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Beamdog boss on why making Icewind Dale II would create "nightmares"

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition

The Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition was announced in August, a good but not entirely surprising bit of news given the success of its enhanced Baldur's Gate predecessors. But in spite of that obvious progression and the hope it engenders for future Infinity Engine overhauls, Enhanced Editions of Icewind Dale 2 or Planescape: Torment aren't a sure thing.

The problem, Beamdog co-founder Trent Oster told RPGamer, is that Icewind Dale II is dramatically different from the first game, both inside and out. "If Icewind Dale is a brother or sister to the Baldur's Gate games in terms of code and gameplay differences, Icewind Dale II and Planescape: Torment are more like third cousins. You can see the lineage, but the changes are deep," he said.

"Icewind Dale II implemented the 3rd Edition rules and has a completely different UI scheme. We're really not sure how deep those changes run," Oster explained. "The move to 3rd Edition rules would invalidate all the character classes and require a pretty thorough rework of the entire game to bring in the features from our Infinity Plus Engine. At minimum, nightmares abound."

The original Icewind Dale uses AD&D Second Edition rules, as does Planescape: Torment. The Third Edition rule set, which actually dropped the "Advanced" designator, was released in 2000, the same year as Icewind Dale; Icewind Dale II came out in 2002.

It's far from a flat-out "no," and Oster said the team plans to dig deeper into the matter after the launch of Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition and the 1.3 update for the Baldur's Gate games, but "nightmares abound" isn't the sort of thing you want to hear regarding the likelihood of your favorite game being remade. On the slightly-brighter side, depending on how you view such a thing, Oster said the team still talks about Baldur's Gate III on a "pretty regular basis."

Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.