Relic: Game of the Ancients E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

This massively multiplayer strategy game is a virtual fantasy board game with thousands of potential opponents.

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One of the banes of being a strategy board game fan is that it can be hard to find an opponent who lives nearby. Relic: Game of the Ancients, may be up your alley. This massively multiplayer strategy game is only "massively multiplayer" in terms of the number of potential opponents you can face.

In essence, Relic is a fantasy-based strategy board game that you'll play in one-on-one virtual matches against another player. The game is heavily influenced by the card collecting of such games as Magic: The Gathering, but instead of cards, you'll collect tokens. You'll assemble a "bag" of tokens that you can purchase, trade, or sell from the Token Store. When you're ready, you'll drop into the game's battlefield to try to defeat the opposing player by destroying either his or her tokens or castle.

The game will have more than 300 tokens when it launches, and there are another 500 more in development for later. The fantasy setting will have many different races, each with unique histories and tokens. We know of at least 10, including the spiderlike Arakin, the Minotaurs, the deerlike Ash, and the snakelike Lishyo.

You'll be able play casual games, ranked games, or a campaign mode. Relic is being developed by Archangel Studios, and it should launch in the first quarter of 2005.

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