E3 2001 Preshow ReportEtherlords

This is the first E3 for Fishtank's Etherlords. Here's what we expect to see.

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Etherlords will make its first appearance at E3 2001. The game is being developed by Nival Interactive, which also created the Rage of Mages series and Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul. Etherlords is a turn-based strategy game set in an entirely new world. The Etherlords universe is created by a flow called Ether. The World of the Lords exists where the Ether is split into four currents: The red Ether of Chaos, blue Ether of Motion, green Ether of Vitality, and black Ether of Synthesis. Ether is used to create armor, weapons, monsters, and magic.

Four races inhabit the World of Lords. Each one is representative of an Ether current. The Synthets come from the Ether of Synthesis, the Chaots from Chaos, Vitals from Vitality, and lastly the Kinets are spawned from Motion. Each race has a distinct realm with unique combat styles and spells. Celestial bodies that correspond to respective colored Ethers travel over the world: the red sun, the blue star, the green planet, and the black moon. They are responsible for changing the flow of the currents in the world.

You control heroes from their respective races. Your goal is to battle opponents to take their territories and gather resources. There are eight resources in Etherlords, but one of those is Ether itself and cannot be accumulated. Your hero will inevitably fight battles against enemy heroes. Combat is one-on-one, and magic is the only weapon you use. Your hero can summon monsters, however, which will not only attack the enemy hero but will also block some attacks against you. There are more than 300 spells available to crush your opponent. When victorious, you get experience to increase your abilities and upgrade buildings in your territory. The single-player mode offers two campaigns where two races are allied: Chaots and Synthets vs. Kinets and Vitals. Multiplayer is also available, and in that mode you can pick any one of the races to play.

Etherlords is currently in beta, and Fishtank Interactive is showing the game at the show. Attendees of the E3 show will be able to see the current code in action. Once we check out the game, we will have impressions for you to read. The game is scheduled to be released at the end of this year.

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