Gather 'round, Dragon Age fans. Listen, I know that the big new RPG Baldur's Gate 3 is showing up in all your spaces. You've seen video edits of its super horny companion characters on your FYP and three of your favorite streamers are playing it and like half of your timeline is squealing over screenshots. A bunch of you have already latched on to the new phenomenon and to the rest of you, I must make my appeal:
There's going to be a while yet until Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, so pull off the long road to this rest stop. I want you to enjoy Baldur's Gate 3 with me.
I'm 50 hours in with hell knows how many left to go, and I can confidently say that Baldur's Gate 3 is scratching every itch I desperately miss about Dragon Age games. It has a party of prickly misfits each with a totally tragic backstory. It has deep roots in classic RPGs with click-to-move and a tactical view that you'll remember from Dragon: Age Origins.
There is a bit of a learning curve in Baldur's Gate 3, especially if you've not played any D&D or one of Larian's other sandboxy RPGs. Combat can be intricate with its interwoven systems of advantages, resistances, reactions, and bonuses. But there's an "explorer" difficulty setting for those more interested in story and roleplaying than combat, and we have lots of Baldur's Gate 3 tips if you're feeling up to the challenge. If you've ever tried a Nightmare difficulty Dragon Age run, you're going to find plenty to cut your teeth on in the Tactician difficulty.
Ultimately, Baldur's Gate 3 rewards curiosity. Loot everything. Try weird spells. Bluff your way out of combat entirely or cheese your way into places you shouldn't be. Baldur's Gate 3 has given me tons of joyful interactivity moments of "I wonder if I can…" where the answer is "yes" that remind me of how astounded I was by the complexity of plot and character interplay in Origins back in 2009.
It has a fully voice-acted cast and mostly silent protagonists that allow for the oodles of dialogue options also à la Origins. And oh what dialogue options there are—heroic, snarky, callbacks, and special options based on your class. What you've likely seen most of is its very clippable party cast flirting at camp, another familiar scene. They're all too easy to latch onto and all our favorite archetypes got a speaking part.
Stop me when you recognize any of these:
- A white-haired elf guy who escaped a seriously abusive past
- A painfully direct warrior from an insular, militant society
- A heroic Good Boy who's a little nervous about how hard you're coming onto him
- A flirty wizard who needs you to just trust him that his secretive behavior isn't shady, really
- A religious devotee who totally is
n'tcarrying a lot of trauma
If you were tore up that you couldn't romance Sten, yeah, let me just point you at Lae'zel.
Aside from your party, Baldur's Gate is littered with weird, tragic, emotional side characters. Every decision is steeped in the morally grey morass of every mages versus templars sidequest I've mediated. BG3 is based on the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms setting, and there are journal entries and notes and lore galore waiting to be found in every area. It brings back memories of slowly unearthing everything I learned about Thedas for the first time.
Dreadwolf is a ways off yet as far as we know, and when it comes I'll be first back in line to play it. But Baldur's Gate 3 has given me the kind of excitement about an RPG that I wasn't expecting to get until then. I want you to play Baldur's Gate 3 because it won't be the same without all of you. Your obsessive fanart of That One Character, your tenacious modding scene, and your totally unhinged theories are the last piece that will turn Baldur's Gate 3 into a proper successor to my Dragon Age: Origins experience.