We recently received an early version of Sierra's Throne of Darkness, an action-RPG set in feudal Japan. The gameplay and interface are very similar to Diablo's genre-defining design. The game's action lets players guide a party of one to four samurai on a quest to regain their clan's honor and defeat an evil warlord. Throne of Darkness' warlord interface lets players decide how big their party is and which of the seven samurai characters they want in their four-warrior party. The developer, Click Entertainment, also hopes to add some tactical variety to Throne of Darkness with its "play-calling" system, which lets players tell their party members what to do while they're engaged in battle. Unfortunately, though, our version offered only two choices: attack and retreat.
At this point, Throne of Darkness still has a long way to go. The game runs rather slowly on a Pentium III and TNT graphics card. Some issues with the user interface also need to be addressed, but Click Entertainment should have time to fix these problems before Sierra's announced ship date in the spring of 2001. To get a better feel for the game, take a look at these 25 screenshots and this new three-minute trailer.