Warriors of Might and Magic Preview

We've got an exclusive tell-all preview on Warriors of Might and Magic - 3DO's upcoming action RPG for the PS2. Look inside for the first info and shots.

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Looking to strengthen its already robust initial PS2 offering, publisher and developer 3DO Company is busy cooking up Warriors of Might and Magic, a third-person adventure that's similar to its earlier Crusaders of Might and Magic. Set in the classic world of Might and Magic, Warriors puts you in the role of Alleron, a tragic-enough hero, on a mission to set right a number of travesties that were falsely committed in his name.

Much is amiss in the land of Ardon: Draconian laws and necromancy, among other godless acts, are the order of the day, of which Alleron wants no part. What's more, an ancient, evil god - a dark deity whom Alleron has made it his business to vanquish - has been stirring anxiously, as of late, eager to walk again, and feast upon the souls of men

The game's narrative will be conveyed through a blend of FMV (judiciously sprinkled, one can hope), in-game dialogue, and scripted scenes, which will utilize the game's engine.

According to 3DO, Warriors of Might and Magic will not only feature a number of great details that are geared toward immersing you into Alleron's world, but it will also offer you many opportunities for rich gameplay.

Of foremost concern, doubtlessly, are the game's combat systems. Admittedly influenced by a tradition of fighting games, 3DO hopes that WoM&M's deep system will mimic the depth and style of the games by which it has been inspired.

Alleron has three basic attacks: a jab, a swing, and a lunge, all of which can be segued into various combos. In the form of specials, there are a shield-check and a jump-attack. The shield-check can sometimes penetrate enemy blocks, while the jump-attack is verily unblockable. Alleron will do battle with a host of undesirables, including hellhounds, ghouls, and orcs, in addition to more familiar foes, such as assassins, evil magi, and unholy cultists.

The combat system also allows for defensive tactics. Alleron can block attacks 90 degrees in front of him. An enemy whose attack is blocked will be momentarily stunned, which will allow Alleron a quick counter-attack. Alleron can also move while maintaining a block, but his movement rate will be thusly diminished. Also at Alleron's disposal are dodges, ranging from hops and flips, to rolls. These dodges must be timed correctly, lest they fail. Though, when successful, they allow for swifter counter-attacks.

As the conventions of the genre dictate, magic will play a major role in Warriors of Might and Magic. 3DO promises graphically spectacular magical effects throughout the game. From Alleron's personal repertoire of spells to environmental objects imbued with magical effects, WoM&M is reported to be replete with all things mystical, though don't expect any handy healing spells: Says 3DO, "A healing spell would be used constantly and would rapidly become trite, so healing occurs by drinking potions and through the aid of benevolent NPCs."

In truth, 3DO has much to say about WoM&M's graphical capabilities. While we don't intend to bore you with technical details, we can assure you that 3DO promises that Warriors' engine will take full use of the PS2 graphical prowess, dishing out, at times, more than 20 times the sheer number of polygons than the PlayStation version of Crusaders. With features in play, according to 3DO, capable of rendering realistic facial animations, smooth environmental effects, and ultra-expansive environments, among other things, it's safe to say that Warriors of Might and Magic is something we're itching to see in motion.

Needless to say, GameSpot will stay on top of this one, so keep your sights here for the latest info. Warriors of Might and Magic is scheduled for release shortly after the PS2's stateside launch. Once we get our hands on something playable, rest assured that we'll be forthcoming with info. We hope these screens can tide you over.

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