Update Note: In a previous version of this article, it seems we misinterpreted the words of Swen Vincke to mean that the first act of Baldur’s Gate 3 will be larger than the entirety of the completed Divinity: Original Sin 2. However, Vincke apparently meant that the first act of this title is larger than that of the original early access release for Divinity: Original Sin 2. We regret the confusion. The corrected original article follows.
Larian founder Swen Vincke spoke with GameSpot on the RPG follow-up’s progress, saying that this first chapter will be accessible to any player that joins in when the game heads to Steam Early Access in (probably) August. The final version of the game will be “much bigger than that.”
Vincke also commented on the topic of how much of the core campaign in Baldur’s Gate 3 will be complete for the Steam Early Access release:
…you will be able to play through a couple of, let’s call them, big quest lines that we have present in there. There’s a whole bunch of sub-quests, a whole bunch of dungeon story beats that you’ll be able to explore. When I’m saying being able to play through a couple of core quest lines, I’m talking about main story paths, which take easily up to 15 to 20 hours.
Players will have the freedom to explore various locations in the shoes of one of six classes up to a certain level cap. Larian is still getting a handle on what content will be available in Baldur’s Gate 3 early access, so things could change between now and then.
Vincke said that more content will be added and changed to the early access release as work on Baldur’s Gate 3 continues, of course. One of the latest changes, for example, has to do with the initiative system. The mechanic has changed since Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay was shown off at PAX East this year, with the studio head saying that parties will now follow a more “classic turn order,” which allows players to change the sequence in which party members attack. Another new addition is an alignment system that has its own positive and negative implications. For instance, if a party member’s ideology opposes that of the player, the mechanic could see said character reacting to decisions by leaving, trying to kill the player in their sleep, or anything in-between.
One highly requested gameplay feature that Larian has not implemented is Dungeon Master mode. The studio is always thinking about features such as Dungeon Master but is focused on creating the core experience for now.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is planned to launch in Steam Early Access in August, and the final release is currently planned for PC and Google Stadia.
For more on Baldur’s Gate 3, check out The Escapist’s interview with Vincke from E3 2019.