Baldur's Gate 2 is
When Dungeons and Dragons put that sexy timer up on their page I just had to know. Was it gonna be Baldur's Gate 3? (Huh? How would THAT make sense after how 2 ended?) Was it going to be a "reimagining" that turned the game play into an FPS, Minsc into a depressive alcoholic and Aerie into an obsessive nymphomaniac? WOULD BODHI SPARKLE?!!?
My distaste for the recent handling of the Forgotten Realms has been well-documented, and so the clock did its job in giving me ample time to panic.
After a mob of old farts (myself probably the oldest and fartiest amongst them) almost crashed the server at Baldursgate.com, we found out that it was not going to be a new game, or even a rehash of the old one. Rather, it would be the original game, enhanced for a whole new group of adventurers!
Wait..."enhanced"? What the heck does that mean?
I asked that question and several more to Cameron Tofer, an old Bioware vet and COO of Beamdog (of which overhaulgames.com is a division), and he was kind enough to get back to me!
GMK - Can you explain what exactly you mean by "enhanced"?
Cam -We mostly are referring to the new content, but we are fixing lots of bugs in all areas. Enhanced will be the best version of Baldur's Gate.
GMK - Why Baldur's Gate? Why now?
Cam -We've been wanting to continue Baldur's Gate for a long time. We've finally got the agreements and resources in place to do it.
GMK - Are you going to be keeping the same turn-based style of combat?
Cam -Ya, we're not touching what's awesome.
GMK - Will my four year old off-the-rack Acer be able to handle the game?
Cam -You bet, in fact Enhanced will probably run better than the original.
GMK -What about voice acting? The same audio clips, or are you going to re-record?
Cam -We won't be re-recording. But our new content will be voiced.
GMK - Will there be additional characters or endings that weren't in the original?
Cam -We'll tell you more on this later.
GMK - Will the game's core mechanics still be based around AD&D, or are you going to be using this as a chance to preview 5th Edition?
Cam -No this is the same ruleset.
GMK - Boo has never been a playable character! I realize that this isn't a question as such, but it seemed worth mentioning...
Cam -Well in our PnP campaigns Boo was a very important player character!
GMK - How about side-quests? The same old classics, or will there be some new stuff?
Cam -There'll be new.
GMK - Ditto in regards to the stronghold quests.
Cam- More on this later.
GMK - How about DLC?
Cam - (See above)
GMK - What are some of the particular challenges you think you'll be facing with this project?
Cam- The challenge for us is to not break the magic that is BG. It's an incredibly large project.
GMK - Will there be some form of online play? (The original had a limited amount of online compatibility)
Cam -We're fixing all the multiplayer bugs, more on this later.
GMK - Could this mean we'll be seeing revamped versions of other old D&D classics like Elemental Evil, Pool of Radiance, Icewind Dale, or Neverwinter Nights?
Cam -If we do more games they will be ones we've original been involved with. so maybe a few of them on your list.
GMK -Should we look forward to all-new games set during this time period of the Forgotten Realms?
Cam -We'd love to continue work there, as of now we don't have anything in place.
GMK - When should we expect a release?
Cam -Summer 2012
GMK- Thank you so much for your time! In closing, what do you think will excite people the most about this project? Any cryptic hints you'd care to titillate us with?
Cam - I think people should be most excited to relive a period of classic game that hasn't been matched. The full extent of the project can't be grasped with one announcement :)
For my part, I'm pretty stoked.