release date, gameplay, universe, all info on the roleplaying game of the year

Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the video games of the year, a title that offers players complete freedom. In this file, we take stock of the essentials to know about this RPG before launching. Release date, gameplay, universe, we tell you everything.

Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate is a saga that delighted RPG fans in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It returns to center stage with a much-awaited third episode, the aptly named Baldur’s Gate 3.

In this file, we take stock of the essentials to know before starting. Release date, price, gameplay, universe, we tell you everything! Ready to embark on a new adventure?

When was Baldur’s Gate 3 released and on which platforms?

Baldur’s Gate 3 was released on August 3, 2023. on PC and Macboth on Steam, GOG and GeForce Now.

Baldur's Gate 3

On PS5, it is expected for September 6. No Xbox version announced yet.

Read also – Baldur’s Gate 3 delays its release, here’s why it’s great news

How much does Baldur’s Gate 3 cost?

Baldur’s Gate 3 is sold for 60 euros on PC and Mac. On PS5, it is displayed at 80 euros.

Baldur's Gate 3

A collector’s edition is sold at a price of 259 euros. It includes a copy of the game on PS5 and a code on PC, but also various goodies such as a statuette, an artbook, a fabric world map, a keychain, character sheets for your D&D games or even a D20 made of metal. For hardcore fans only.

Baldur's Gate 3

What are the system requirements for Baldur’s Gate 3 on PC?

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a demanding game and you need a relatively recent PC to run it in good conditions. However, it is possible to enjoy it even if you have a somewhat old machine, but you will have to make concessions on the graphics. Here is the minimum configuration (to play in low):

  • Intel Core i5-4690 / AMD FX-8350
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon 480
  • Windows 10/11
  • 150 GB of free space

And the recommended configuration (for playing on medium, high and ultra):

  • Intel Core i7-8700K / AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super/ AMD Radeon 5700XT
  • Windows 10/11
  • 150 GB of storage space

Baldur's Gate 3

On PS5, the game will run at 60 frames per second, we are promised.

But by the way, what is Baldur’s Gate?

Baldur’s Gate is what is called a cRPG, either a Western role-playing game primarily dedicated to the PC. A type of video game that focuses on an open, rich universe, and on a very permissive gameplay. As its name suggests, we play a role and many more or less important choices support the adventure. The first episode of the saga was released in 1998, developed by a small studio called Bioware. He puts us in command of a hero created by us on a long quest that will take him to the town of Baldur’s Gate, which gives its name to the saga. The player evolves as he pleases in 2D isometric tableaux teeming with life and danger. Semi-real-time battles are based on Dungeons and Dragons rules. For good reason, Baldur’s Gate is placed in one of the flagship universes of the license: the Forgotten Realms. It received a rave critical reception and enjoyed great commercial success. In 1999, Bioware released an expansion, Tales of the Swords Coast, which added many quests.

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Baldur’s Gate (1998)

Baldur’s Gate 2 was released in 2000. If it uses the formula of the first, it sublimates it on all points. Richer universe, gargantuan content, more choices, gripping story… Besides, the first episode almost seems to be just a draft. Even today, BG2 is considered one of the best cRPGs in history, if not the best. It hosts an expansion in 2001, Throne of Bhaal, which is actually a third episode disguised as an add-on. It brilliantly concludes the trilogy and the story of our hero.

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Baldur’s Gate 2 (2000)

But this does not sign the end of Baldur’s Gate, since in 2001 also comes out Dark Alliance on PlayStation 2. Farewell to the role-playing game, since it is a Diablo-style hack and slash. Very well made, it will be followed by a second part in 2004. These games have little to do with the basic titles, except the name and the universe.

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Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance (2001)

Subsequently, Bioware will no longer develop Baldur’s Gate games, but will continue in role-playing games with in particular Neverwinter’s Nights, Jade Empire, Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age and Mass Effect. But Baldur’s Gate’s footprint is huge in the cRPG world, which without him would not be what it is today.

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Neverwinter Nights (2002), which uses the principle of Baldur’s Gate but with a 3D engine

In recent years, studios have paid homage to Baldur’s Gate with titles using the exact same formula. We can cite the two Pillars of Eternity (2015, 2018), Tyranny (2016) or again Pathfinder Kingmaker (2018) and Wrath of the Righteous (2021). The latter is one of the richest RPGs ever designed and we highly recommend it.

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Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous

But Baldur’s Gate returns in 2023 with a third installment. This is what interests us today. Will the king keep his throne?

Who is developing Baldur’s Gate 3?

Baldur’s Gate 3 was developed by Larian, a studio based in Ghent, Belgium. It is a studio specializing in the development of PC role-playing games and known for its Divinity saga, which made fans of the action-RPG genre happy during the 2000s.

Baldur's Gate 3

In 2014, the studio released Divinity Original Sin, an RPG that pays homage to old titles such as Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights. His sequel, released in 2017, is considered his masterpiece and showed the world the extent of his talent. A true love letter to paper RPGs and old-school cRPGs. It was therefore only natural that the studio be entrusted with the development of Baldur’s Gate 3.

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Divinity Original Sin 2

What is the gameplay of Baldur’s Gate 3?

If Baldur’s Gate 3 takes up the spirit of the first two episodes, it does not use the same gameplay. Farewell to 2D paintings, since we now have an all-3D world. In addition, semi-real-time battles give way to turn-based combat based on the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons. In terms of gameplay, we are therefore closer to an Original Sin 2 than to a Baldur’s Gate. For the best ?

Baldur's Gate 3

At the start of the game, the player can choose a predefined character with his story and character, or create his own (which is more in the spirit of paper RPGs). For that, Baldur’s Gate 3 features 11 races and 31 subraces, as well as 12 classes and 46 subclasses. Each character is unique, the combinations are extremely numerous and the story as well as the dialogues change according to your origin/class/race. During the adventure, predefined companions join you to lend a hand. If you wish, you can even play with a friend, since a multiplayer mode is present.

Baldur's Gate 3

During his quest, the hero travels through many open lands as well as a multitude of dungeons. The emphasis is on the choice, since there are many ways to solve a mission according to your skills or your desires. In short, each part is unique.

Baldur's Gate 3

What is the lifespan of Baldur’s Gate 3?

He takes between 75 and 100 hours to complete the game in a straight line and more than 200 hours to do everything 100%. On top of that, Larian says his game has 170 hours of cutscenes. You won’t see them all on your first run, since the story adapts to your character. Baldur’s Gate 3 is in the great tradition of cRPGs. It is long, very long. May be too much ? In any case, once immersed in the game, it will take time to see the end of it.

Note that this gigantic lifespan has not discouraged speedrunners, quite the contrary. Indeed, Youtuber Mae managed to complete the story of Baldur’s Gate 3 in just 9 minutes! So far, his record remains unbeaten.

Do you have to have done the first two Baldur’s Gate to understand everything?

No because Baldur’s Gate 3 is not a direct sequel to the first two games. Larian has developed an all-new story set a century after previous episodes. There is therefore no need to know the adventures of Bhaal’s child by heart in order to understand everything. However, connoisseurs should see a whole bunch of winks and references.

However, if you want to do the first Baldur’s Gate, know that they have been remastered with the Enhanced Edition. Available on Steam, these versions allow you to enjoy them in HD with the current config. There’s even a bonus episode that ties the two games together.

The Forgotten Realms, a rich and transmedia universe

Baldur’s Gate 3 takes place in a universe called The Forgotten Realms, and more particularly on the continent of Féérune. We do not have here a universe specially designed for the game, since it is a very complete transmedia world created by Ed Greenwood in 1975.

Originally designed to serve as a backdrop for paper role-playing games in the 1970s, the world of the Forgotten Realms quickly became a staple of the Dungeons and Dragons license. Very classic in its approach to fantasy, it has the distinction of being extremely rich with dozens of kingdoms, hundreds of cities, towns, peoples and many regions to explore. Moreover, it is very codified, at the limit of the school. For example, each character is defined by its class. A real asset for the RPG. It was quickly enriched by numerous novels and fan fictions. We particularly recommend the dark elf trilogy by RA Salvatore, which tells the story of a key character in the universe: Drizzt Do’Urden.

The continent of Féérune

Video games also immersed themselves in this universe, with titles like Pool of Radiance or Eye of the Beholder in the early 1990s. But it was Baldur’s Gate that blew it up on this medium. Today there are about ten video games taking place in Féérunesuch as Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights, the MMO Neverwinter or the action game Demon Stone.

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Icewind Dale (2000)

More recently, the world of the Forgotten Realms was brought to the big screen in the lovable movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor of Thieves. Part of the action takes place in Neverwinter, a city located a little north of Baldur’s Gate that we have already traveled in… Neverwinter Nights.

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