Miscellaneous News Bits A Plenty!
First up is information on a new Evolution game! Don't get your hopes up yet though. The new Evolution will be Neo Geo Pocket title. While it may be a good game, it will be quite a challenge to give the portable version the same graphical impact as the Dreamcast originals. So if Evolution 2 isn't enough for you this December, at least there is something similar on the way in January. How fun or frustrating it will be to adjust to the smaller screen and scaled down graphics remains to be seen.
Next up is an interview conducted by Unreality with Matthias Worch, Level Designer of the new Wheel of Time PC game. This interview isn't terribly long, but some good questions are raised.
The Adrenaline Vault has dug up some details on the upcoming Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. The game will mainly take place in the southern realms of the Sword Coast this time around. There will be several exotic locales to visit, ranging from the high altitudes of the Cloudpeak Mountains, to the lowest depths of hell. Of course, players can also wander anywhere in between, exploring Amn, Elden, and the Drow city of Underdark. At one point you can even journey into the Astral Plane(Trippy).
The graphics engine will undergo slight changes. The most immediately noticible of these being Open GL support for better visuals. Spells will also have two visual states. The traditional 2-D style, and some that utilize 3-D effects.
Actual player characters in Baldur's Gate II will have a few tweaks as well. First off is the amazing amount of character interaction this game is said to have. Up to 15 characters can now join in on your quest, and this time around character interaction goes a lot deeper than simply having the party pissed of at your actions. The AI is supposedly increased to the point where NPCs can do anything from double crossing you, to falling in love. A bit strange perhaps, but cool nonetheless. It is said that one character in this sequel has more dialouge and scripting than everyone combined in the first game!
While this doesn't mean that Baldur's Gate II will be the ultimate form of interactive gaming, it is definitely a step in the right direction. If this works out as planned, Baldur's Gate II will be a much more interesting gameplay experience than the original.
There will be 300 spells that go up to the 9th level. And crazily enough, when a character reaches level nine, they gain their own private abode. This is a very intriguing addition. I can only picture how it will actually be implemented. Overall, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is shaping up to be one huge RPG. And if you can't tell already, I'm excited about the possibilities it could hold. In fact, I feel like playing through the original again after hearing all this. But wait! There is one more story.
To top this all off is some news about Diablo II from RPGFan Editor, Woojin Lee:
Diablo II has been delayed!(To noone's big surprise)
Yes, the obvious has been made public today as Blizzard Entertainment, famous for their popular Warcraft series and their hit RTS game Starcraft, wrote a letter to Blue's News about the delay.
The new release date it "Sometime Early 2000" with beta testing beginning at the end of this year. Over 1000 beta testers will be testing out the new battle.net interface, which uses a client-server network to prevent the mass cheating that plagued the original game.
November 11th, 1999
Wheel of Time Interview