E3 2001 Preshow ReportBaldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal

BioWare will show its near-complete role-playing expansion at this year's E3.

Throne of Bhaal will be the official expansion pack to BioWare's exceptional computer role-playing game Baldur's Gate II, which was released last year. Like the original game, the expansion will take place in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy realm of the Forgotten Realms. Throne of Bhaal will feature a host of new features, including new magic spells, new magic treasures, new monsters to fight, a brand-new character class, and the ability to raise your characters to even higher experience levels. The expansion will also conclude the story that developer BioWare began with the original Baldur's Gate and will reveal both the past and the future for the series' protagonist, the child of an evil god.

Throne of Bhaal will continue the series' story just after the conclusion of Baldur's Gate II. In the previous games, your main character, a child of the god of murder, Bhaal, had found that its unusual heritage often inspired a dangerous curiosity among mighty swordsmen and powerful wizards. In the expansion, the main character will actually be forced to fully come to grips with its heritage, as the other offspring of Bhaal will begin to emerge in the world--powerful beings competing for the strength, influence, and unique abilities that their divine lineage offers them.

Fortunately, you'll be able to equip yourself accordingly, since Baldur's Gate II already features an arsenal of almost legendary weapons and armor, including the holy avenger sword, girdles of giant strength, and the legendary giant-slaying warhammer, Crom Faeyr. But you'll be able to equip yourself with even more powerful armaments, and you'll have a party of seasoned veteran characters to use them. Many of the companions that joined the main character in Baldur's Gate II will also appear in the expansion and will be of approximately 20th level, as will the main character, though over the course of the game, characters may advance as high as 40th level in experience--a remarkably high level that's almost on par with the gods of the Forgotten Realms themselves.

Throne of Bhaal is scheduled for release later this summer. We'll have more coverage on the expansion right from the show floor soon.

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