Black Isle at E3

Black Isle Studios, a division of Interplay Entertainment Corp. and BioWare Corp. has been hard at work in the recent months. The company has three games currently in progress.

The forerunner, Baldur's Gate II, is the sequel to the 1998 Computer Gaming World and PC Gamer RPG of the Year, Baldur's Gate. Baldur's Gate II continues the story, taking place in the southern portion of the Sword Coast.

The game features many new features and items than the original, including dual-wielding weapons and a extended skill system. The legendary Holy Avenger of AD&D fame and the Staff of the Magi are two of the hundreds of new items added. There are 15 new NPCs that can join your party.

Characters are able to advance to much higher levels than previously, which means more new spells. Currently, there are over 130 new spells. Not only this, but 20 kits and classes have been added, making for an even more diverse assortment of possibilities for characters.

Baldur's Gate II is just the beginning, however. Another of its games in progress, Icewind Dale, has the spirit of a good old-fashioned dungeon crawl. Unfortunately, the game has been pushed back from it's anticipated release date of 5.10.2000 to a new date of 6.21.2000.

Also in development is Neverwinter Nights. This game boasts impressive graphics, a host of new monsters, and, it's main feature, the ability to make and "DM" your own adventures. Neverwinter Nights is now slated to be released sometime within 2001.

There will be much more from Black Isle in specific and E3 in general to come, so keep it here for more E3 news.

by Matt Prince    
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