There hasn’t been a great deal of news on the Baldur’s Gate re-issue front for a couple months now, but if you check out the homepage you’ll see a shiny new graphic (like the one above), where each of those images are clickable for newly announced details about new characters, new quest areas, and new features.
The game is coming for PC on 9/18 at a whopping $20 ($2 off if you pre-purchase). The Mac and iOS versions are listed as “September,” with Android still TBA. The mobile versions will come with a hefty discount, a more reasonable $10 price point, but with no indication why they’d be worth less (or the PC version worth more) beyond standard platform pricing conventions. Some thoughts on that at the end. First, let’s look at the new stuff…
EDIT: In the comments Hobbes notes that some of these items are in-app purchases for the mobile versions, which is why those don’t cost the full $20.
The Black Pits – This is a new quest that takes place in the Underdark. It sounds like it’s just a big gladitorial arena set up with “fifteen hellish battles in a desperate bid to escape.” Doesn’t really sound like a quest to me, certainly not one I’d want to put six hours into.
Rasaad yn Bashir – New character. Wasn’t Bashir the doctor in Star Trek: DS9? This doesn’t look like the Dr. Bashir I know. Regardless, he’ll be everyone’s favorite new monk and comes with a new adventure and a new area, the Cloud Peaks. No mention of his alignment. Tack on four hours of gameplay for this addition.
Over 400 Improvements – More claims for an enhanced interface (widescreen and high-res support), but still no good examples of the UI. Improvements to multiplayer, including ability to play cross-platform. “Cleaned up and improved” source code. Added Baldur’s Gate 2 character classes, kits, and subraces. Replaced all in-game cinematics… an idea I’m wary of but could be a nice touch.
Neera – New character. Because the cool chicks only have one name… I guess. Neera’s a Wild Mage that, like Bashir, includes her own adventure, new area, and another four hours of gameplay. Oh yeah, and she’s romance-able or at least has a “romantic adventure.” Because why not, right? I don’t think adding a single romance-able character to the original BG, which doesn’t have any other such characters, is not the best idea ever. Just don’t.
Dorn Il-Khan – Khaaaaaaaaaan! (Sorry. Had to be done.) New character. Here we get a half orc who makes his bones as a Blackguard. (Those are specialized fighters, right?) No mention of new quests or areas, but it does note another four hours of gameplay so he’s probably got that stuff too. It also notes he’s got an evil alignment, though I guess the class kit gave that away.
All in all? Eh. I’m fine with them adding new content, but the new quest description does nothing for me, the new characters just mean pushing out old favorites to use them, and it really doesn’t seem like they’re doing anything to advance the look of the game short of supporting higher resolutions. Without a look at any of the new PC UI, it’s hard to to look at this and say, hey, this will be $20 well spent for that platform. That strikes me as a bit of shamelessly cashing in on people’s love of the Baldur’s Gate name. Not saying I won’t buy, but it would be an easier decision if that $20 let you play it on any platform. Maybe I’ll just stick with iOS?
Speaking of, here’s an iOS screenshot that does show the main screen UI:
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