Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal Preview

Article Index

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Interplay Entertainment
Developer:BioWare Corp.
Release Date:2001-06-22
Genre:
  • Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Isometric
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn continued the (Child of Bhaal) storyline that began back in 1998 with the release of the original Baldur's Gate and its expansion, Tales of the Sword Coast. The sequel was a huge success, which makes it no surprise that its expansion, Throne of Bhaal, is one of the most anticipated addons in recent times. ToB promises to bring a plethora of enhancements, a dungeon that Bioware has claimed to be one of their finest creations, and will additionally bring the (Child of Bhaal) storyline to a close. Will the expansion be everything that Baldur's Gate fans have come to expect from Bioware? Fortunately, GameBanshee was given the opportunity to play a press release of the expansion, allowing us to present this preview so that you can decide for yourself.

Just what sort of enhancements can you expect to see in the expansion? First of all, there's a whole new mage kit called the Wild Mage. Secondly, certain classes have had their previous abilities altered, such as the Wizard Slayer now being able to obtain 84% of base magic resistance. Additionally, all classes can now obtain either special abilities or quest spells as they reach some of the higher levels. The expansion also adds entirely new monsters, some being enhanced versions of previous monsters, while others are completely new. And what's an expansion without adding more spells and equipment (which ToB does generously)? Now add the fact that the experience point cap has been increased to eight million experience points (allowing most classes to reach level 40) and you have all the enhancements you need to bring your Baldur's Gate II gaming to a whole new level.

To start off, you are allowed to either create a new game or import a saved game from your previous Shadows of Amn adventures. Starting a new game allows you to take advantage of the Wild Mage, the new mage kit introduced with ToB. You won't have to worry so much about starting the game (naked), as ToB gives your character an assortment of magic items when you begin a new game (not to mention two and a half million experience points). For example, my Wild Mage began with fairly powerful equipped items and a Bag of Holding filled with various weapons and armor. If you don't wish to start over, importing a saved game will allow you to keep all of your existing equipment, as well as any NPCs that were in your party at the time you saved. If any of the characters from your saved game hadn't obtained two and a half million experience points, the expansion will automatically bump them up.

Your adventure begins when a cryptic prophecy is revealed to your character, after which you'll find yourself involved in a war between Bhaalspawn (the name given to children of Bhaal) in the city of Saradush. You'll meet up with a protector of Bhaalspawn named Melissan, who will tell you that the city is under siege by one of them and that the town's half-orc leader has lost his mind and locked himself inside the town's castle. You'll need to find a way into the castle, deal with the madman (and his battle mage bodyguards), and then find a way out of Saradush to deal with what turns out to be an invincible Bhaalspawn attacking the city. But don't think you're done just yet. Dealing with the town's mad leader and defending it against an all-out siege is just the first weight upon your shoulders.

Disciples: Liberation Released
Disciples: Liberation Released

Frima Studio and Kalypso Media's new entry in the Disciples series, Disciples:


Might and Magic X: Legacy Back on Sale
Might and Magic X: Legacy Back on Sale

Earlier this year, Ubisoft discontinued some of their verification servers, in the


Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons - Third Elite Specialization Beta Event Incoming
Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons - Third Elite Specialization Beta Event Incoming

The third elite specialization beta event for Guild Wars 2 is going


EverQuest II: Visions of Vetrovia Expansion Pre-orders Available
EverQuest II: Visions of Vetrovia Expansion Pre-orders Available

The recently-announced Visions of Vetrovia expansion for EverQuest II is now available


Conan Exiles: People of the Dragon DLC Pack Available
Conan Exiles: People of the Dragon DLC Pack Available

If you're looking to spruce up your Conan Exiles base, you should


Solasta: Crown of the Magister - Primal Calling DLC Revealed
Solasta: Crown of the Magister - Primal Calling DLC Revealed

In order to celebrate the first anniversary since Solasta: Crown of the


Vampyr Next Gen Upgrade Available
Vampyr Next Gen Upgrade Available

If you own a next-gen PlayStation or Xbox console and are looking to


King Arthur: Knight's Tale Release Date Announced and Developer Diary
King Arthur: Knight's Tale Release Date Announced and Developer Diary

Barring any delays, King Arthur: Knight's Tale, NeocoreGames' hybrid between turn-based tactical


Drox Operative 2 Released
Drox Operative 2 Released

After over a year of early access, Soldak Entertainment's dynamic starship action-RPG


Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Update 1.1.0 Live in Beta
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Update 1.1.0 Live in Beta

Owlcat Games is getting ready to release a major update for Pathfinder:


Blade of Darkness and Its Dark Souls Parallels
Blade of Darkness and Its Dark Souls Parallels

Following the recent re-release of Rebel Act Studios' cult-classic action-RPG Blade of


The Elder Scrolls Online: Deadlands Character Introductions
The Elder Scrolls Online: Deadlands Character Introductions

The Deadlands DLC for Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls Online will be going


Feargus Urquhart on Studio Acquisitions
Feargus Urquhart on Studio Acquisitions

Obsidian Entertainment's CEO Feargus Urquhart recently took part in the GI Live:


GB Feature: King's Bounty II Review
GB Feature: King's Bounty II Review

We've been playing and enjoying the King's Bounty series since New World


The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos - Splat Jaypak's Arenas DLC Details
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos - Splat Jaypak's Arenas DLC Details

Now that we've had the chance to check out the announcement trailer