Well well, this one came out of the blue. N-Gage (millions of high-profile console and hand-held titles, including Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2) and Digital Extremes (UT co-creators, Bioshock PS3 port) have been quietly beavering away on a new D&D RPG, Sword Coast Legends, to be released “this year”. Headed by the director of Dragon Age: Origins and with a dev team including former Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate staffers, this certainly has the right credentials on the technical side.
Gameplay-wise, it looks like an Infinity Engine-style party-based RPG with pause-time tactical combat, set in the Forgotten Realms and using 5th Edition rules. It’s officially licensed from Wizards of The Coast, and features 5 playable classes and 6 races to choose from. Check out the official trailer below, it does indeed look rather tasty.
Most intriguingly, apart from the single player campaign (which can also be played co-op), there’s something they’re calling “Dungeon Master Mode”, wherein up to 4 of you can play through custom-made adventures with real-time DM-ing from another human being. They’re a bit coy about the way they phrase things there, so I don’t think we’ll be getting the full NWN-style toybox, but it does sound rather good nonetheless. I’m also not convinced about the 5e ruleset, which is pretty much a stripped-down CRPG-friendly thing anyway, but maybe that’ll work in its favour.
Finally, the extensive FAQ on the official website informs us that it’s a Steam exclusive, and that you can pre-order three different varieties of it right now. These range in price from USD 34.99 for the basic jobbie, all the way up to USD 239.99 for the Limited Edition Pre-Order Collector’s Pack, which includes headstart access and a cloth map (where’s my wallet?).
With Pillars of Eternity due for release in about a month, more HD remixes of the other Infinity Engine games on the way, and now this, it looks like 2015 will be Year of the Isometric RPG. Hooray!