What you need to know
- Larian dropped a Baldur's Gate 3 Christmas animation with an unexpected cameo from the Xbox Series X.
- The episode is fully voiced by the official cast and celebrates the drop of Baldur's Gate 3 on the Xbox platform.
- The episode titled 'A Baldur's Gate 3 Christmas' features a sinister elf who looks suspiciously like Santa, and his sack of goodies for the crew, revealing the Xbox Series X.
Larian Studios, the developer of the critically acclaimed RPG Baldur’s Gate 3, has released a fun new Christmas ad that features an unexpected cameo from the Xbox Series X. The ad, titled ‘A Baldur’s Gate 3 Christmas’, is a three-minute sketch that shows our favorite adventurers celebrating the launch of the game on Xbox consoles.
The cheeky animation starts in a tavern, as most Dungeon's and Dragon's adventures do, with Astarion enjoying a glass of vintage red (which happens to be the blood of Swen Vincke, the CEO of Larian Studios). Gale, the arrogant wizard, is having dinner with his own projection, while Karlach, the fiery fighter, is melting the snow and warming up Astarion and Shadowheart, the mysterious cleric, with her bosom. The ad is filled with Larian’s signature humor and references to the game’s lore and mechanics, such as the Mind Flayers and dice rolls.
The adventurers then venture into the cold and snowy night, where they encounter a mysterious red-cloaked figure who offers them some fine gifts. The best of them all is an Xbox Series X console, which Shadowheart eagerly opens and exclaims, “I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
A long-awaited port
They're not kidding either. Shadowheart is not the only one who has been waiting for Baldur’s Gate 3 to come to Xbox consoles. The game, which is based on the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition ruleset and is the third main game in the Baldur’s Gate series, was released for PC on August 3, 2023, after being in early access since 2020. It was also released for PlayStation 5 on September 6, 2023, but the Xbox version was delayed due to some technical issues.
Larian Studios faced some challenges with developing the port, especially with the split-screen co-op mode, which they were unable to get to work to the same standard on both the Xbox Series X and S. They also clarified that there was no platform exclusivity preventing them from releasing Baldur’s Gate 3 on Xbox day and date, should that be a technical possibility. While they have been clear there is no platform exclusivity of the game, it hasn't stopped certain fans from slinging shots at Xbox over the game not being on the platform.
This sentiment was all but put to rest late in 2023 as Larian revealed that its hard work on the port and help from Microsoft had benefitted the game on all platforms by finding significant improvements to VRAM usage. A huge achievement that may not have come to pass without the cooperative relationship between Larian and Microsoft. Following its triumphant Game of the Year win, Baldur's Gate 3 was shadow-dropped to Xbox on December 7, 2023, and it's been more than worth the wait.
A festive celebration of a masterpiece
Baldur’s Gate 3 is a highly anticipated game that has received rave reviews, including our own Baldur's Gate 3 review, and numerous awards since its release. It is praised for its rich story, immersive gameplay, deep character customization, and faithful adaptation of D&D rules. In a stacked year for quality game releases, it became the surprise favorite to win Game of the Year back in the summer.
While the shadow drop at the Game Awards was a fun way to celebrate Baldur's Gate 3 winning the ultimate award, it did feel like there should have been a little more fanfare around the team's achievement in getting the game to Xbox consoles before the end of the year as promised. This cute animation is not only a fun revisit to Faerûn for fans, but a celebration of the game finally being available on Xbox, and shows more than ever the cooperative relationship between the two. Putting to rest any arguments over platform preference from the developers once and for all. My only complaint is that a 3 minute animation simply isn't enough, we want a Netflix show, and we want it now.
Larian is just as excited to see its game on both Playstation and Xbox as we are, and we are all benefitting from the game improvements made to make this happen. And what better way to celebrate over the holidays than with the game's first-ever discount? If you want to enjoy the game on PC, you can grab Baldur's Gate 3 now for 10% off at GoG.
Baldur's Gate 3 | was
$59.99 now $53.99 at GOG
What Larian Studios has put together with Baldur's Gate 3 is a phenomenal achievement, and it stands tall as one of the best (if not the best) RPGs ever made. Until now, it's never gone on sale before, and I suspect it'll be a long time before we see it get another discount after this deal goes away at the start of the new year.
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Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.