Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition appearing at PAX Prime
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 22nd Aug 2012
While doing so severely risks our showing our age as gamers, offering praise for Baldur's Gate and in addition offering sincere hopes that the reboot for the game in the form of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition which will debut at this year's PAX Prime clearly does just that...
The original Baldur's Gate was a role-playing game developed by BioWare and published by Interplay Entertainment in 1998 for Windows PC gamers, and offered players an adventure that was firmly placed within the Forgotten Realms universe -- which for those of you who do not know this, is a campaign setting from the world of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) 2nd Edition Rules-set. AD&D was what hard core RPG gamers did before RPG-based video games were invented and was pretty much what was meant by co-op and multi-player gaming prior to the commercial success of the video games consoles we know and love today.
When Baldur's Gate was originally released it received critical praise and, along with Diablo, was credited with revitalizing the computer role-playing game (CRPG) genre -- of course it had a little help with the wider attention that the introduction of the Final Fantasy series brought to the video game arena shortly thereafter, but this is not about FF, it is about Baldur's Gate!
Considering the pleasant memories that are associated with table-top play in D&D and AD&D gaming that your typical old-school gamers talk about and share when they get together, it is befitting for this piece that we celebrate and pay homage to that golden era of gaming that occurred on at the cusp of the introduction of the video game consoles that would in the end change the face of gaming. It is not true that console and PC gaming ruined table-top gaming -- heck, I still belong to a group of table-top gamers who meet every other Saturday and play together, and while that group consists largely of old farts like me, it is attracting a younger crowd and becoming more diverse all the time, so hey, cool that!
In the original Baldur's Gate the Bioware-developed Infinity Engine was used to create an isometric user interface to the game-world, with the very same engine being used later to power games like the Icewind Dale series, and naturally the (the Baldur's Gate expansion pack), and the sequel to Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and its expansion pack Throne of Bhaal. What we are saying is that the game not only helped to translate the traditional table-top gaming experience into a modern video game but it also helped bring entire new generations of gamers to the genre.
That is why the announcement on March 15, 2012 of a remake of Baldur's Gate was met with so wide and sincerely enthusiastic support by the gaming community, and why the upcoming Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition will very likely go gold straight-away when it is released on September 18th for Windows PC, Mac, the iPad, and Android tablets.
It's Not Just a PAX Thang!
While we admit that the Baldur's Gate announcement for PAX Prime 2012 is an exciting PAX announcement and just one more very good reason to justify making the trek to Seattle, that last-minute inclusion is more -- much more -- than it may seem at first. The grunts over at Beamdog are clearly excited to be bringing a build of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to PAX Prime next week, and their excitement is matched by the thrilled fans of the genre, a significant percentage of which will make up the gamers attending the gamer-centric expo.
Beamdog's Cori Dickinson will be on-site with an iPad featuring the game, and gamers will be able to play around with that as they check out the updated version of this classic romp which was created using an upgraded and improved version of the Infinity Engine.
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition includes the entire Baldur's Gate adventure; the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack included, as well as never before seen content that includes an entire new adventure, three new party members: The Calishite Monk Rasaad yn Bashir, Neera the Wild Mage, and Dorn Il-Khan, as well as the evil blackguard.
The game is set for release on September 18th, and based upon what we have seen so far, is destined to bring the world of Baldur's Gate to an entirely new generation of gamers who have no idea just how freaking cool story game is!