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Beamdog, the studio behind the Enhanced Editions of Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, and more recently Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, apparently has something new on the go. It's not ready to reveal the name just yet (or anything else about the game, for that matter) but it is in the market for beta testers.
It sounds like this will be a proper beta test, rather than merely a couple of weeks of pre-release publicity. Applicants chosen to take part will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which will (technically, at least) bar them from talking about the game. Once the requisite paperwork is taken care of, information about the new project and access to the "super-secret forum" will be passed along.
"When testing our game you will be able to give all the feedback you want, file bug reports, and make feature requests," Beamdog said. "It will be invaluable to us and will help to make the final product as good as possible."
And the recruitment message does actually contain a little bit of a hint as to what might be in store: It says Beamdog is looking for "adventurers, warriors, rogues, wizards, druids, clerics, rangers, monks, and shamans" who want to take part. Another journey through the Sword Coast, maybe—or perhaps even points further north? You can sign up to find out before everyone else at the Beamdog forums.
About eighteen years or so after marking Baldur’s Gate off my To-Save list, I’m knee-deep in the Infinity Engine once again with Siege of Dragonspear. I’m not going to talk too much about it here, not least because there’s a full review coming soon. But there’s one thing I do want to talk about – not one new to the Enhanced Editions, admittedly, and that’s its Story Mode option. Essentially, at any time you can flip a switch and even a Level 1 mage can suddenly wander into a Beholder’s lair and poke every single one of its eyes out without the slightest danger. You can’t die. At all. In every possible way, you render playing large chunks of the game pointless.
I entirely approve of Story Mode.
More than a decade after the Baldur’s Gate [official site] saga appeared to come to an end, there’s a brand new expansion available to buy right now. I know how this might look – it’s classic April Idiots’ fodder, telling you about a new chapter in a much-loved series and then revealing that all of your favourite characters have been transformed into unicorns or somesuch.
This is real though. You’ll need the Enhanced Edition of the game to play and we’ll have our own judgement on the expansion next week but, for now, here’s a trailer and some details.