Here's a new trailer for Baldur's Gate 2, 2000's hottest RPG. Just pretend the last thirteen years never happened, and check out those tasty particle effects. After a successful roll against some unfortunate legal issues, Beamdog's Enhanced re-release of the BioWare classic is now preparing for launch. You'll be able to regather your party before venturing forth from November 15th.
Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition, an updated version of the classic BioWare RPG, is set to release November 15, according to the game's official website. Just like the reworked edition of the first Baldur's Gate, the sequel is set to include new characters, another Black Pits arena combat mode, and lots of work under the surface of the venerable game's interface and coding.
If Baldur's Gate had an undercurrent of politics and intrigue, it's nothing compared to the behind-the-scenes twists in the development of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. It was removed from sale for "contractual issues" at the request of a "publishing partner", later revealed to be Atari. Development of a planned patch was also postponed, and the possibility of an enhanced Baldur's Gate 2 slipping further into the shadows. Of Amn.
Now, it's back on sale, with its celebratory developers saying the outstanding issues are resolved, and news of upcoming releases will arrive soon.
Last week, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition was removed from sale after the game was cursed by the legal wizard. If you're wondering: he's summoned in times of messy contractual disputes between an unnamed publishing partner and the developer of a retouched version of a classic RPG. As a result, it was revealed that an upcoming patch for BG:EE, as well as work on Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition, was on hold. Now, Beamdog's founder Trent Oster has spoken about where that leaves the once planned Baldur's Gate 3.
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, the attempted restoration of BioWare's classic RPG, has been removed from sale by developer Overhaul Games in light of contractual issues with the game's publishing partners. A statement by Beamdog/Overhaul president Trent Oster explains the situation - albeit in the vague manner of someone staring at a heavy pile of legal documents.
Beamdog president Trent Oster has given a status update on the sequel to Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, saying that their upgrade of the classic Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn has already received multiple novels worth of added words. "We're hard at work on BG2:EE and it is going well," Oster told ShackNews. "Phil (our design lead) mentioned to me there is over 350,000 words of new content."
Despite it seeming like Overhaul's Baldur's Gate overhaul would remain tied to the developer's Beamdog distribution service, the game has now gathered its party and ventured forth to Steam. Top news, right? Well, as it turns out, the Steam release may not be the most enhanced edition of the Enhanced Edition.
According to tweets by Trent Oster, BG:EE's Creative Director, "Atari did the integration for [Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition] on Steam, so it is a very basic setup. We were not involved."
Baldur’s Gate is still brilliant. I’ll say that now before your eyes drift over to that number at the bottom. Fourteen years on, BioWare’s first RPG – an isometric, text-heavy epic with sprites for graphics and an almost bewildering 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons ruleset – still provides an expansive and enjoyable experience.
Earlier this week I chatted with Beamdog and Overhaul Games' Trent Oster, the BioWare veteran who's heading up development of Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition. The full transcript will be posted next week, but in the meantime, Oster had some interesting remarks regarding the possibility of a new game in the Baldur's Gate series, which ended in 2004 with the cancellation of Baldur's Gate III.
The outpouring of online negativity surrounding Mass Effect 3 and The Old Republic may have proved "just too much" for Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, who left Bioware and the games industry behind a couple of weeks ago.
That's the view of former Bioware man Trent Oster, speaking to Now Gamer about the doctors' exit. “The last time I met up with [Greg], I felt his exhaustion,” Oster said. "Punch out, eject, get the hell out", was my suggestions to him and it hit closer to the mark than I had realised. I also think the Mass Effect 3 fan reaction and the Old Republic fans negativity was just too much.”
Imagine playing a bit of Baldur's gate with a friend sat a hundred miles away on their couch playing along on an iPad. That combination of futuristic cross-platform sorcery and D&D-fuelled nostalgia will become a reality this September when Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition arrives. "Bgee will have co-op multiplayer and will work across platforms" tweets creative director Trent Oster. "iPad can play with Android, Mac and PC. On happy gaming family:-)" D'awww.
According to the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition site, there will be matchmaking for multiplayer sessions, which will presumably lump characters together based on their level. It's available to pre-purchase now for $19.99. Buying early will let you pre-load the files and jump in as soon as the Enhanced Edition is released on September 18. But how does it look? Check out the screenshots below to find out.
There's going to be more to Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition than you remember, though Beamdog/Overhaul's Trent Oster wants to be clear on a couple of things before anyone reaches for the torches, pitchforks or giant banners with the word "BETRAYAL!" in someone else's blood.
But what could possibly be added to Baldur's Gate? We have a few ideas...
Beamdog boss Trent Oster has been throwing out tidbits of information on the upcoming Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate in a flurry of activity on Twitter, spotted by Shacknews. They suggest that Beamdog's updated version of Bioware's RPG classic will feature a raised level cap to provide a bit of extra headroom for the new quests.
The enhanced edition will feature a few new characters, too. The search for voice actors is already underway, and Oster even teases the possibility that Jim Cummings could return to reprise his role as Minsc. But who will play Boo?
The mysterious countdown on the mysterious Baldur's Gate site expired last week to reveal Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition, a prettied up version of the classic RPG with "a variety of modern improvements." A post on the site says that Baldur's Gate 2 will be getting the same treatment, but Beamdog and Overhaul have aspirations beyond simply re-polishing the much loved series up for modern audiences. They want to make a sequel. Overhaul's Cameron Tofer told Gamespy that "Baldur's Gate 3 has been our long term goal."
A new Baldur's Gate website has appeared, fronted by that grimacing skull. Eurogamer mention that the site's source code contains a number of cryptic Baldur's Gate references and there's a wall of the original character images in the gloom behind that famous face. GameBanshee indicate that ex-Bioware veteran Trent Oster's Beamdog are behind the new site. The digital distribution service is currently working on a HD version of MDK2 which suggests that a crisper version of Bioware's classic RPG may be in the works. We'll know shortly. Beamdog say they're "hoping to announce something soon."
Here are those hints hidden in the new site's source code while you wait. Ready your dice for a perception check, here come the clues.
Bioware's sequel to one of the strangest games ever made is getting a HD reboot. Space janitor turned war suited saviour of humanity, Kurt Hectic returns, this time accompanied by a six legged talking dog and and mad scientist Dr. (not Steven) Hawkins. The rebooted version will feature revamped textures, new art, improved lighting and rebuilt particle effects created by some of the original MDK2 devs. We spoke to Overhaul Games’ Trent Oster about putting the HD into MDK2 HD. It will be released this Wednesday October 12 exclusively on digital distribution platform, Beamdog.