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General Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access

Baldur's Gate III is now available for early access on Steam and on Stadia.

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I couldn't get the Steam version working on my Mac, but the Stadia version works just fine. The opening tutorial level is pretty gruesome (at one point I had to squish somebody's brain) and the mind flayer airship you're trying to escape from beings to mind the movie Aliens a lot.

Character creation is quick and easy, although options in the early access are limited. The gameplay is like Divinity Original Sin 2 with the 5E rules layered over it. I've only played an hour or so of the game, and as an early access game, it is occasionally a bit buggy, but nothing showstopping (yet).

This isn't a review (I haven't played enough of it to do that, and I don't think it's fair to review an early access version anyway); it's mainly just an alert to the few people who don't already know it's available. If any such person exists!
 
Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey



I read a review of it on Ars Technica that was pretty brutal. Based on what they shared/wrote, I'd have to agree with much of what they wrote. 🙁
That Ars Technica review was absolute garbage. Half of the review was him complaining that he wasn't using all of his movement on his turn, which is dumb for obvious reasons. And the other major source of complaint was the companions, when Larian straight up said to everybody that the evil companions were going to be the first ones available and that players will be encouraged to play as evil for the first part of early access because they wanted to test out the evil options that most players otherwise wouldn't take. They've been very transparent about that. You can certainly argue about how well written or not those companions are, but that's not what the review was doing.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
There have been mixed reviews. One thing is for certain, games have changed over the past 20 years. It's like someone that only played AD&D complaining that 5E isn't "just like" their version of the game. Doesn't make it a good game or bad.

I'll wait until the real thing comes out before I make a decision in any case.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I find reviews of Early Access extremely frustrating... you're SUPPOSED to criticize it, it's not finished yet!

Also I saw one review complaining how the companions were to mean to him, and he wanted it to feel like they were his friends like an actual D&D game. Which I thought was funny, because in these sorts of games the default always is "People don't like you," as if everyone starts liking you, it's kind of anticlimactic when you have those break-through friendship/romantic moments.
 

There have been mixed reviews.
User reviews for it are currently 82% positive on Steam. The negative ones are about what I expected, too, only few of them were constructive at all. Most were "$60 for early access???" or "hurr hurr it's DOS3" or "hoe noes muh RTwP."

The only negative review from one of the major publications is that ridiculous Ars Technica one.

In any case, calling reviews "mixed" is a bit of a stretch.
 

I find reviews of Early Access extremely frustrating... you're SUPPOSED to criticize it, it's not finished yet!

Also I saw one review complaining how the companions were to mean to him, and he wanted it to feel like they were his friends like an actual D&D game. Which I thought was funny, because in these sorts of games the default always is "People don't like you," as if everyone starts liking you, it's kind of anticlimactic when you have those break-through friendship/romantic moments.
Also, all the potential companions are in the middle of an extremely stressful situation, so its not surprising that everyone is on edge and not being polite and friendly immediately (on top of being for the most part evil, which Larian said would be the first ones available to playtest).

The Ars Technica review is pretty much the only one anywhere near that negative - other articles are mainly "this looks good, but there are some issues, but then again we are at the very start of Early Access".
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
User reviews for it are currently 82% positive on Steam. The negative ones are about what I expected, too, only few of them were constructive at all. Most were "$60 for early access???" or "hurr hurr it's DOS3" or "hoe noes muh RTwP."

The only negative review from one of the major publications is that ridiculous Ars Technica one.

In any case, calling reviews "mixed" is a bit of a stretch.
I was just pointing out that people shouldn't be expecting Baldur's Gate II with improved graphics. Game design has changed.

I'm still looking forward to the game when it's done.

P.S. Also, the Ars Technica review struck me as someone just being contrarian to get eyeballs.
 
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I'm playing it. Of course it isn't like the original game, for the same reason Star Wars: Squadrons isn't like Space Invaders.

And it has some DOS2-ish features. But I'm fine with that, I like DOS2. Firebolt is much more fun when you can actually set people on fire with it!

I'm not into reviewing, but if you have any specific question about the early access version I'm happy to answer.
 

Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
Supporter
That Ars Technica review was absolute garbage. Half of the review was him complaining that he wasn't using all of his movement on his turn, which is dumb for obvious reasons. And the other major source of complaint was the companions, when Larian straight up said to everybody that the evil companions were going to be the first ones available and that players will be encouraged to play as evil for the first part of early access because they wanted to test out the evil options that most players otherwise wouldn't take. They've been very transparent about that. You can certainly argue about how well written or not those companions are, but that's not what the review was doing.

Yeah I didn't agree with his whole issues with movement. I agree with a lot of the other points made though.
 

It's currently very easy to take a "slaughter everyone" approach at the moment. I expect more non-homicidal ways of overcoming obstacles will be added later.

As for the companions, they don't have alignments printed on their character sheets, but, broadly speaking, two are good, two are evil, and one is neutral.
 
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trs31

Explorer
There are pros and cons to early access but after a couple of hours I've uninstalled it and got a refund. It is only very basic at this stage with a few classes up to level 4. If it where a demo I say it looks like we'll get a good game in the end but that's over a year away and there are better things to do with £40 in the meantime.
 




MarkB

Legend
And it has some DOS2-ish features. But I'm fine with that, I like DOS2. Firebolt is much more fun when you can actually set people on fire with it!
One thing that was irksome: You can use Firebolt to create a burning patch on the floor. And you can then dip a bow in the burning patch, and use the bow to shoot a brazier to light it - which is clever. But directly shooting a brazier with Firebolt doesn't set it alight.

However, that's exactly the sort of oddity I'd expect to see in early access. No doubt they'll have it fixed by full launch.

It's currently very easy to take a "slaughter everyone" approach at the moment. I expect more non-homicidal ways of overcoming obstacles will be added later.
I've talked my way out of a fight or two so far. It helps that I'm playing a charismatic warlock.

I've also found that taking the right approach makes a big difference to a fight. There've been a couple of combats which went very badly the first time around, but a lot better once I played to the characters' strengths.
 

I've talked my way out of a fight or two so far. It helps that I'm playing a charismatic warlock.
Yes, I thought I better try the ranger, since it is the most different from P&P, and is the only class currently in that doesn't have a companion. So I'm a dwarf with a charisma of 10 and no social skills. It's really hard to not be a murder hobo.
I've also found that taking the right approach makes a big difference to a fight. There've been a couple of combats which went very badly the first time around, but a lot better once I played to the characters' strengths.
It's certainly tactically interesting. Raven familiar kicks butt.
 

How do they expect anyone to play this game properly unless you have the latest PC that's like $1,000+? This is why I can't get into PC games. Either you spend as much as a car down payment, or you deal with playing on a used/refurbished 3 year old system. And there's several PC games I want to get into but, sadly, cannot because of the expensive tech barrier.
 

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