GenCon Unwrapped

GameSpot's Elliott Chin fights thought the costumes, the dice, and the cards for a quick look at what's being show on the floor of GenCon '99.


At this year's GenCon ‘99, card players and role-players were treated to a few demonstrations from the computer gaming side of entertainment. Amidst the druids and maidens, the staff-wielding wanderers and a fully decked-out Queen Amidala wannabes (seriously), computer game developers were found showing several gaming titles.

Activision, MicroProse, Sony, Microsoft, New World Computing, Westwood, and Interplay were all here showing games. Activision was showing off three Star Trek titles, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Soldier of Fortune. The three Star Trek games were the real-time space strategy game Armada; the Voyager-based first-person shooter, Voyager - Elite Force; and the third-person action adventure starring the voices of Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart, Hidden Evil. Vampire is a gorgeous 3D role-playing game based on the hit pen and paper RPG game, and Soldier of Fortune is a gritty, modern day shooter using the magazine license.

Microsoft, under the Avalon Hill label, showed off computer versions of Diplomacy, Acquire, Axis and Allies, Stratego Legends, and the Risk 40th Anniversary edition.

Sony debuted its new Everquest expansion, as well as its new massively multiplayer game, Sovereign, wherein you battle with up to 500 other players while building an empire and your persona in an RPG-like system. Sony also showed its online card game, ChronX, and the turn-based online strategy game, Fantasy War.

At Microsoft's booth, Asheron's Call and Age of Empires II were being shown. Asheron's Call has apparently been through some major upgrades. We didn't get a chance to check it out yet, but we will tomorrow and give you the scoop on what those enhancements could be.

Meanwhile, New World Computing is showing Might and Magic VII, the Heroes of Might and Magic III expansion, and the PlayStation third-person game, Crusaders of Might and Magic.

Westwood attracted large crowds for Tiberian Sun, as well as Nox. Both were well represented and gamers had a chance to see and play both games at the booth.

Interplay made a big announcement by unveiling Neverwinter Nights, a multiplayer D&D game where players can create their own adventures and DM them with others either online or on a LAN. We saw the engine and talked to the developers, Bioware, and put together a detailed news story for you to discover more about the game. Interplay was also showing Planescape: Torment and Star Trek games from its in-house developer - 14 degrees East.

This is just a quick glance at GenCon, but we'll give you more in-depth information as we spend more time at the booths talking with the developers behind the games. We'll bring you a more extensive write-up of Sovereign, Asheron's Call, and other games on Monday, complete with screenshots. In the meantime, check out our story on the recently announced Neverwinter Nights.

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