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Sunday, 11 October 2020

Guilty Gear Strive Release Date Set For April 9 On PS5, PS4, PC Via Steam

Guilty Gear Strive Release Date

ArcSystemWorks announced at the "Guilty Gear Strive Official Live Stream New Info Special" on October 11 the release date of Guilty Gear Strive, coming to PC via Steam, PS4 and PS5. The release date trailer is included below. Two Limited Edition for Guilty Gear Strive will be launching on April 6, 2021, and the Standard Edition will launch on April 9, 2021. A Season Pass 1 was announced well. The stream also revealed a brand new Guilty Gear Strive character, Giovanna. And Anji is back.

The first limited edition, the Deluxe Edition, includes a copy of Guilty Gear Strive, and the Season Pass 1. The bigger, pricier limited edition, the Ultimate Edition, includes the contents of the Deluxe Edition plus a digital artbook, a digital OST, and special colors for the characters.

Guilty Gear Strive Release Date Guilty Gear Strive Release Date 2 Guilty Gear Strive Release Date Guilty Gear Strive Release Date

The Standard Edition will be physical and digital, with a price of 8580 Yen (tax included). The Deluxe Edition is digital only, for 11,550 Yen (tax included). The Ultimate Edition is physical and digital, for 13, 750 Yen (tax included), and is only on PS4 and PS5, not on Steam.

Early players starting April 6 will only be able to play 13 characters, the offline modes, and the story mode's prologues. Starting April 9 when the game releases for everyone, everything will be available, with 15 characters in total: Anji and another character to be announced.

Contents of the Guilty Gear Strive Season Pass 1:

・ 5 additional playable characters
・ Additional battle stages (2 stages)
・ Additional color pack (5 colors for each character)
・ Another story (looks to be a new storymode chapter)

Additional details on the Guilty Gear Strive Season Pass 1 and the release date for each character will be announced later. Moreover, the name "Season Pass 1" means that another Season Pass will be coming in the future.

Preorders / first print copies will also include special colors for Sol and Ky. Each rival takes the color of the other, including the effects of their attacks. See for example two Sol fighting each other, one with Ky's colors:

Guilty Gear Strive Release Date 5 preorder bonus sol ky color swap

A new Beta Test will also be held in early 2021, and those who pre ordered the game digitally on PSN will get to play this test one day earlier. Specific dates will be announced at a later date.

The new trailer also reveals the story mode in Guilty Gear Strive is fully 3D animated.

Guilty Gear Strive Release Date Trailer:

A brand new Guilty Gear manga was announced as well. It's drawn by Sumeragi, who also did the BlazBlue manga with Mai Natsume: BlazBlue: Remix Heart, and its sequel Variable Heart.

Music Videos for new Guilty Gear Strive songs were published as well:

GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Smell of the Game:

What do you fight for:

In Japanese arcades, multiple Location Test for Guilty Gear Strive will be held as well.

Lastly, it was also confirmed the game's story will follow the Guilty Gear Xrd story. Those who enjoy the Guilty Gear story line can also now catch up on the Xrd story on YouTube, with all the cutscenes getting officially uploaded bit by bit.

New goods and collabs were announced, Guilty Gear Seiko watches, Guilty Gear perfume by Fairy Tail, and a Dizzy nendo by GoodSmile Company is coming:

The post Guilty Gear Strive Release Date Set For April 9 On PS5, PS4, PC Via Steam by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.

Guilty Gear Strive Reveals Brand New Character Giovanna and Anji Comeback

Guilty Gear Strive Giovanna

On October 11, ArcSystemWorks, at the "Guilty Gear Latest Information Live Stream Special" revealed a brand new character for Guilty Gear Strive, Giovanna. Her trailer, included further below, also teases that another character, Anji Mito, is coming back. Anji is a classic Guilty Gear character who wasn't present in the previous iteration, Guilty Gear Xrd. It's his big comeback. The next trailer is scheduled for January 1, 2021.

Here's the official profile for Giovanna in Guilty Gear Strive:

Name: Giovana (voiced by: Mayumi Shintani)
Height: 170 cm
Weight: 62 kg
Blood type: O type
Date of Birth: November 6th
Birthplace: Brazil
Hobbies: Looking at the moon
What she treasures: REI (her wolf spirit companion), her professionalism
Dislikes: The smell of cigarettes and alcohol

Giovanna is the bodyguard of the President of the United States. Giovanna is always superficially polite but rude in intent. She's a good person in the inside though, and is always nice to children and animals. When fighting, she is possessed by her wolf spirit companion Rei, granting her inhuman strength and speed.

Guilty Gear Strive Giovanna Guilty Gear Strive Giovanna Guilty Gear Strive Giovanna Guilty Gear Strive Giovanna

13 characters have been revealed so far in Guilty Gear Strive, and the game will have 15 characters at launch. Another brand new character is Nagoriyuki, revealed in the previous trailer. On the new stream, it was revealed Nagoriyuki is voiced by Taiten Kusunoki. A short voice clip was played. Daisuke Ishiwatari and the ArcSystemWorks staff on stream said his voice was recorded only a week ago.

Recently, a Guilty Gear Xrd player made a pretty cool video using Rhythm Game mechanics to teach combos.

Guilty Gear Strive is coming to PC via Steam, PS4 and PS5, and has no specific release date yet besides early 2021. Stay tuned as the stream is still ongoing, with exhibition matches between Fenritti, GO1, and Dogura. Cosplayer Chloe Yuki is present as well and did a pretty cute Millia Rage cosplay.

The post Guilty Gear Strive Reveals Brand New Character Giovanna and Anji Comeback by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.

Sega Dreamcast Mini, More Mini Consoles Teased In Famitsu Magazine, Next Mini Console Won't Release Before 2022

sega dreamcast mini story famitsu feature sakura taisen 3

This week's Famitsu magazine, released on October 8, and officially titled the Weekly Famitsu Magazine October 22, 2020, Issue, includes a special interview for the release of the Game Gear Micro, where the subject of a Dreamcast Mini was brought up.

The interview is with two key persons of the Game Gear Micro project: Classic Hardware Producer Yousuke Okunari, who also led the Mega Drive Mini project, and Products Sales Department Team Manager Aiko Matsuda, who most notably makes many Sega goods.

Throughout the four pages long interview, Yousuke Okunari and Aiko Matsuda explained the Mega Drive Mini was supposed to be the only project of this kind Sega wanted to finalize. But seeing the console's positive reception and achievements worldwide, Sega decided to let Okunari make more Mini projects. The Game Gear Micro project is the first step and the first challenge the team faces, and it needs to be a success for the project to continue and for Okunari to keep making Mini console proposals to the Sega higher-ups.

Yousuke Okunari is technically an outsider not from Sega. He most notably mentioned that the Astro City Mini, announced in July 2020 for a December release, was actually in planning phase inside Sega for far longer than the Mega Drive Mini. What pushed the Astro City Mini project forward was the success of the Mega Drive Mini.

In the interview, Yousuke Okunari explained every Sega hardware is under consideration for future Mini console plans. It doesn't necessarily mean every single console will get a Mini version, but everything is on the table:

Yousuke Okunari: "If you asked me "what are you planning to do now?", our project is just starting so I'd answer "we're in the planning stages, considering every console for possible Mini consoles". Sega fans are all imagining which Mini console we'll do next, but you should know that we're considering them all. Of course, It doesn't mean we'll actually make them all. But it also means we're considering things Sega fans wouldn't even imagine."

Yousuke Okunari also explained everything comes down to money, and that the next Mini console will be a bigger, worldwide project. As such, it will take longer to release. The next Mini console will not release around that time of the year in 2021. However, it will be announced in around a year, if everything goes well:

Yousuke Okunari: "In the Hardware business, a considerable amount of money moves when starting a project, so at first we'll proceed with the most realistic plan. Game Gear Micro is only sold domestically, so we were able to make it fast. I think our next project will be on a bigger, worldwide scale. So this means the next Mini won't release around that time in 2021, as in only two years after the Mega Drive Mini. We can't make it that fast (laughs). In any case, if everything goes well, we'll be able to make announcements around that time of year in 2021."

Then, Yousuke Okunari brought up a Dreamcast Mini. However, he stressed out it might not necessarily be the next Mini console Sega releases. They're literally considering everything:

Yousuke Okunari: "Probably, the new Mini console we'll make will be similar in concept to the Mega Drive Mini. Maybe it'll be the SG-1000 Mini, maybe it'll be the Dreamcast Mini…"

Famitsu Journalist: "Or maybe it'll be the R360 Mini".

Yousuke Okunari: "That's what I mean (laughs). Right now, maybe even an Inu no Osanpo Mini might be green lighted".

That's all the important bits from the interview.

Announced at the Sega Fes 2018 alongside the new PS4 Sakura Taisen game, the Mega Drive Mini released in September 2019 and was a worldwide success.

The Game Gear Micro (four different types with different games) was announced for the Sega 60th anniversary celebrations in June 2020, and was released exclusively in Japan on October 6.

The Dreamcast was the final console released by Sega in 1998, and was home to many incredible games such as Eternal Arcadia, which celebrated its 20th anniversary on October 5, 2020.

The R360 is a motion-based arcade cabinet released by Sega in Japan in 1990. It had two games, G-LOC: Air Battle, and Wing War. A new version of G-LOC: Air Battle was released on Switch in 2020 as part of Sega Ages.

Inu no Osanpo is a dog walking simulation released on Sega Naomi in 2001, exclusively in Japan. The Naomi is long story short the arcade version of the Dreamcast.

Lastly, it's important to note the Sega Saturn, the console preceding the Dreamcast, didn't get a Mini version yet. Okunari stressed out they'll go with the plan that will make the most money though, so they might not necessarily follow release order, and might go for Dreamcast Mini next. In any case, this is definitely exciting. If nothing goes wrong, in 2021 around that time of the year, Sega should announce the next Mini console. I'm looking forward to it.

The post Sega Dreamcast Mini, More Mini Consoles Teased In Famitsu Magazine, Next Mini Console Won't Release Before 2022 by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.

Genshin Impact Community Team Puts Out Feedback Survey, Now You Can Complain About 5 Star Gacha Rates

Genshin Impact Cyno

The Genshin Impact community team has put out a nice feedback survey for fans, so now you can complain about how awful the five star pull rates are. Oh, and give the development team useful feedback on the game itself, I guess.

Most of the survey asks about the official fanpage on Facebook, about opinions on official images and keyart. There are also sections at the end that allow for additional comments, for if you have anything outside of those parameters to leave feedback on. You can fill out the full survey here if you're interested in giving feedback to the Genshin Impact team.

Soon after publishing the future update schedule for Genshin Impact, available now on PC, PS4, iOS, and Android, miHoYo in another post announced multiple upgrades are coming with Version 1.1. Said update will add an encyclopedia to tell you how to obtain certain items, future updates will add a shortcut to eat food, UI improvements, and more. This update is expected to release on November 11th.

App Annie reports that on mobile devices alone, Genshin Impact has already surpassed 17 million downloads in total. These numbers were taken through the game's first four days of availability as well, which means that the total has surely increased over the weekend. Under the assumption that downloads on mobile continued at a similar rate to the first four days, this likely means that Genshin Impact is somewhere around 20 million downloads solely on mobile.

Soon after its launch, multiple Japanese players claimed the game's anti cheat program mhyprot2 was spyware. miHoYo, however, published an official statement denying the allegations and explained where the bug stems from.

In order to learn more on Genshin Impact, DualShockers recently interviewed the development team at miHoYo. We most notably received details regarding miHoYo's creative process for the game, and hints for future updates. You can check out that interview here.

Genshin Impact launched on September 28th on iOS, Android, PC, and PS4. A Switch version is also in development. You can  with our past coverage. Most notably how while online coop is cross platform, only mobile and PC players can cross save. Meanwhile, PS4 accounts can only stay on PS4. The development team teased additional systems are coming, including Photo Mode.

The post Genshin Impact Community Team Puts Out Feedback Survey, Now You Can Complain About 5 Star Gacha Rates by Allisa James appeared first on DualShockers.

Guilty Gear Xrd Fan Creates Handy Rhythm Game Style Combo Tutorial Video

arc system works, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, PS3, PS4

Many fighting game fans will tell you how much they often struggle with button combos, since at times the combo strings can be ridiculously complex and even harder to time properly. However, one Guilty Gear Xrd fan by the name of Starsky has opened our eyes to how these combos can be displayed to be far more intuitive. Check out the video below:

The full video can also be viewed here. And for those who want to make their own, Starsky offers tips on the process:

I truly hope that fighting game devs take note of the potential of this interface and how much it can aid players. Or at the very least hire this person to do it for them.

Recently Arc System Works confirmed that the title will feature rollback netcode after much fan request. Most recently during the Japan Fighting Game Publisher's Roundtable livestream fighters Leo Whitefang and Nagoriyuki were announced for the title. Two other trailers revealed Ramlethal Valentine as well as Millia Rage and Zato=1. So far we know that the previously announced characters are the protagonist Sol Badguy and Ky KiskeAxl Low and May, and Chipp Zanuff and Potemkin.

During the stage event dedicated to Guilty Gear at Tokyo Game Show 2019, Daisuke Ishiwatari and Akira Katano explained how they particularly detailed the characters' facial animations and how it's basically "3D Sakuga." You can really see that with the tons of different expressions the characters emote during their attacks and supers. At that same event, they also mentioned that the stage change mechanic has actual gameplay mechanics embedded into it. We've translated the full event here if you want to read more.

Guilty Gear -STRIVE- was first teased during EVO 2019. Daisuke Ishiwatari, the General Director, stated how the new Guilty Gear game isn't an "evolution" of the series, nor a return to its roots," but instead a "complete rebuild of the franchise." Instead of adding or removing elements compared to the previous games, he described the development as completely breaking it down, picking up everything that made the series charming and unique, and rebuilding it with those components.

Ishiwatari then mentioned that this new Guilty Gear game is a "big challenge which will go head to head against the essence of fighting games." He added that going this route is a risky bet, but they're confident they can pull it off and bring out new possibilities, using all the experience and materials they've accumulated so far. He ended the message saying he believes games are bridges which can connect people, so he hopes this new Guilty Gear will reflect this idea.

The post Guilty Gear Xrd Fan Creates Handy Rhythm Game Style Combo Tutorial Video by Allisa James appeared first on DualShockers.

New Sackboy: A Big Adventure Trailer Details the Game's Story

Sackboy: A Big Adventure, PS4, PS5, Sumo Digital

With only a month to go before release, PlayStation has released a new trailer for Sackboy: A Big Adventure which gives us more details on its story.

The story follows Sackboy facing off against Vex, the main antagonist of the game who kidnaps Sackboy's friends. Along the way, Sackboy goes to different parts of Craftworld and faces off against other villains. The trailer shows off a wide variety of areas you'll explore alongside different platforming sections. As it's been shown off in other trailers, you'll get a chance to use several power-ups as you visit different areas. Additionally, the trailer shows off a bit of co-op gameplay, which can be done both offline and online with a PlayStation Plus account. You can watch the full trailer below.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure was announced back in June during PlayStation's Future of Gaming showcase. It was announced alongside other major PlayStation titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, and Horizon Forbidden West. Fast forward to September, PlayStation announced that the PlayStation 5 will launch on November 12 for $499.99, alongside a digital-only version for $399.99.

More recently, PlayStation has released another trailer for Sackboy: A Big Adventure which features developer Sumo Digital giving players a rundown of what the game is. In this trailer, it was also confirmed that there will be a special edition of the game which comes with exclusive costumes, an artbook, a Sackboy plushie, and more. Like other PS5 games such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon Forbidden West, Sackboy: A Big Adventure will also release on the PS4. With those titles, the PS4 versions will let you upgrade to the PS5 version at no extra cost.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure launches on November 12 as a PS5 launch title, along with PS4. As more news comes out about the PS5, we'll be sure to let you know.

The post New Sackboy: A Big Adventure Trailer Details the Game's Story by David Gill appeared first on DualShockers.

505 Games Says Indivisible Future Content Has Been Canceled Following Lab Zero Games Closing


It has been a tumultuous past few months for Lab Zero Games and its former employees. Following the decision by multiple developers to leave the studio earlier this summer as a form of protest against owner Mike Zaimont and his alleged history of sexual harassment, the company was soon after dissolved entirely with all remaining employees being laid off. The move was one that left the developer's future and current projects in question, and as of now, we know what the status is with at least one of them.

Publisher 505 Games released a statement today confirming what was already expected by many in the case of Indivisible, the action-RPG that Lab Zero released a year ago. While the game was slated to receive future content in the form of guest characters (which included the likes of Shantae, Shovel Knight, and many others) this will no longer be possible. Additionally, characters that were created by those who backed the game won't be coming either.

505 did clarify, however, that there is still some content in the submission process that will still be coming to Indivisible. Of those new add-ons, one such update for the game's Switch iteration will bring a number of new challenges, co-op, and New Game+. "At this stage, apart from content that is already in submission, there will unfortunately be no more production on the game," 505 wrote.

This whole situation is definitely a bummer all around. I especially feel for those who backed the game on Indiegogo and won't be able to see their contributions result in the in-game content that they paid for. Then again, considering the way in which Lab Zero closed, it's not like you can be mad at the studio itself or 505 Games for this situation coming about.

Even though is the end of Indivisible itself, the game remains one of the more highly-scored games from us here at DualShockers last year and is one that we would absolutely recommend picking up even without these planned future content updates.

The post 505 Games Says Indivisible Future Content Has Been Canceled Following Lab Zero Games Closing by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.

Genshin Impact Version 1.1 Will Add Equipment Lock Function, Oculus Detector, And More Quality of Life Improvements

Genshin Impact Housing haloween alternate costumes feature Genshin Impact Version 1.1

Soon after publishing the future update schedule for Genshin Impact, available now on PC, PS4, iOS, and Android, miHoYo in another post announced multiple upgrades are coming with Version 1.1. Including quality of life enhancements and UI changes. The original article is in Chinese, but was translated in Japanese by Genshin player Kurayami_11. Here are all the details:

Genshin Impact Version 1.1 improvements:

We'll be able to lock Artifacts and weapons, so they can't be accidentally used as level-up fodder.

An encyclopedia will be added so you can check the description of items. Alongside how to obtain them.

An Anemoculus Detector and a Geoculus Detector will be added. Anemoculus and Geoculus are Oculi, small collectibles used for stamina upgrades. This will make it easier for players to find them.

That's it for the upgrades coming in Version 1.1 on November 11. However, miHoYo also revealed more changes will be coming soon:

A shortcut function to eat food items during battle will be added. That way you won't have to go through the menu each time.

When strengthening weapons to their current max level, we'll get the excess Experience back in form of ores.

A new in-game report function will be added. The translation doesn't detail what it is for but I assume bug reporting.

Characters will stay playable even if you send them on an Expedition. As you already know, Fischl has a 25% Expedition time reduction bonus in Mondstadt. This is very important as you'll be able to use Fischl even when she's on an Expedition. We won't have to choose between playing with her or sending her away.

Lastly, a co-op event will be held soon. It's likely it will be the same Ignite the Elemental Crucible co-op event from the Closed Beta 3, but with changes and improvements.

Genshin Impact will receive its Version 1.1 update on November 11. That's one month from now on. As we wait for the update, don't forgot to play the game the way you want and having fun. Meanwhile, you can also watch Lisa's seiyuu Rie Tanaka playing the game. The game also nearly reached 20 millions downloads on mobile alone.

The post Genshin Impact Version 1.1 Will Add Equipment Lock Function, Oculus Detector, And More Quality of Life Improvements by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.

Here's How You Can Upgrade Select PS4 Games to Their PS5 Version

PS5 Close up

Along with a post detailing the massive list of PS4 games that will be backward compatible with the PS5, Sony has released details on how players can upgrade their current-gen titles to their high-fidelity next-gen versions. Not all games will be eligible for upgrades, however, and a list of games that can be upgraded has not been made available.

Not all games will be free to upgrade either. According to the PlayStation support page detailing how to upgrade games, "Depending on the game, this upgrade may occur at no additional cost, may require a purchase, and may be available for a limited time."

Upgrades are split into two different categories – upgrades from disks and upgrades from digital versions. The first thing you need for either is a PlayStation account, although the similarities end there. If you're upgrading a game you own physically, you will have to put the disk in your PS5 first, go to the game's hub, and select the upgrade offer that should appear there. After this selection, you'll be downloading (or purchase at a discounted price) the upgraded version of your game. There is one hitch though, you'll need to keep the disk inserted whenever you're playing a game upgraded like this.

Upgrading digitally purchased games is a much more straightforward process. You'll simply have to find the game in the PlayStation Store and go to its game hub. From there, you'll find an upgrade offer and go through the same final steps as if you were upgrading a disk.

Sony will be launching the PS5 on November 12.

The post Here's How You Can Upgrade Select PS4 Games to Their PS5 Version by Otto Kratky appeared first on DualShockers.

Baldur's Gate 3 Review (Early Access) — Role for Initiative

When playing through a campaign in Dungeons & Dragons, there is always the pretense that players are being guided through a set narrative, but the real joy of a tabletop RPG is the unpredictability. Even with the best intentions and well-laid plains, a stray dice roll or a wayward saving throw can completely change the narrative for players, something that has always been at the heart of a good D&D campaign. In that sense, with Larian Studios serving as the Dungeon Master, Baldur's Gate 3 almost perfectly captures what makes banding together on a fantasy adventure through roleplaying so alluring.

As the developers behind the Divinity: Original Sin series, Larian already made a case for themselves that they were up to taking the mantle of the Baldur's Gate series, which is still regarded as one of the all-time RPG classics. Though players of Divinity: Original Sin 2 will likely find a lot of that game's DNA strewn throughout Larian's latest project, Baldur's Gate 3 is unabashedly a D&D-inspired adventure with a truly heavy emphasis on role-playing. From its storyline set in the Forgotten Realms, to its systems that feel right out of the 5E Player's Handbook, Baldur's Gate 3 is one of the best game adaptations of the D&D universe yet, even though it clearly has a long way to go to reach its full potential.

Baldur's Gate 3 has been released by Larian Studios this week in Early Access on PC and Mac, which will give players the chance to delve into the RPG before its full release sometime in the future. However, the most notable part of the Early Access release worth mentioning is the fact that this build isn't the full game and instead is focused solely on the first of the game's three acts. A dense experience on its own, the first act of Baldur's Gate 3 offers about 20-25 hours of gameplay, while also giving players a glimpse at most of the systems and mechanics that will fuel the rest of the experience once it hits its finalized release.

Normally I'm someone that tends to shy away from playing games in Early Access in favor of playing a finished, polished release, and playing through Baldur's Gate 3 a few days prior to its Early Access release was a reminder of why I tend to wait. New builds of the game were introduced over the past weekend that erased progress from previous ones, and new updates and patches released would gradually fix some of the issues that I ran into. There are placeholders for features like pre-made Origin characters that aren't in the game yet, along with other components that aren't fully fleshed out, such as a wider selection of character classes beyond six basic D&D staples: Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Ranger, Cleric, and Warlock.

In its current form, there's no question that Baldur's Gate 3 is very much an Early Access experience with bugs and technical issues to spare. In my time with the Early Access build texture loading, missing character animations, and delayed sound cues were among the most common issues that I ran into, along with some initial tweaking with the game's settings to improve performance. Though the game as a whole often looks gorgeous, there were moments where beautifully-rendered scenes were dampened by low-res textures or a character model that didn't fully render correctly, reminders that this build is functional but not yet fully polished.

However, despite some of those issues that are inevitable with a release that is clearly a work-in-progress, what Larian has offered with the Early Access version of Baldur's Gate 3 is still an enjoyable and satisfying experience in its own right. Given that there are plenty more updates and tweaks in store for this build over the coming weeks and months, the best approach towards the Early Access release is taking it in as a very extended demo of what will (eventually) be an enormous, highly-detailed RPG. From the hours that I've spent with the game, there are already a vast assortment of options and ways for scenes to play out, giving more of an incentive for players to experiment with each of the available classes and races in the Early Access build.

After a cinematic opening cutscene introduces the threat of the Mindflayers to Faerun, Baldur's Gate 3 brings players into its character creator to create both their playable protagonist and their potential love interest. Here, Larian Studios strikes an excellent balance with a fantastic character creator that feels streamlined, approachable, and with enough depth to bring the player's characters to life, especially since they all look incredible when finished. Whether you decide on a Tiefling Wizard or a Half-Elf Cleric, the character creator in Baldur's Gate 3 offers enough depth that players can finely tune their characters from skin and hair color to tattoos and facial features, but with enough approachability to not feel too overwhelming if you want to delve right into the action.

That last point especially defines the opening hours of the game, as Baldur's Gate 3 doesn't waste time introducing players to its story, world, and the stakes at hand. Your playable character finds themselves onboard a Mindflayer ship alongside other captives, with the infamous D&D nemeses implanting their prisoners with parasites to turn them into members of their growing army. With the help of a Githyanki Fighter named Lae'zel, your character escapes the prisoner ship and discovers that they have yet to turn into Mindflayers themselves, leading to the search for a cure and to thwart the Mindflayers' plans to overrun Faerun.

From the simplicity of its opening setup, the rest of the Early Access experience of Baldur's Gate 3 puts a greater emphasis on teaching players the basics of exploration, combat, character interaction, and the dynamics of its many gameplay systems. Like the Divinity games before it and the Dungeons & Dragons mechanics it is drawing from, Baldur's Gate 3 will likely be a bit complex for those without a basic understanding of the D&D fundamentals. But even then, Larian does a solid job of laying out the core mechanics of exploring each environment for what objects you can interact with, how to approach conversations with different characters, and eventually how to engage with combat.

The influence of the Divinity series is especially felt in Baldur's Gate 3, as Larian puts a heavy emphasis on interactivity within each environment. Elemental effects and learning how to combine them with the environment is a tactic that players can make full use of in Baldur's Gate 3, such as dousing enemies in oil and lighting them on fire with a flaming arrow to deal extra damage. For fans of the Divinity games, it won't be much of a hard transition at all with so many of that series' staples and mechanics working their way into Larian's latest project.

However, Baldur's Gate 3's more immediate D&D influences are felt in conversations with other characters and exploration, which rely heavily on dice rolls and saving throws to determine the outcome. In several situations, players will be presented with a d20 dice roll and a number that they will have to surpass in order to successfully pass through an encounter, lending itself to the ways that situations in Baldur's Gate 3 can vary wildly between playthroughs.

For example, in the game's opening where the player encounters an Intellect Devourer (I.E., a brain with legs) feasting on the skull of a captive prisoner, choices are presented then to either destroy the brain, gently remove it and have it join your party, or leave it be. Having played through the opening section of the game twice, both of my outcomes were wildly different. At first, I managed to have the brain follow along in my journey battling Imps, while in the second playthrough, I flubbed the attempt to remove it and left the encounter in a bloody mess. Though this is just one specific example, it speaks to the ways that Baldur's Gate 3 really embraces giving players a variety of outcomes and choices for how they approach each encounter, with surely a lot more to come.

In terms of combat, Baldur's Gate 3 plays out in a turn-based fashion between your party members and the enemies that you engage, with each character having a movement action, attack, and bonus action to utilize each turn. If you already have familiarity with D&DBaldur's Gate 3's approach to combat should be straightforward and approachable, with a few tweaks made to streamline things a bit. Even if you aren't, Larian has made its systems approachable enough that if you've played some form of tactical RPG or strategy game–even something like XCOM–you can quickly get the hang of how to take on enemies, with its turn-based combat giving a chance to reflect and plan out your next moves.

Coming off Divinity: Original Sin 2, it's no surprise that Baldur's Gate 3 already shows a ton of promise not only to build off Larian's predecessor, but as a worthy successor to an iconic RPG series. The caveat of course is that it isn't quite there yet, instead showing players a foundation for what's to come through its complex but satisfying systems of exploration, combat, and player agency and immersion. In its current state, the Early Access release of Baldur's Gate 3 is an entertaining but buggy one-shot versus a fully-polished experience. But even in that form, Baldur's Gate 3 looks like the beginning of a grand campaign for the ages.

The post Baldur's Gate 3 Review (Early Access) — Role for Initiative by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.

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