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Baldurs Gate2 Throne Bhaal Preview

AA_White By:
PUBLISHER Interplay 

The Gate is still open!

Just when you resigned yourself to attacking the darkness, Baldur's Gate sounds yet another call to arms. Return once again to the Forgotten Realms as the prophecy of Alaundo unfolds and you continue your destiny as a child of a murderous god in Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal.

Throne of Bhaal is an expansion to Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and serves as the final installment to your adventures in the Baldur's Gate series, Bioware's award winning RPG. Throne of Bhaal features new spells, new characters, new quests, a new dungeon and more lands to explore.

Players can choose to continue the game with their characters from BGII:SofA or may begin with an entirely new character. This is an advanced adventure and all characters are automatically increased to the 20th level(!) and outfitted accordingly with the appropriate skills and trappings.

If you choose to begin with a new character, the game offers a kit for the Wild Mage, a playable character with powerful yet unpredictable magic. He may successfully cast Globe of Blades, surrounding himself in a cloud of deadly whirling cutlery and gleefully pureeing every enemy foolish enough to cross his path...or he might accidentally turn the rest of his party into cubes of lime flavored Jell-O. In any event, putting a Wild Mage in the mix should certainly keep things lively.

Click to enlarge!

With the Experience Point cap set at 8 million points, players will be able to take their characters all the way to the 40th level. This makes for characters of awesome power with a massive number of spells and abilities in their repertoires.

You'll be taking down Blue Dragons, Red Abishai, Planetars and surviving a siege of Fire Giants on the city of Saradush. To deal with these nuisances, players will be afforded the use of more than 40 new abilities, nearly 100 AD&D artifacts of legend, and a bevy of new spells (bringing the total number of spells now available to a whopping 325). But your level 20 Paladin still can't pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Players will also get the opportunity to explore the dank recesses of Watchers' Keep, an expansive new dungeon in the lands of Tethyr. This dungeon will be open for plunder at any point in the game and is a great way to beef up your characters while searching for unique relics.

You can also expect more interactions between the members of your party. They may even form romantic entanglements, which have their own ways of complicating a campaign. Just remember to take out the trash before you go into battle with a loved one. When you're surrounded by an army of troglodytes, a lover's squabble is definitely not gonna help the situation.

Although an expansion, Throne of Bhaal is huge - nearly as big as either of the previous games in the Baldur's Gate series. The folks at Bioware estimate that Throne of Bhaal adds another 40 to 50 hours of engrossing gameplay to the trilogy. That's quite a bit of hang-time for an add-on.

Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal seeks to weave that Baldur's Gate spell upon the hearts and minds of the gaming public one more time. By giving gamers more of that tried and true AD&D magic and adventure combined with the familiar, user-friendly interface, it may prove to be a most potent brew.

Look for it to appear on shelves this June.

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