EverQuest II - PC - Preview
E3 2003 - First Look
When I sat down to look at the anticipated Everquest II game by SOE, one of the first things that I asked was “what is going to happen to the original”? Well, know that the original will still be around for a while, and they even have two expansions planned for this year. In addition, SOE is actually working on a package billing deal, where all SOE games will cost around $21.00 per month, so you can switch back and forth from 1 to 2. Is it worth it? I certainly thought so …
Everquest II opens up similar to the original in the fact that you start off by designing a character. Everything you can imagine in the face, hair and skin tone is fully customizable. You can even go in and add scarring or age to the model to make your own unique character, and the ultimate goal here was to have players be able to find each other by looks at a distance … not necessarily by close up name alone.
We journeyed into Freeport from there, and I was taken through the streets and into a bar where all of the races from the original were gathering and talking. Ogres, humans, wood elves … they were all there. There is even a new player class that is being added called the Ratonga, which looks like a giant walking rodent. A bar fight broke out between an elf and an orc, and I was surprised at how fluid the animations were. The orc monk actually got into a kung fu style stance to battle, versus the normal swinging that everyone does from the original. After going through the streets and seeing the amazing draw distance and detailed sky, the woods where a Treant taking damage was dropping leaves all over the ground, and an absolutely astounding waterfall and lake (where you could actually see the bottom depth), I could see where this game is a huge improvement in looks and play from the original. There were some great lighting effects, and our tour ended with a huge and menacing dragon who shook the ground when he walked and knocked stone and dust from the ceilings of the corridors we were walking through.
EQ fans may be a little worried about this new title, but don’t be. It’s looking fantastic, and is definitely an improved version of a still – great original set for release in Winter of 2003.