previews\ May 14, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Wrath Unleashed - XB - Preview

E3 2003 - First Look

Risk meet chess. Well, at least the rudiments of the two games are present in Wrath Unleashed, a real-time world conquest game with hexes, strategy, magic and turn-based gameplay.

The game is being developed by LucasArts Entertainment for the PlayStation2 and Xbox, and demonstrated at E3 in Los Angeles. Look for the game’s release in Winter 2003.

While the initial movement phase is turn-based, combat for control of the hexes is real-time. The idea is to conquer hexes and control temples within the regions. Control six of the eight temples for a complete turn and you win the game. There are 12 campaigns for the single player and 15 for multiplayer (which is for 1-4 players).

There are four realms represented (Earth, Fire, Water, Air) with eight character classes to each realm plus the overlord. Each of the character classes are high fantasy and amazingly brought to life by the LucasArts team.

This game looks amazing. The environments are interactive and lush, but it is apparent that the stars of the game are the characters. Not only is the character movement incredible, but fantasy has run wild here and the design is amazing, to say the least.

Conquest is the core of this game. In order to cast spells, players much acquire mana. In order to acquire mana, you must win battles and/or hold onto temples. The combat is head-to-head, when it occurs.

This is a game that will likely appeal to strategic gaming fans who want the challenge of conquest against strong opponents, but like to plot and plan, and then enjoy the challenge of real-time combat. This game looks extremely good and the player interface should help players leap into the fray quickly and release their wrath.

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