Atari and Stormfront Studios, under license from Hasbro, Inc., have announced plans to develop Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, an action adventure game set in the popular Dungeons & Dragons world created by Wizards of the Coast. Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone will place players in the middle of a heated battle between two demonic armies set to overrun the world of Faerun. The intense story setting in Forgotten
Realms: Demon Stone will highlight the game’s use of an enhanced version of Stormfront’s powerful game engine, allowing for greatly improved graphics, faster gameplay and even more intelligent enemies. Scheduled for release in the fall of 2004, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone will push action adventure on the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system to an entirely new level.
"Stormfront Studios has proven itself to be one of the preeminent console developers with its work on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. In our search for a development partner that could bring an intense, action-oriented and cinematic D&D experience to the PlayStation 2 – there was no equal," said John Hight, executive producer, Atari’s Los Angeles studio. "Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone will raise the bar several notches with new engine technologies allowing for greatly enhanced gameplay. The next-gen engine will also allow gamers to play multiple characters with varying abilities throughout each encounter, as well as the ability to switch characters on the fly – a first for an action game of this nature."
In Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, the player directs a party of three characters – Fighter, Sorcerer and Rogue. The player controls one party member at a time — switching between them on the fly — while the other party members are controlled by the engine’s sophisticated artificial intelligence. For example, when the player controls the Fighter, the Sorcerer and Rogue will continue to engage in combat, cast spells and assist the player in defeating all challengers. In many situations, the characters will be able to divide and conquer difficult objectives – while the Fighter holds back a horde of Yuan-Ti snakemen with brute force, the Sorcerer supports him with devastating ranged magic while the rogue sneaks above and behind them for a coup de grace. The player participates seamlessly in each critical moment as they are cinematically switched from one perspective to another.
This real-time, on-the-fly character switching design allows Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone to challenge players with innovative and compelling encounters. In true D&D fashion, each of the characters excels at a certain type of gameplay. The Fighter thrives in melee combat, the Sorcerer is excellent at ranged and magical combat and the Rogue excels at jumping, sneaking and disarming traps. Players will be continually tasked with choosing the best character for each challenge as well as using each character’s gameplay specialty to maximum effect.
"Console action game fans will be blown away by the depth and beauty of Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone," said Don Daglow, president of Stormfront Studios. "The technology improvements, the fantastic gaming universe of D&D’s Forgotten Realms, and the wide variety of exciting cinematic gameplay all add up to one thing – a fun and compelling action-adventure."
Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone will utilize an extensive fighting system which is both easy to learn and visually stunning. Characters will perform amazing attacks and feats at the simple touch of a button, but the system has sophisticated features for advanced players who want to tailor their attacks to maximize their damage in specific situations. Unique special attacks, combinations, linked combos, super attacks and even group super attacks allow advanced players to excel against their most fearsome foes.
In addition, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone will allow players to upgrade their characters with a branching path of new feats and combos as they gain experience and levels. Each character will feature a number of unique abilities, such as the Fighter’s combat skills and strength, the Rogue’s stealth and lock picking abilities and the Sorcerer’s plethora of new spells. For example, when upgrading the Fighter, the player might have the choice of upgrading his Strength, his Melee Skill or his Hand-to-Hand skill. Within those choices, there will be other dependencies, such as the requirement to earn Power Attack before Cleave can be acquired.