Beamdog has confirmed that their unnamed project “Adventure Y” will in fact be a new entry into the Baldur’s Gate franchise. After garnering a strong following after their Enhanced Edition projects of Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II, many wondered exactly what could be next for the studio that brought one of the PC’s greatest RPG franchises back into relevance. Beamdog had been teasing Adventure Y on their blog and their forums for some time, but only recently announced the direct connection to the classic Baldur’s Gate titles.
The new game will not be a sequel, but rather a game the bridges the gap between Baldur’s Gate I and II. They will not be straying far from what they know as the Enhanced Edition update to Bioware’s Infinity Engine will still be utilized. While Adventure Y provides franchise fans with a taste of something fresh after over a decade since Baldur’s Gate II, Beamdog is not currently working on anything related to Baldur’s Gate III, nor is there any plans to work within the framework of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition.
The topic of Fifth Edition is an interesting one because Baldur’s Gate and Beamdog’s Enhanced Editions is built around Second Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules, a system that has since been revised and overhauled three times. It certainly reflected in the way Baldur’s Gate uses a dated version of D&D’s rules, especially when most young players have zero experience with the old rule set. Even when I played D&D back when Baldur’s Gate came out, I was only familiar with Second Edition and never had to touch First Edition.
I speculate that the bridging story of Adventure Y has to be told using D&D Second Edition rules as to not disrupt the flow between mainline Baldur’s Gate titles. This itself isn’t a problem because the systems in Baldur’s Gate were incredibly well built by Bioware back at the turn of the millennium. Beamdog merely has to create a worthy story and work within the Infinity Engine’s framework.
Regardless of what edition I expect to hear arguing party members, traversing through obnoxiously long maps with terrible fog-of-war and plenty of Minsc’s battle cries. Because “Magic is impressive, but now Minsc leads. Swords for everyone!”