Larian Studios has released the anticipated Baldur’s Gate 3 on Steam Early Access. The Early Access version is considered Act 1 of the game’s overall story and should last players around 25 hours.
According to the devs, acts 2 and 3 will take some time to finish. They anticipate Baldur’s Gate 3 will be in Early Access for at least a year before the full launch. But 25 hours of gameplay do sound like a lot of content.
Let’s break that content down a little: Baldur’s Gate 3 launched in Early Access with 9 different races, 6 character classes, and 5 companions players can recruit in their adventures. Larian Studios mention that you can’t play as these companion characters for now, but should be able to do so in the full game.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Races
In Baldur’s Gate 3, you can choose to play on of 9 races:
Humans are, well.. humans. You see them all around you everyday (OK, so now so much these days, but generally speaking). They are the most common race in Faerûn, and are known for their “tenacity, creativity, and endless capacity for growth.”
Elves In Baldur’s Gate 3 are your standard fantasy elves. If you ever played any RPG based on Dungeons & Dragons (or watched Lord of the Rings), you know what to expect. They live for thousands of years, like magic, and are usually a tad snobbish. You can choose between two subraces: High Elf and Wood Elf.
Half-Elves are half elf and half human, but don’t truly fit with either race. If you enjoy playing conflicted outsiders, then playing a half-elf is probably the choice for you.
Dwarves are another fantasy RPG staple. They are short, angry, greedy, and really good fighters. Think Gimli from Lord of the Rings, or any other Dwarf you played D&D as. In Baldur’s Gate 3, Dwarves are split into two subraces: Gold Dwarf and Shield Dwarf.
Halflings are the same as hobbits, really (again – LOTR is the best reference). They nimble, quick, and quiet, and make for natural rogues. I always enjoyed playing one in D&D – their small stature means that the enemy often underestimates a halfling – right before they get a blade to the knee.
Drow, or Dark Elves, are not very popular in Faerûn. They live underground in a highly aggressive society full of murder and betrayal. It’s no wonder some decide to forgo such an existence and travel to the surface, where they are free but hated. The Drow subraces are Seldarine Drow and Lolth-Sworn Drow.
Half-Drow are just like the half-elves, although maybe worst off. Drows aren’t very popular on the surface, but half-drow aren’t welcome anywhere, not even back at the Drow underground kingdoms. So if you want to survive in a world nobody wants you in, you have to be pretty clever; and quick.
Tieflings are the most hated races in all of Faerûn, and you can maybe see why people are so prejudice towards them. Tieflings have bright red skin and black horns, making them look like demons. Apparently, that is a result of an ancient blood pact their ancestors made with a hell god. It made them look like the devil but gave them some very powerful abilities.
Githyanki, according to the lore, is a once-proud race from the Astral Plane, now enslaved by the mind flayers. If you remember the Baldur’s Gate 3 teaser trailer, you know mind flayers are the game’s big bad. The Githyanki who escape servitude use their exceptional fighting skills as raiders, just to survive.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Classes
Baldur’s Gate 3 supports 6 different classes, all based on Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition. Each of the classes has at least 2 subclasses in the currant Early Access version, but will have more in the final game.
Cleric: Clerics are representatives of the gods they worship, wielding potent divine magic for good or ill. The Cleric subclasses are Life Domain, Nature Domain, and Trickery Domain
Fighter: Fighters have mastered the art of combat, wielding weapons with unmatched skill and wearing armor like a second skin. The Fighter subclasses are Battle Master and Eldritch Knight.
Ranger: Rangers are unrivaled scouts and trackers, honing a deep connection with nature in order to hunt their favored prey. The Ranger subclasses are Beast Master and Hunter.
Rogue: With stealth, skill, and uncanny reflexes, a rogue’s versatility lets them get the upper hand in almost any situation. The Rogue subclasses are Thief and Arcane Trickster.
Warlock: Bound by a pact to an all-powerful patron, warlocks trade their loyalty for supernatural abilities and unique magic. The Warlock subclasses are The Fiend and The Great Old One.
Wizard: Wizards master the arcane by specializing in individual schools of magic, combining ancient spells with modern research. The Wizard subclasses are Abjuration School and Evocation School.
25 hours of gameplay, 9 races, and 6 classes, are more than enough content to justify diving into Baldur’s Gate 3 early. When it finally releases (in a year or more from now), Baldur’s Gate 3 should include around 100 hours of content. So right now, you can play 1/4 of the game, which is quite a lot for an Early Access title.