Ubi Soft has today announced that it will release a Sony Online-compatible version of Chessmaster for the PlayStation 2 in March next year. The game will incorporate many of the features that have made the Chessmaster series such a success on the PC since it was first launched in 1986, along with new features and controls specifically designed to take advantage of the PS2.
"Chessmaster for the PlayStation 2 is an invitation for console gamers to experience the thrill of chess as they build their skills and unleash the chessmaster within," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. "With Chessmaster, you can play by yourself against personalities of all strengths, from beginners to grandmasters, or you can connect via Sony Online to find a willing and worthy human opponent anytime."
After starting out in the game's tutorial section, which is presented by renowned chess coach Bruce Pandolfini, solo players will be able to challenge increasingly skilled opponents in single games or tournaments. Players will be able to track their progress using statistics on previous games, and should they want to play against a friend of unequal skill, they'll be able to enjoy a more balanced game using Chessmaster's handicap match option.
Despite boasting a sophisticated grandmaster-strength engine, Chessmaster has definitely been designed with players of all abilities and ages in mind, and as such it features a number of 3D chess sets, including an animated "chess battlefield" where the traditional pieces are replaced with orcs, elves, knights, and the like.
Chessmaster for the PS2 is currently scheduled for release in March 2003. We'll bring you more information on the game as it becomes available.