Thursday, 15 March 2012

Details on the resurrection of BALDUR'S GATE

The first information about the rebirth of the Baldur's Gate franchise has been released. As anticipated, the project is an 'Enhanced Edition' of the existing BioWare games (Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal) which will launch later in the summer. The first release will be Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, which will include the original game and its expansion with enhanced and improved artwork, native high-resolution support and reworked music and voice-overs. There will also be some 'new content' provided by the original writers and creators of the game.

Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, which will include the Throne of Bhaal expansion, will be released at a later date. This is generous, since whilst Tales of the Sword Coast was a fairly minor expansion to the original game (with a couple of dungeons and a few new monsters and magic items), Throne of Bhaal was massive in size, easily bigger than many full games. Including it with the already-gigantic Baldur's Gate II is an impressive move.

The Enhanced Edition will retain the original isometric, 2D viewpoint, but with a better interface and higher-res graphics. The game will also retain the Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition ruleset (understandably, as moving to a different edition would necessitate rewriting the entire game from scratch). Whilst there will be new content and new characters (unknown if there will be new party characters), the game will have the same music and sound effects as the original. What is interesting is that the codebase for the entire remake comes from the latest release of Throne of Bhaal, meaning that all the interface improvements from the later games (better inventory, more class/kit combos, possibly a much higher level limit) will be available in the original Baldur's Gate (as quite a few mods enable at the moment). The new remake will also be compatible with many existing mods and original savegames.

Ex-BioWare staff are involved in the project, which is coming from Overhaul and Beamdog, under licence from Atari and the supervision of Wizards of the Coast. If the project is successful enough for all involved, than apparently an original Baldur's Gate III could well become a reality.

Excellent news. A full remake of the original games is just what the Miniature Giant Space Hamster ordered (especially in the wake of the colossal disappointment that was the ending to Mass Effect 3). You will be able to gather your party and venture forth this summer.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Beyond excited! The original games have kept me up many college nights.