At long last, the countdown clock on the Baldur's Gate website hit zero yesterday, at which time the site promptly crashed. Flash forward a couple of hours, and the news finally got out: Atari, in association with Wizards of the Coast and Overhaul Games, will be releasing enhanced editions of Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II.
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition should be in good hands, as developer Overhaul Games features members of the original Baldur's Gate team. This won't be the first time Overhaul has updated a BioWare property, either -- the studio is responsible for the Wii port of MDK2, as well as its PC counterpart, MDK2 HD.
A note on the Overhaul website tells the story.
"Since we got our start at Bioware we've made a few games, met a few friends, and now we're back working on the games we love. For years we've wanted to continue our journey on Baldur's Gate, and now after months negotiations we get to do just that."
According the the Baldur's Gate website, the games will run on "a re-forged version of the Infinity Engine with a variety of modern improvements." Otherwise, the site is slim on details. Fortunately, Trent Oster of Overhaul parent company (and digital distribution service) Beamdog has been tweeting all kinds of info about the projects.
For starters, Baldurs Gate Enhanced Edition will include the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion. Likewise, Baldur's Gate 2 Enhanced Edition will come packed with the Throne of Bhaal expansion. There will be new content and characters, complete with voices, though all of the original voices and music will remain untouched.
Graphically, both games will be old-school 2D isometric affairs, just like always -- in fact, the Infinity Advanced engine used for the games is "based off the latest Throne of Ball codebase." The team at Overhaul is "trying hard not to break mods," and there is a chance that old save files will be supported.
Beamdog itself will be digitally distributing the games, and while the focus is on PC (for now), Oster promises to talk more about other platforms in coming weeks. Given that there will be no gamepad support (says Oster, "pointer devices only"), Xbox 360 would seem to be out of the question. Could a PlayStation 3 version with Move support be in the cards? What about Wii (which the developer has worked with before) or iOS? What do you think?
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is due this Summer for PC. No release window has been identified for Baldurs Gate II: Enhanced Edition.
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