Ok. I’ve read the RPS article and watched that trailer. Then I went browsing and read the articles from other, less aristocratic sites. Then I went and ate lunch and thought about what I’ve learned, today.
On the one hand, I’d absolutely love to experience more Baldur’s Gate. Also, I’m a bit of a fan of Larian – Divine Divinity was one of the best CRPG games I ever played simply because it absolutely did NOT tell you what to do and I hear good things about their latest games. (D:OS-1 is 70% off on Steam for the weekend, so I guess I’ll check that out.) Could anyone make BG3? If so, and if the rumours are right, I’d guess that Larian are probably the most likely to pull it off.
On the other hand, I loved BG 1+2 so much, I’m not sure it’s even worth playing a “BG3”. The risk is extremely high and modern games pretty much fail to grip me, in general. (The last game that truly gripped me was Ghost of a Tale. Before that, Subnautica. Before that… honestly, I can’t remember.)
Then there’s what they said in the RPS interview about exclusive opportunities presented by Stadia. That sort of thing sounds a whole lot like an announcer declaring that “single-player”, deep immersion RPG game-play is more of an afterthought than the very point of the game. And that is extraordinarily sad. (I don’t play RPGs multiplayer because I don’t have a friend group who would do them justice… not because my friends don’t have GPUs!) (I did play BG2 multiplayer, when I was a teenager, and the experience was great. But we were sitting in the same room and had known each other since junior school. I don’t have that, today, and will never have it, again.)
Then there’s THAT trailer. Oh God, WHY?
Baldur’s Gate was dark, at times, but the overwhelming feeling was that you were a little fish in a large world, alone, and struggling as you gradually grew to have power to change it. Characters like Irenicus (the best villain. full-stop.) were evil because they hurt you and hurt those near to you.
Never, was Baldur’s Gate playing the revulsion card.
I have no problem with mind-flayers, personally, but I really, really wonder what message the creative people at Larian wanted to send by choosing to make THAT trailer and to release it as everyone’s first impression of their artistic vision.
Furthermore, how does some uninteresting soldier type turning into a mind-flayer make me care about their story? It raises questions: who was he fighting before he rounded the corner, who is he, etc. etc. It does nothing to make me care. I now know there’s a monster in the city. Well, guess what? It’s the forgotten realms – there’s probably a dozen monsters in the U-bend of the pisser, down the pub and at least a few thousand under each mattress. (Also, that city looks pretty stricken, already. Probably best to raise it to the ground if you ask me.)
I’ve decided to put the knowledge of impending Baldur’s Gate out of my mind, for now, and hope that future press releases and videos change the impression that I am left with. As a token of good faith, I’ll buy D:OS-1 and give it a whirl and keep following Larian to see where they choose to take this. But, if they stick to their guns and go with the whole revolting-evil-must-die-because line, I shan’t think they’ll be making a game worthy of the name.