Baldur's Gate Sequel Unveiled

Black Isle begins to talk about what gamers can expect when Baldur's Gate releases.

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Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
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Black Isle Studios, the RPG division of Interplay, and BioWare have announced their plans to build Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, the sequel to the popular Baldur's Gate.

The new game will continue the storyline of the original in The Forgotten Realms as adventurers travel to the southern portion of the Sword Coast called Amn. Around Amn, players will be able to explore the Elven forests of Tethir, the Cloudpeak Mountains, the Drow cities of the Underdark, and the Capitol City of Amn, Athkatla.

''In setting out to do a sequel, we want to give people the feeling that they are returning to a place they remember fondly,'' stated Feargus Urquhart, Black Isle Studios' division director. ''We have a whole new set of tricks up our sleeves, to surprise and engross both the new player and the returning one.''

Baldur's Gate will also gain many enhancements with a newer version of BioWare's Infinity engine, which will support a maximum resolution of 800x600 and 3D acceleration through the OpenGL API. For the minimalist, the new game will let players abandon the user interface altogether for a cleaner view of the action.

Additionally, BG II will feature 15 new NPC characters, hundreds of new creatures, more than 20 new kits, more than 20 new classes, hundreds of new items, and more than 130 new spells.

''We recognize that our fans will have extremely high expectations of the sequel to Baldur's Gate. We're totally committed to making Baldur's Gate II a truly immersive and gripping role-playing experience - a game that we would want to buy and play ourselves,'' said Dr. Ray Muzyka, BioWare's joint CEO and co-executive producer on Baldur's Gate II.

So far, Interplay isn't hinting at an exact release date except sometime during 2000, and with this announcement taking place so late in 1999, we expect the game to be looking for a late 2000 release (although we'd love to see it earlier).

More information on the upcoming sequel can be found on the game's official site.

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