Baldur’s Gate was an intrinsic part of my childhood, being one of the first games I ever played (and one that helped me learn and navigate the English language). Too young to purchase games of my own, as I was only six years old when the original Baldur’s Gate came out, it was part of my father’s extensive collection of Dungeons & Dragons PC games. Despite its rating, my parents were kind enough to let me play the first game in the Bhaalspawn Saga. Once my father spotted my interest in what The Forgotten Realms had to offer, he gave me three books that I would quickly learn were prequels to the games. Their covers were well worn and covered in illustrations typical for the era they released in — men in deep cut tunics with their arms bared and women scantily clad in robes — and I was super excited to see that Baldur’s Gate 3 had some clothing sets reminiscent of what I can only describe as 80s fantasy novel cover chic.
While certain outfits in Baldur’s Gate 3 definitely feel inspired by more modern games like Dragon Age (specifically the Scale Mail you can acquire fairly early on), the clothing characters were at camp feel deeply inspired by the aforementioned 80s fantasy novel covers. To be more specific, TSR covers. TSR published loads of novels set in The Forgotten Realms, which is the campaign scenario where Baldur’s Gate 3 takes place. Each of these covers featured stereotypical designs for hallmark characters like Drow Ranger Drizzt Do’Urden and the Human Barbarian Wulfgar, which sampled heavily from those 80’s fantasy designs seen in Conan the Barbarian and the like. So it’s really cool to see some of these outfits call back to the early era of The Forgotten Realms.
It’s definitely nostalgia that makes me appreciate these choices, even if my Human Wizard doesn’t look all that great in some of the more risqué attire like Minthara’s at Ease Clothes (which you can see above, and I quickly changed him out of and tossed in the stash). I love the bulky silhouette and the deep v-cut. And I love the plunging neckline in Shadowheart‘s casual attire while she’s back at camp, just because it reminds me of those book covers.
I personally wish Gale had something comparable, but it’s nice to see that Wyll have his arms out and have a bit of his stomach showing so it doesn’t feel as selective. These outfits are also optional and are hidden under the armor worn by the characters, so you can absolutely change them out if they’re not to your taste, or want to swap up whatever they’re wearing at camp. Or you can even hide the armor to see these outfits at any and all time!
Overall, I’m just the glad the option is there, even if not everyone will agree with the designs of these outfits. It reminds me cracking open R.A. Salvatore’s The Legacy of the Drow series and how I’d marvel at those covers as I ran my fingers over the embossed title and The Forgotten Realms logo. If anything, Larian Studios has done a great job at harkening to the source material of Baldur’s Gate, even if it’s just in aesthetic alone.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is available for the PC and will release for PS5 on September 6, 2023.