1:05 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Wolfpack Studios' upcoming online RPG Shadowbane will be the first 3D massively-multiplayer title to reach our platform, so obviously we await its arrival with much anticipation. Yet as the previews of this title reveal, it is no mere Everquest or Ultima Online clone; instead, it is an ambitious attempt to move the genre forward and really evolve the RPG beyond a mere hunt for treasure and an endless quest for "leveling up."
As this latest preview at ActionTrip reveals, this title will move the focus from individual questing to team- and guild-based cooperative combat, pitting players against one another on titanic, real-time battlefields. There is also a great deal of effort being devoted to the "backstory" and motivations behind each race and character as well, to give this game the richness that underlies all good RPGs. Here's an excerpt from the preview, which details what makes Shadowbane stand apart:
Upon joining the guild of your own selection, and of course, as you download the client and finish the installation, you may begin to create your character, receive experience points, kill, crash, and devastate, which is what the FRP genre is all about. Right? But what makes great FRP games such as Diablo, Baldur's Gate or Myth that different from each other? Well, it appears that this game combines the essentials of all three: the neatness and simplicity of Diablo, the wonders and the wideness of Baldur's Gate, or in fact the gameplay tactics and formations of Myth II. It all looks pretty neat. But we've all learned that the main thing in RPGs is the gameplay and the online part. Especially stuff like handling massive in-game communication with other players, setting up an entire empire of guilds that are constantly growing larger and making space for new guilds, of course. Will the game bring something revolutionary, or will it just be another case of blatant online RPG copying of games like Everquest and Ultima OnLine? Will it indeed be a shadow 'bane'? Well I should think not. To begin with, you have tons of new disciplines and variety of school of thoughts. From the famous Alchemists, Sorcerers, Animators and so on, to the Wyrmslayer, Rat Catcher, Knight, Bounty Hunter etc.etc. So, over 40 well-known disciplines and sub disciplines, and each of them has a unique background story.Although the preview doesn't have many new screen shots, it is still well worth checking out for those interested in this game. Shadowbane is currently in private beta testing; a public beta should take place early next year, and the final release will be due in the first quarter of 2001.
Shadowbane Web Site
Shadowbane Preview at ActionTrip
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