Published by Interplay
Developed by BioWare for Black Isle Software
$49.95The news broke a while ago: TSR had licensed Interplay to do a new computerized take on the Forgotten Realms. The resulting hype was somewhat muted. As the game's release date grew closer, the anticipation mounted. The Forgotten Realms and Interplay was looking more and more like a match made in heaven, especially since BioWare seemed to be paying careful attention to the concerns of the fans of AD&D. The basic buzz was positive. Why not? You could play by yourself or you could play with one or more friends over a modem, Internet or LAN connection. This would be the first time since Blizzard's Diablo that a game would lean towards cooperative multiplayer play. In addition, Interplay's promise that they will release modules and add-on packs in the future was something few companies seemed willing to do.
The actual results are a mixed bag, but there's real promise for the future. The Infinity Engine that the game runs on does a fantastic job of handling the two things that the AD&D system is most known for: exploration and combat. It tends to do a mediocre job as far as interaction with the world goes.
On a technical level, BioWare managed to make a game with comparatively few bugs. Multiplayer connections can be fickle. Some configurations don't work perfectly. Although it can be a resource hog, it is configurable and can be played even on older systems. It doesn't . . .
This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.
Article publication date: February 12, 1999
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