As we would have hoped, Larian and D&D make a good pair, and in Baldur’s Gate 3, Fraser had a fine time shoving people off the ledges. It’s no big surprise that the new RPG from the GOTY-winning creator is fun, but that doesn’t mean everybody can buy it now.
Gate 3 of Baldur’s is in Early Access, and it may be more than a year before the release of the full game. Even after that, it can boost with post-launch updates (Divinity: Original Sin 2 definitely did), which means that before we can play Baldur’s Gate 3 in full and at its finest, it may be late 2021 or 2022.
Whether you can play Baldur’s Gate 3 today or not depends on how much you’re willing to forgive bugginess and how willing you are to wait for a resolution, and maybe the full kit will disappoint you. Here are our suggestions, responses to some key questions, and what PC Gamer editors intend to do to help you make the decision.
If you still want to play Baldur ‘s Gate Three in Early Access, go for it, after all. (At that point, it should be far closer to launch.) Otherwise, wait for the release of the full game before you consider buying it. You’re going to have better experiences.
Keep reading for more detail about the Early Access edition and what’s next in the final version, if you want to know how we came to that conclusion.
How long before Early Access is over for Baldur’s Gate 3?
most probably a year, it could take longer of course.
What’s included in the edition for Early Access?
Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access contains an incomplete version of the first act of the game. That equates to “approximately 25 hours of self-contained material,” according to Larian.
When Baldur ‘s Gate 3 leaves Early Access, there will be two more acts included. It will also introduce new classes and races, as well as the option of selecting a specific character of origin as your main player character. (Origin characters can currently be added to your team, but a custom character without a specific back storey is the main player character.) Expect a lot of bug fixes, too.
“Buy the game now only if you want an early peek or if you want to engage in reviews from the crowd,” Larian says. “You’re probably better off waiting before version 1.0 is released, otherwise.”
How is Act 1?
The original Baldur ‘s Gate didn’t really start rolling until well after the tutorial, but the full throttle right from the hop is Baldur’s Gate 3. The Early Access release includes a starter dungeon to explore (conveniently situated nearly directly adjacent to your crashed Nautiloid) and a fairly beefy quest involving a druidic grove in chaos and a vast goblin camp that appears to be at least tangentially related to the main issue of your character: their head ‘s mind flayer.
It’s a showcase for all the big systems of the game: unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of fighting, but you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to sneak around in the shadows, move and disarm traps, ambush unsuspecting enemies, and chat on your way into and out of more trouble than you might expect. This involves both enemies and members of your faction, with whom you will talk on the road and, in greater detail, in the camp, a perfect place to make friends alienate strangers, and if you are not careful, as disputes spiral out of control, you will end up having to engage in an unpleasant murder or two.
Will the story get spoiled?
There’s a lot going on in the Early Access update, but there’s little in it that goes beyond what’s already known in terms of the overall story: you and your new adventuring friends have illithid tadpoles in their heads, and you need to get them out until your faces erupt into twisted tentacles and psionic malevolence. At this point, the town of Baldur ‘s Gate, which I assume will be the crown jewel of the game, is also not available, so you’re free to explore the countryside without worrying about a major surprise.
Why you should play Baldur’s Gate 3 now
- Whether or not you start now or wait for the full update, you’re going to replay the first act 10 times with new characters, so you might as well start now.
- For your next tabletop D&D character, you can use the character builder to create a sick portrait.
- You want to help Larian locate the several (many) bugs and errors currently plaguing the gameplay and scratch them out.
Why you shouldn’t play Baldur’s Gate 3 now
- On your first complete playthrough, you want to experience something new.
- Ultimately, the complete game might be frustrating, but there is still no way to know that.
- There are lots of other good RPGs, such as Wasteland 3, that are not playable in Early Access. And if it’s your type of thing, in November, Cyberpunk 2077 will be out.
- It’s $60, and you don’t know when you’re going to get to play the full game, or whether you’re going to feel like it when you do.