Stormreach touches down February 28

Atari dates its PC Dungeons & Dragons MMO; online beta reaches quarter of a million applicants.

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The time to brandish ye cyber scimitars and virtual vorpal blades is almost upon us. Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach, the massively multiplayer role-playing game based on the popular tabletop game, will be available in North America on February 28. The game and its dwarves, orcs, and elves will also be unleashed in the UK, France, and Germany in March.

Stormreach is currently undergoing final testing by developer Turbine, the Westwood, Massachusetts-based company behind the Asheron's Call franchsise and the upcoming Lord of the Rings Online: Shadow of Angmar. Atari will publish Stormreach in North America and Europe.

The game is the first officially licensed D&D MMORPG, and will be based on the 3.5 edition rules of the brand. Players can expect lots of dice-free dungeon-crawling, physical and magical combat, and an encouraged sense of community, all in a persistent realm.

More than 250,000 gamers have already signed up for Stormreach's beta test, but the level of interest is allowing Turbine to be choosy with whom it admits to the program. The developer says the only guaranteed way to get into the beta is to get the preorder bonus pack of the game at select retailers (EB Games, GameStop, CompUSA, Amazon.com, and Wal-Mart are listed on the official site).

The bonus pack includes a poster, a code for a special item to be redeemed in the full version, a DVD of the beta version, and a pass to participate in the beta test for 10 days. Preorders should also get "head start" access to the game several days before the final game arrives in stores.

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach has a MSRP of $49.99 and has not yet been rated. For more information on the game, read GameSpot's previous coverage.

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