Shadowbane, the upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) from Wolfpack studios, is getting closer and closer to completion. To give users a preview of what they can expect they have released two new in-game movies for our enjoyment.
The first movie [640x480 or 320x280] shows some amazing footwork by an elven warrior equipped with two swords as he kicks spins and slices through a series of combat moves. The second movie [640x480 or 320x280] shows how item placement such as clothing and weaponry is handled within the inventory interface. Graphically the engine is looking competent, and the gameis summer release schedule is moving ever closer.
For those readers who do not know much about the MMORPG genre, here is a brief background. Macintosh has only seen a very limited number of MMORPGs in the past, and none that come close to the graphic complexity of Shadowbane. Clan Lord is one such title that puts you into a world of fantasy to explore or dungeon crawl with many other gamers, but the graphics are very limited despite the underlying game itself being both broad and rich. Games like Diablo II may have literally tens of thousands playing online at once, but only eight people are allowed into one game at a time, and the game is so limited in its expanse that replayability is severely limited.
Shadowbane on the other hand will open up a massive world, with entire continents to explore as YOU see fit, not as the game designers, programmers, and artists would. The game features completely non-linear and open ended gameplay that allows you to play as you choose, with evil or good intentions in mind. Retreat into a vast landscape that will take days and nights of walking and running in-game just to travel to another city, while hours may pass in real life. Focus on tradeskills in order to generate an income, or go out and fight native wildlife and monsters. Go anywhere, do anything, with no constraints placed on you aside from the current level of your strength and experience.
Games like Everquest and Asheronis Call on Windows machines have taken this new tradition from the original text based incarations into a fully three-dimensional realm with weather patterns, persistent day and night cycles, and random encounters with a wide range of nasty creatures. Shadowbane is going beyond this model and adding a political landscape to the game that is pushed and pulled by playersi actions, constantly changing in a massive power struggle.
To put it simply, Shadowbane will be the first fully 3D-world available on a Macintosh in which you will be able go online and play with thousands upon thousands of other fantasy role playing gamers in your quest to build a better character. Join guilds. Build cities. Full scale seige warfare. Powerful magic. Protect and serve or destroy and conquer. For Mac users, this is an epic entry of a brand new gaming experience and should not be taken lightly. Try an MMORPG and you will never go back to another genre.