One of my favorite games of all time is the sprawling Advanced Dungeons & Dragons based RPG, Baldur’s Gate II. Featuring over 200+ hours of content, the game sees your character raised from a hero to a god as he takes on vampires, Beholders, dragons and drow. It’s the closest thing to a real nerds-and-basement tabletop RPG session you’ll ever have on a computer, and in the ten years since it has been released, nothing else has come close to its scope or its writing, and since all of the game’s levels were hand-painted, it still even looks pretty good.
Now Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II are coming to the iPad. Excuse me while I tear off my clothes, smear myself in vasoline and go absolutel bananas.
Beamdog Entertainment had previously been announced over the last few weeks to be working on Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, an expanded port of the first two Baldur’s Gate games updated for new platforms, and filled out with new characters, new levels, new adventures and better graphics.
All well and good, and I’d been secretly hoping it was coming to the Mac, but now Beamdog’s gone one further and confirmed that Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition will be coming to the iPad this summer.
IGN Wireless had an early hands on with the build, and it needs work, but it’s already running:
I had the opportunity to go hands-on with an early build of Baldur’s Gate iPad, and my initial impressions leave me optimistic about the potential of this huge port. For now, Overhaul is primarily demonstrating that this is indeed Baldur’s Gate, running on an iPad. It exists, it runs smoothly, and as a company representative put it, “the technical issues are behind us.”
What hasn’t yet been changed is the interface. With the PC version’s tiny buttons, very small dialogue selections and incredibly complex menus displayed on an iPad, right now it’s tough to effectively play with a touch interface. Overhaul has promised that revised, touch-friendly menus are in the works.
The iPad port’s revised pan and zoom camera control shows the potential of a more “player friendly” Baldur’s Gate iPad experience. The camera has been fully optimized for iPad and works in the way players expect. They can pinch to zoom their viewpoint in and out, and a simple drag of the finger moves the camera anywhere around the map. A button toggle locks the camera and enables drag selection boxes, making it easy to select multiple enemies in hairy combat situations.
This is incredibly exciting. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is just the first game, which is inferior to Baldur’s Gate II, but if they’re bringing the first game to iPad, the second game will be soon to follow, I bet. Either way, when this is released, this is going to be the best RPG you can get on a tablet. I’m quivering with giddiness here. Now if someone would just bring Planescape: Torment over.
[via Touch Arcade].