What's a Tabula Rasa? While it may sound like some kind of Sri Lankan delicacy, it's actually an upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game, designed by the development studio helmed by Ultima and Ultima Online creator Richard Garriott. The game revolves around a pair of warring factions, called the Benefactors and the Bane, who, despite being from the same homeworld, are constantly engaged in a destructive battle for supremacy. You will play as a survivor from an utterly devastated version of Earth, called upon to fight through exotic alien battlefields and hopefully save the universe from the vile Bane.
NCsoft compares the game's style of combat to that of a first-person shooter. The action is designed to be fast-paced, with a wide variety of weapons to choose from--of both human and alien varieties--as well as specialized "logos" powers for some superhuman abilities. Characters in the game will be rated on attributes of body, mind, and spirit, and all of their strengths and weaknesses will be tied directly into these ratings. The combat in the game will take place within scripted battles inside instanced combat zones or in one of a number of different shared frontline battles, where you can play as a lone wolf or with a team. When teamed up, you'll be able to use fully integrated voice chat. If you want to get to another location to team up with your friends, you can instantly go there using the game's universally implemented teleportation system.
Tabula Rasa is being developed with a unique 3D graphics engine that aims to deliver highly detailed environments, lots of unique alien characters, and all sorts of sci-fi inspired fashion and architecture. Those last two aspects will tie directly in to your character customization, as you'll be able to acquire new items of dress for your character, as well as house your character in your own property. Furnishing and decorating your player estate will be entirely up to you. As far as other little presentational boons go, the game will feature a unique soundtrack composed by former Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna.
Tabula Rasa will once again be demoed at E3 this year, and we hope to bring you more hands-on impressions of the game from the event. Currently, Tabula Rasa is scheduled to hit PCs early next year.