In brief: Larian's latest fantasy RPG, Baldur's Gate 3, was going to launch into Early Access on September 30. Sadly, the team has been forced to delay it by an additional week, pushing the release date to October 6. On the bright side, the folks over at Larian took the delay as an opportunity to delve into a few more of Baldur's Gate 3's gameplay systems and themes by way of a new, romance-focused Community Update.
Larian describes its approach to romance and, on a broader scale, "companionship" as one that aims to offer authentic, reactive relationships that grow or dissolve based on your character's decisions and the story's events.
If you side with or against a specific companion for a long enough time, they may become closer or more distant, eventually pushing toward two extremes. If a companion hates you, they might leave your party (or even attack you) but if you play your cards right, they could become your lover -- should you wish it, of course.
Since all of Baldur's Gate 3's dialogue takes place cinematically, with full motion capture, romantic moments of intimacy can be captured in much greater detail. You might sit down by the campfire and have a drink with Shadowheart, Baldur's Gate 3's female half-elven dark Cleric companion. Alternatively, you could choose to seduce the charming human wizard Gale or the vicious Githyanki warrior woman known as Lae' zel.
How you develop these romances, relationships, or rivalries is entirely up to you -- Larian's goal is to ensure you have a satisfying, believable experience no matter what.
"The point is, no matter which race or gender you are, or which class you are, the levels of intimacy party members share will be defined by extremely in-depth, life-like evaluation of everything you’ve been up to together," Larian says. "We’ve tried to create an authentic, reactive relationship system where characters act and react like people. For better, and for worse."
"The point is, no matter which race or gender you are, or which class you are, the levels of intimacy party members share will be defined by extremely in-depth, life-like evaluation of everything you’ve been up to together,"
Just be sure you choose wisely. Like in Divinity: Original Sin 2, you'll be forced to "commit" to your party of four by the time you complete Act I of the game.
After discussing the basics of how relationships will work in Baldur's Gate 3, Larian moved onto a Q&A, where it answered some burning questions the community has been asking as of late. Many of the answers are fairly obvious, but a few stood out.
First, Larian says that Baldur's Gate 3's character creation system -- which has received an overhaul since the last time we laid eyes on it; see that above -- will use the "Point Buy" method for attributes. For those who don't know, this means that you'll have a pool of 27 points you can spend to increase your six core ability scores: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma. The higher a score goes, the more points you have to spend to increase it.
Additionally, aside from companions, players can also get "camp followers" throughout Baldur's Gate 3, who will join your camp on a permanent or temporary basis. Some will provide services (presumably stuff like crafting, enchantments, or healing), whereas others have a "narrative function."
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, in this age of plentiful digital storefronts, you'll be able to play Baldur's Gate 3 with your friends no matter which platform they bought it through, whether it's the Epic Games Store, GOG, Steam, or Stadia.