In a video premiered during the PC Gaming Show 2023, Larian gave a deeper look at the city of Baldur’s Gate. The main metropolis of the upcoming RPG of the same name, Baldur’s Gate is something of a favorite location among Dungeons & Dragons players, and Larian says its iteration of the setting in Baldur's Gate 3 will be larger than any that have come before in a video game.
Larian has split the city into three areas—the outer city, affluent upper city, and roguish lower city—all connected in a seamless open world. "You have crowds walking around everywhere," creative director Swen Vincke says. "You can talk to pretty much anybody, and they react to every single thing. It’s very alive in that sense."
"We worked on it as a painting almost," RPG designer Anna Guxens says. "You start with a sketch, a very basic line, and then you just start adding layers." Larian has since morphed that canvas into a cluster of crowded alleys, temples, docks, turrets, and tourelles, giving this version of Baldur’s Gate something of a glow-up over the tightly orthogonal, isometric impression of the city that appeared in the original 1998 game.
There's a hint of The Witcher 3’s Novigrad to the place, with its cosmopolitan streets, towering stone citadels, and dockyards (although we were never able to take Geralt flying over the rooftops of that city). You also won’t be interrupted by loading screens as you explore, whether you’re rummaging around the insides of a building, running around the streets, or flitting back and forth between them.
If everything goes as planned, we’ll be plodding through the city ourselves before long. Baldur’s Gate 3 is set to release at the end of August this year and will bring a couple of familiar faces along with it.