New AD&D game from Stormfront/Atari

From the press release:

ATARI PARTNERS WITH STORMFRONT STUDIOS
TO DEVELOP FORGOTTEN REALMS: DEMON STONE

Creators of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to Bring
Popular Dungeons & Dragons World to PlayStation®2

LOS ANGELES – March 18, 2004 – 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.

Demon Stone’s intense, cinematic action is set entirely within the
visually stunning Forgotten Realms fantasy world. Familiar characters, such
as the famous drow Drizzt Do’Urden and the legendary mage Khelban
“Blackstaff” Arunsun; terrifying monsters, including Dragons, Orcs, Slaadi,
Yuan-Ti and Trolls; as well as geographical locations straight from the
popular D&D campaign setting will make appearances and serve as
backdrops throughout the game. The story of Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone
revolves around the adventuring party’s unwitting intrusion into an age-old
conflict between two warring demonic armies; one led by a Githyanki
Princess and, the other, a Slaad Lord. After inadvertently releasing both
demons back upon the world after eons of imprisonment, it becomes the
adventurer’s quest to right their wrong and restore order to the world
of Faerun.

Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone is scheduled for release in the fall of
2004.

No way… fighter, sorcerer and rouge^H^H^Hgue?

Can you feel the revolutionary gameplay, my bruthas? Feel it! Testify!

Yeah… what got me was this line:

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.

It may be a good game and all, but why do I doubt that this game will take me to an entirely new level? “Holy shit! I’ve never been to level 63 before! Woah!!!”

Gah! SEGA scream flashback…

  • Alan

What I find interesting is that, if I remember right, EA brought Two Towers in-house to finish it…

Someone needs to point out that WotC had pretty much zero to do with creating the world of Faerun or the Forgotten Realms. That world was invented/re-invented way back in 2nd Ed, before Magic was anything more then a quirky idea.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a lot of people on that very subject, and I’d can tell you that what actually happened depends very much on who you talk to.

Suffice it to say that a good game was made.