So you know Baldur’s Gate 3 is a thing, you know Larian Studios is developing it, and you know it’s going to feature freaky squidmen. Apart from that, we’ve been pretty much in the dark since the initial reveal. All of that ended during PAX East, when Swen Vincke went in front of a big crows and played the game for an hour or so. We got to see the opening cinematic, character creation, some dialogues and a couple of fights. And yes, it’s turn based, and yes, that is perfectly fine. Shut up, you grognard.
If you’re in the mood for a long watch, you can watch the whole panel here. It is among the best presentations I’ve seen – Vincke played the game live, which means that things often didn’t turn out the way he’d expected. If you’re looking for just the opening cinematic, that one can be found over yonder.
I see a lot of folks comparing it to the previous two Baldur’s Gates, but that strikes me as more than a bit silly. Even the tabletop rules have changed so much that there’s literally no use comparing this to a couple of twenty year old videogames. Instead, I’d rather compare it to Divinity: Original Sin 2 – if they hadn’t managed to secure the deal with Hasbro, it probably would’ve been Original Sin 3: Sin Harder.
The biggest news here are that you can shove people off ledges during combat, jump in order to gain a height advantage, and throw anything from your inventory at them. At one point, Vincke threw his shoes at an intellect devourer, dealing more damage than he managed to do in three hits with a weapon. You can also summon a disembodied hand to do the shoving.
The only thing that actually irks me are the dialogue options. They’re all presented in the past tense, as if the protagonist was recounting the tale of your adventure as it happens. It might end up a great aesthetic choice, but on a sample as small as this it just weirded me out.