E3 2002: Prince of Qin preshow report

Strategy First's action RPG based on classical Chinese folklore will be at E3 2002.

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Prince of Qin, Strategy First's upcoming PC action RPG based on the story of the Qin Dynasty in ancient China, will be on display at this year's E3. The game is being developed by Object Software, which previously created two real-time strategy games based on the legendary Three Kingdoms era of ancient Chinese history.

Prince of Qin will be based on the events that took place in China in 210 BC. A secret plot has been hatched against Fu Su, the crown prince and heir to the Qin Dynasty throne. You will play as Fu Su and attempt to uncover who's behind the plot. Fu Su himself will be a paladin, though the game will have five character classes in all: paladins, muscle men, assassins, wizards, and witches. Each character will have different strengths. For instance, muscle men will be the best fighters in the game and will also have the ability to tame wild beasts, like tigers, while paladins like Fu Su will be decent fighters with a better defense and the ability to repair damaged weapons and armor. Each character class will have about 20 different skills, which pertain to fighting, stealth, and skill with magic spells. Like Sierra's 2001 action RPG Throne of Darkness, Prince of Qin will actually let you put together a party of adventurers--characters that Fu Su will meet during the game. Prince of Qin will let you create a party of up to five characters, to be equipped with whatever weapons, armor, and magic spells your party can recover. The game will feature an unusual inventory system in which certain types of armor or clothing may complement other armor or weapons. For instance, a magic ring might enhance the strength of a sword carried by one of the characters, or an enchanted necklace may increase the protection of that character's helmet.

Though Prince of Qin will be a fantasy-themed game, it will actually feature several real-world locations in ancient China, including the Epang Palace and the Great Wall. In addition, the game will have more than 200 different nonplayer characters to interact with, and all of them will be based on real-world personages. The game is currently scheduled for release this August. We'll have more information at the show.

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