BioWare's highly anticipated sequel begins shortly after the conclusion of the original game. Your character is captured by mysterious assassins and imprisoned deep in a sinister torture chamber along with several of your allies. These characters will be familiar to those who played through the original game. But these allies have changed in the time since the original game, and they look and sound different than they used to.
Today GameSpot received a nearly complete build of Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, which includes some of the new character portraits that will appear in the finished game. Note that BioWare is still touching up some of the character art, so the images you see here will likely change slightly before the game's release. Even so, fans of the original should immediately recognize Imoen the thief, who's since received a battle scar across her right eye and has dual-classed into a mage; Minsc, the not-so-gentle giant and his pet hamster; and Jaheira, the druidess. Apparently the voice actors who provided the speech for these characters in the original game have all reprised their roles in the sequel, although Imoen, Minsc, and Jaheira all have new speaking lines.
You'll also meet many new companions in Baldur's Gate II, including the evil berserker dwarf Korgan, the mage/thief Nalia, and the bounty hunter Yoshimo. Baldur's Gate II will feature over a dozen different characters who may join you in your epic quest, although you will only be able to travel with five companions at a time. Baldur's Gate II will feature elaborate interactions between its main characters, including potential conflicts and romances. The game is presently scheduled to ship in mid September.