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PC Preview - 'Dark and Light'

by Mark Crump on July 13, 2004 @ 1:45 a.m. PDT

Dark and Light is a real-time 3D massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in the heroic fantasy and medieval fantastic worlds on a 15,000 square mile area, which has been divided into 10 Kingdoms of discovery and adventures and two protected learning Kingdoms. Two alignments are opposed to impose their magic, the Dark one and the Light one ...

Dark And Light

Publisher: NP Cube
Developer: NP Cube
Release Date: January 2005

Dark and Light boasts to be "the largest MMOG you’ve ever seen," and with the Ganareth, the name of the world, measuring in at 15,000 square miles, it’s hard to dispute that claim. We sat down with the developer, NP Cube, at E3 to see what’s up with the game.

Graphically, the game looks fantastic. The horizon can be set to more than 30,000 miles (call it a hunch – you’ll need a computer not yet invented to actually see that far). The cities in the distance light up nicely, the models are detailed, the landscapes realistic – all the staples we come to expect in our MMOGs these days. The weather system is likewise detailed, with snow that accumulates and leaves footprints as you walk through it, the trees blow, and there are dust storms.

They are planning one server on release, with no population limits, so you won’t have to worry about ending up on a different server than your friend.

In terms of game play, Dark and Light is a battle between two factions (the Dark faction and the Light faction), and there are 12 races and 14 classes. The developers are also saying that your character can exist simultaneously in four ways, Fighting, Crafting, Exploring and Politics, which leads me to believe that you won’t be stuck sacrificing a combat-based advancement if you want to dabble in crafting. You will also be able to leave your character active in the game even if you are offline, so you can set up a merchant without having to be logged into the game.

There are a number of ways to travel through the world as well, other than the old "shoe-leather express;" we saw people riding dragons and hang-gliders as part of the demo. It’s a massive world, so they are going to need a lot of travel options to minimize the travel time.

They are saying the game will come out in Q4 this year, but given the limited scope of the E3 demo – it was really just a tech demo – I have doubts they will release this year. Also, saying it’s the "largest MMOG you’ve ever seen," and actually filling those 15,000 square miles with meaningful content is another thing. While the size of the world is nice, long runs through virtual wastelands to get to the next point of interest aren’t much fun. If they can’t fill up all that space with good content, I hope they shrink the size of the world to make it seem less spread out. The game does have a massive scale; let’s hope there’s a massive amount of gameplay in there as well.

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