitations, but some they have been unable to.
-The game's interface is now data-diven instead of the hardcoded one it was before. This allows for much greater flexibility with the layout and content, and makes it suitable for a large range of platforms and screen sizes
-It it going to be coming out on a large range of platforms. PC, Mac and Ipad will be released in September, with Android at some later date.
-Multiplayer has been one of their major focuses. The multiplayer system has been completely replaced, and it is now exceedingly polished, confirmed to work cross-platform as well.
-It includes the content from BG and Totsc. There are also plans for a BG2EE which will do the same for SoA and ToB.
-The music will be a mixture of the old music and new music. All (or almost all) of the old music will be preserved, and new music will be added alongside it
-The old NPCs will have new text-based dialogue added, but no new voice-acting. The new NPCs will have both text and voiced dialogue. There are three new characters: Rasaad yn Bashir, a human monk; Neera, a half-elf wild mage; Dorn Il-Khan, a half-orc blackguard (new kit). Each of the three characters adds a new area in which they are found. There is also added a very large new dungeon, called The Black Pits.
-The cinematics and some of the artwork has been replaced with higher-quality stuff. Lots of the area maps have also been touched up.
-Each of the kits and classes that were available in BG2 and ToB will be available
-The overhaul has been designed with modding in mind. Not only have a lot of the previously hardcoded limits been made softcoded, but great length have been made to ensure that as many as possible of the mods that have been made over the last decade will remain compatible.
The game will be available from the Beamdog website. It will be a direct download, via the beamdog client, though it appears that you only need the client to download and install, not to play - it is confirmed that internet connection will not be required to play.
The game is only an overhaul, not a fully new game, so the price is only USD $19.99 (USD $17.99 if you preorder).
Because it's based off the infinity engine, it's not very demaning on your computer, so you will not need a new one. The system requirements are given as 1Ghz processor and 512MB RAM, which should be well within the capabilities of people's computers.
I'm going to ask people to avoid spoilers about the plotlines of the game - It came out a long time ago, and there are likely quite a few people on this forum that haven't had experience with the original.
I'm feeling really happy about this. The price is a lot lower than new games coming out these days, and they had more added content than I expected - the black pits section looks to be comparable in length to Durlag's Tower alone, and the other stuff just adds. The new characters could go either way - I'm a bit concerned about having a low-level monk given to the player, it seems like something that could cause a lot of irritation to some players.
The biggest thing that I'm excited about is the revival of the modding scene. When the original came out it spawned some absolutely incredible mods, and I'm hoping this version will do the same. With the removial of the hard cape and making the UI data-driven, the possibilities have expanded enormously, and the developers are really keen to see the modding scene flourish, which bodes extremely well.
Also, how does Bay12 feel about giving this enhanced multiplayer a go and doing a group playthrough/let's play once it comes out?