Thursday, March 10, 2016

Siege of Dragonspear

If you're a longtime reader of this blog, you already know about my love for roleplaying games in general and Dungeons and Dragons in particular. Part of my love for this amazing roleplaying system came from literally hundreds of hours playing and replaying and modding the Baldur's Gate video game series. Although somewhat dated by today's standards, in my opinion this remains the pinnacle experience of the second edition Advanced rules, and what is probably the best video game iteration of those rules ever made.

You can imagine my excitement, then, when I found out that a new expansion was being developed called Siege of Dragonspear. Now at first, the choice to make an expansion seems odd, given that the original game is nearly 20 years old. But in this case, it's being developed by Beamdog, who have been systematically releasing updated versions of almost all the original Infinity Engine games and bringing them back to life for a new generation of gamers.

Siege of Dragonspear will feature an entire new story arc tied to a charismatic warrior known as the Shining Lady who is leading a crusade north to the ruins of Dragonspear Castle. It promises to at last reveal the events that more cohesively connected the original Baldur's Gate and its sequel. It also includes the return of many of the original cast (including most of the original voice actors!), brand new items, quests, and classes, major UI and graphical improvements, and brand new areas hand-painted to match the style of the original.

The game is currently in closed beta, with a scheduled release date of March 31st. You do have to purchase the enhanced version of Baldur's Gate from Beamdog in order to play, however; the original version of the game won't be compatible. Purchasing both will set you back almost $40 retail (although I wouldn't be surprised if you could find the Enhanced Edition cheaper than the $19.99 list price), but in my opinion it's well worth the investment for the hundreds of hours of content you'll receive.  It's also worth mentioning that both games will be available across multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, IOS, and Android.

I certainly intend to pick up Siege of Dragonspear on the day of release. Now I just have to get my party from Baldur's Gate ready to go...

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