previews\ May 27, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Dungeons and Dragons Heroes - XB - Preview

E3 2002

Being dead doesn’t always mean you get an eternal rest. There are times when services are required once again, and that means resurrection.

Dungeons & Dragons Heroes, from Infogrames for the Xbox, is an example of just that. Seems there is this bad guy you once vanquished who has returned. And worst, he brought friends. Oh well, a hero’s work is never done.

In D&D Heroes, players take on the role of a resurrected hero and journey through rich environments to conquer the bad guys and restore order to the universe. Ok, the storyline may borrow from other games, but what Infogrames has managed to create is a game that is well-designed and visually pleasing.

Game features include four distinct character classes (fighter, wizard, cleric and rogue) with diverse styles of play; a four-play cooperative mode where players can team up to challenge the single-player missions; authentic D&D monsters, many taken directly from the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual; a weapon upgrade system in which you can add effects to your weapon; a ‘basic combat button’ interface that allows players to map actions; interactive levels spanning multiple environments, each replete with secrets, bonuses and rare items; and a skill, feats and character building system inspired by the rule set of the Third Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook.

The game is combat oriented, but the player interface has been kept player friendly. Game designer Brenda Brathwaite said, while demonstrating the game at E3 2002 in Los Angeles, " you want to just jump in and have fun ­ that’s what we are trying to do.

"This is planned to be the first of many D&D games in this style."

Featuring a classical music style, Heroes promises to be an immersive role-playing adventure.

Look for its release in the fourth quarter, prior to Christmas. The game will also be available on GameCube and PlayStation2 platforms.  

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