Baldur’s Gate III Gameplay Presentation, Interviews

Back in February, we got our first look at Baldur’s Gate III thanks to an hour and a half-long gameplay livestream presented by Larian Studios’ founder Swen Vincke. And now, with the game heading for early access, Swen’s back with a new livestream that premiered during this year’s D&D Live event.

This new presentation runs for about as long as the previous one, but it showcases a different section of the game. We get to see some goblin shenanigans, a demonic intervention, and even a sequence-breaking trip to the Underdark.

There’s plenty of stuff packed in there, including numerous battles, conversations, and feature highlights. And perhaps the most important thing to note here - everything looks significantly better than it did just a few months earlier. The game’s dialogues, UI, and even its initiative system have all been reworked. See for yourself:

And because fresh Baldur’s Gate III footage is kind of a big deal, we can augment the above livestream with some interviews. IGN has a couple. The first one covers the game’s D&D roots:

And the second one focuses on some of the features it inherited from Larian’s Divinity series:

Then, there’s also this GameSpot interview that highlights the game’s massive size:

Finally, you may want to read this PC Gamer article if you’re looking for a text-based recap of the presentation. And then, there’s also this IGN feature that shares some screenshots, as well as a list of 12 new things we now know about the game. A few examples:

A re-written narrator

One of the most controversial features of the original gameplay reveal was that the narrator spoke in past tense, as if retelling the story of Baldur’s Gate 3 around a campfire long after the events of the game had passed. Many fans found this an odd approach, and so Larian has re-written the narrator with a more traditional present-tense voice. Now, the narration and your dialogue options make it feel as if it is you making the decisions.

A new initiative order

The Initiative system has been adjusted a little since we last saw it in February, and it is now a hybrid of two Dungeons and Dragons systems: traditional and side initiative. Originally, Baldur’s Gate 3 planned to use side initiative, in which an entire party - yours or the enemy’s - takes their turn, and then the action swaps to the other party. This allows for more intricate combinations of attacks, as multiple friendly characters can attack together.

The new system, however, opts for a traditional initiative order based on individuals. An example of this may be an order of two of your party members followed by three enemies and then another party member.

But elements of side initiative do remain. Should you have two or more of your party members clustered together in the initiative order, you can activate them in whichever order you’d like. You can even bounce back and forth between them should they have actions remaining. This allows for combining character abilities, but also maintains a speedy back-and-forth between sides.