Baldur's Gate 3's Full Release Date May Be Closer Than You Think

Baldur's Gate 3 has been in early access for almost 2 years, but its full release may be just over the horizon. In April, Larian announced that the game would fully release in 2023, which seemed like a longshot given how much content is yet to be added to the game. Since then, Baldur's Gate 3 has received another major content patch, but there's still a long way to go. Based on the timeline and recent comments from developers, the game may release in a state that many aren't expecting.

During the recent Panel From Hell, Larian's livestream that showed off everything coming to Baldur's Gate 3 in Patch 8, Creative Director Swen Vincke and Head of Production David Walgrave discussed how the game was only a few months from being feature-complete, meaning all features being implemented in the game. Ahead of a targeted 2023 release, that sounds promising, but it also implies that there is a whole host of features and content that has been worked on behind the scenes without being added to early access.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

Related: Single-Player Games That Take The Longest Time To Fully Complete

If Larian has been holding out on its players in order to make the full release feel more momentous, players of the early access version should be in for a pleasant surprise next year. However, that might not be the case. As stated by Vincke and Walgrave, Larian's philosophy with keeping Baldur's Gate 3 in early access was to present players with features so they could provide feedback before things were finalized. While the developers are certainly working on things behind closed doors that their players haven't seen yet, this sentiment makes it seem unlikely that the breadth of content being kept from players is enough to take the game from where it currently is to its full release.

Baldur's Gate 3 Is Either Close To Completion Or Pushing Content Back

Shadowheart Baldur's Gate 3 Cover

There are more character options in Dungeons & Dragons' fifth edition than Larian could ever reasonably add to Baldur's Gate 3, but there is at least a baseline that they are striving for. Currently, Baldur's Gate 3 offers 10 playable classes and 9 playable races with various subraces, along with 11 backgrounds that provide unique dialogue options and bonus proficiencies. If Larian is aiming to include all options from the D&D 5e Player's Handbook, there are still many options that need to be added, most importantly the two classes still missing from Baldur's Gate 3, the Monk and the Paladin. At the rate Larian's been releasing patches, it would take another eight months for both classes to be added to early access, so the game supposedly nearing completion is interesting to hear.

Besides character options, there is also the story itself to consider. The campaign and questlines of Baldur's Gate 3 have been consistently updated with each patch, but players are still unable to get past Act 1 of the main story. Characters in early access can only reach level 4 out of the 20 that are possible in 5e D&D, and there are still companions that aren't yet recruitable as well. That leaves a lot of ground left to cover, and would be genuinely impressive if Larian is on pace to have that much content ready for launch next year. Of course, of all the changes to D&D that Baldur's Gate 3 has made, constructing a campaign that doesn't reach its highest level would not be chief among them, so there might not be quite so much on their plate in that regard.

Another concern regarding how content will be added to Baldur's Gate 3 in the future is its updates' compatibility with each other. In the past, every major update has been incompatible with its predecessors. This forces players to start a new save file with each update, returning to beta branches on Steam in order to continue old playthroughs. This isn't likely to persist once the game exits early access, but it could affect future content updates. In any case, Larian has thus far demonstrated a commitment to attention to detail and acknowledging player feedback, so whatever the full release of Baldur's Gate 3 may look like, it appears to be in good hands.

2022-07-11T11:02:42.000Z

Comment