Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Paul Dean)

We move from custodian to creator.

That was how Trent Oster described it. Beamdog s co-founder who, twenty years ago, was also there when Bioware began, is once again returning to one of roleplaying s most beloved and most influential series. This time, he won t just be adding a new lick of paint here or a subtle embellishment there, as he has with the company s Enhanced Editions of the Baldur s Gate games. No, Baldur s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear [official site] is something wholly new. While Beamdog are calling it an expansion pack, its scope and scale mean that it outsizes both Tales of the Sword Coast and Throne of Bhaal. For all intents and purposes, it s Baldur s Gate 3.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Paul Dean)

We live in interesting times. The Baldur’s Gate RPGs are amongst the most well-loved, well-regarded and influential the PC has ever seen, but surely they’re now a relic of an ever more distant past? Along with most things that we consider legendary, they have begun to fade into the past and, like weathered statuary, are slowly losing their definition. We remember them fondly, but indistinctly, imperfectly. We forget the rough edges. Beamdog’s Enhanced Editions were well-curated, well-preserved museum pieces. Classics polished for one last, albeit glorious, hurrah.

Or that’s how it was until last night, when Beamdog announced they have been both working on a new expansion for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, as well as planning to bring the rest of the series back into sharp relief. The expansion’s called Siege of Dragonspear [official site], a name that may sound familiar to those well travelled in the Forgotten Realms. It features a new shaman character class, scores of new maps, new companions, and what Beamdog’s grand magus Trent Oster says is “at least twenty-five hours of adventuring.”

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

The Baldur's Gate countdown that popped up last week has now ticked its last tock, revealing a brand-new expansion called Siege of Dragonspear. It's a "massive" addition to the epic RPG franchise, taking place between the events of the first game and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.

Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear tells the tale of a mysterious crusade in the north, led by a warrior known only as the Shining Lady. The city of Baldur's Gate once again calls upon you and your allies to save it from chaos, but there's more to this march than first meets the eye: Like you, the Shining Lady is rumored to be the child of a god, and the Lord of Murder, though dead, "still casts a long shadow upon your path."

The expansion will add an estimated 25 hours of gameplay to Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, with new areas to explore, monsters to kill, treasures to claim, and four new NPCs to recruit to your party. The expansion will also add the Shaman class to the game, more than 100 new magic items, a redesigned interface, cross-platform multiplayer (it's being released for Windows, Linux Mac, and mobile), and a soundtrack by the outstanding Sam Hulick, the man whose music made you cry in Mass Effect 3

Also very interesting is the new Story Mode difficulty that "allows players to experience the entire story with none of the Game Over screens." Those who prefer it the other way can opt for the Legend of Bhaal difficulty, "for a challenging tactical experience."

Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear will not work with the original release of Baldur's Gate—a copy of Beamdog's Enhanced Edition is required to play. Pricing and release date have not been announced, but we do have some screens for perusal, and more information is up now at

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alice O'Connor)

Look, don't blame me for this being a photo of a screen.

Do you remember when Beamdog, the folks who’ve been revamping Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, announced they were making a new Baldur’s Gate game? Do you remember – one set between the first two games and using the same dear old Infinity Engine? No, me neither. But, acting as if we all totally knew all along, they’ve now announced that it’ll launch this year. Beyond that, it’s a bit of a mystery, but gosh! An actual new Baldur’s Gate!

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - Aosaw
We're pleased to announce that Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition now supports Steamplay for Mac! This means that if you own the game, you can install and play it on any machine running either Windows or Mac OS X. The Mac version is already updated with the latest 1.3.2053 patch and is ready to install now.

Gather your party and venture forth!
Aug 29, 2014
Community Announcements - Aosaw
We're pleased to release the latest version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, including over two-hundred fixes and dozens of new gameplay enhancements. The full change log is posted on our official forums, but here's a taste of what we've done:

* Added "Font Size" to Graphics Options (changing this during play will empty the combat log)
* While viewing a mage's Spellbook screen, players can now switch to a priest character and the game will immediately switch to the Priest Spells screen (and vice versa)
* Spell scrolls that can be written into a spellbook for the current character now display a green-tinted overlay
* Non-friendly NPCs that are Blinded will no longer stand still; they will wander aimlessly until they are close enough to see someone worth attacking

For the full list, visit our official forums:
PC Gamer
From Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.

Baldur s Gate was one of my formative PC gaming experiences. I have vivid memories of sitting in the glow of my old CRT monitor on a Friday evening after school, dungeon crawling until the sun rose. I ve never been one for misty-eyed nostalgia, but last week I felt compelled to reinstall it. It was almost midnight, and I had work the next day, but I didn t think I d be playing for long. Just enough to sate my nostalgia. Three hours later and I was still up. Its claws are in me again almost 16 years after I first installed it on my old beige Pentium II and, surprisingly, it still holds up.

Developed by BioWare in 1998, it s a vast fantasy RPG set in the Forgotten Realms, one of the most popular and long-running Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings. You create your own protagonist using a deep character editor, then embark on an adventure along the Sword Coast, a stretch of rocky coastlines, deep forests, ancient ruins, bustling cities, and labyrinthine dungeons. There s a story to follow, but you can pursue it at your leisure. The world map is heaving with fun quests and memorable characters, and you get to decide whether you ll be a hero, a villain, or neither.

One of the most striking things about the game is how much personality it has. A lot of fantasy, especially in the D&D mould, suffers from being overly earnest and po-faced, but Baldur s Gate fizzes with character, and is often genuinely hilarious. Even a random commoner on the street might have something amusing to say, and I think almost half of the 15 or so hours I ve sunk into this replay have been spent talking to the many thousands of NPCs who litter the Sword Coast.

From Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.

As you explore you re constantly bumping into interesting characters, from eccentric oddballs and mad wizards to pompous lords and drunken dwarves. You even meet the legendary Drizzt Do'Urden at one point, who you can kill for his powerful scimitars and mithril armour if you re particularly skilled. The wealth of text in the game means there s a lot of reading, but it s all brilliantly written and wonderfully witty, never taking itself too seriously.

There are 25 recruitable companions in the game, but unlike a lot of RPGs where characters will swear unfaltering allegiance to the hero regardless of their actions and goals, many of the characters in Baldur s Gate are fiercely independent. Minsc, of miniature giant space hamster fame, will join your party upon the agreement you ll help him rescue his partner, Dynaheir. But linger too long without pursuing this quest and he ll go into a rage and attack you.

Similarly, characters will abandon the party if your reputation goes against their alignment. Noble deeds will disgust evil characters like irascible conjurer Edwin, while imperious paladin Ajantis will love you for it. This makes these characters feel like real people with their own goals and motivations, although it can be maddening when you re in the middle of a dungeon and one suddenly decides to ditch you.

From Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.

The character sprites are pretty ugly, even by 1998 standards, but the pre-rendered backgrounds still look great. It s remarkable how atmospheric the game is, even now. Sound plays a big part in this, with chirping birds, booming thunder, and howling wind bringing the environments to life, not to mention Michael Hoenig s stirring orchestral score. BioWare s vision of Faer n is still a joy to wander, and proof that you don t need modern graphics to create a rich, compelling game world.

There s a great feeling of relief when you escape from the rain-battered wilderness into the glow of a warm tavern, resting your weary bones before heading back out into the wild. You really feel like you re on an adventure, and thanks to an infamously steep difficulty curve, every foray into the unknown feels dangerous. All it takes is one unlucky critical roll to lose a party member.

In a lot of ways, Baldur s Gate feels incredibly archaic. The bloated interface and incessant item and character management mean you spend a lot of time shifting items around and selling things to merchants. But I actually love this, as time-consuming as it is, because I appreciate having full control over my party. That is, in fact, one of the reasons I love the game so much: how little hand-holding there is. You always feel like you re in control of your protagonist s destiny, not just following a prescribed path even though the story is totally linear.

From Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.

You can be a saint or a total dick. You can agree to help a farmer find his missing son while sending Imoen into his house to rob him. You can devote your life to defending truth and justice, or screw people over to fill your pockets. It s a role-playing game in the truest sense, offering not just good and evil paths, but all the grey areas in between.

If, like me, you feel the urge to return to Baldur s Gate, there are two ways to do it. You can buy the original game for $10 on GOG and use this guide to enhance it for modern PCs. Or, alternatively, you can buy the Enhanced Edition on Steam for $20, which comes with additional companions, new quests, and an arena battle mode. I m replaying with the latter, just for the ease of having it accessible in my Steam library between my home and work PC, but either way is fine.

The difficulty and cost of making a game as big, complex, and freeform as Baldur s Gate with modern production values means we ll likely never see a game like it again from BioWare, but with Obsidian s Pillars of Eternity on the way, and Larian s superb Divinity: Original Sin dominating the Steam charts, the CRPG seems to be in the throes of a magnificent and unexpected comeback. Going back to Baldur s Gate, where it all began, has only made me more excited about its resurgence.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Thomas McMullan)

Isometric-turn-based-point-and-click-platformer is a string of words taken for dead. Sent to the abattoir. They re all huddled for warmth, waiting for the reaper, when along comes the sausage man and snip-snip-snip> he sets them free. Go on, he says as he pats their bottoms. Go back home.

Recent years have seen remastered versions of Baldur s Gate, Monkey Island and MDK, Steam and GOG have provided new platforms for old titles, and the most successful Kickstarter projects have been new games in old styles. Classic games are seeing a surge in popularity and it s a trend that s so far been largely attributed to nostalgia – to people wanting to play the games they remember from their childhood. Is that all this is?

… [visit site to read more]

Announcement - Valve
The Steam Sale is here! Take advantage of huge savings on thousands of PC, Mac and Linux titles. Check back often to take advantage of our eight-hour Flash Sales.

Today's Daily Deals include:

Add games to your Steam Wishlist and be notified when a game from your Wishlist goes on sale, or shop for games using the Steam Mobile App, available for iOS and Android.

Be sure to check Steam every day to see new featured deals.

PC Gamer
Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition

A whole slew of new screenshots have just landed in time to remind you that Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition is landing this Friday. All of the original art has been remastered into high-res, but the Dungeons & Dragons–based rule system and gameplay remains intact. The new edition also has four new allies and their various quest lines to explore, along with an arena challenge that focuses solely on tactical combat.

We were lukewarm on the enhanced edition of Baldur’s Gate, but there's no denying that an updated version of one of the most beloved RPGs ever, and with new content to boot, is exciting.

At the very least, the enhanced edition should be a great way for new fans to approach the legendary RPG. If you never got into the original or, perhaps, were just a wee baby 13 years ago, the enhanced edition represents a revamped version of a great game in one convenient download.

Check out more screenshots (there really are a ton of them) at the Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition website.

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