Real Neverending Story
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Located in an obscure Munich back street, the offices of Discreet Monsters currently house a game that could single-handedly bring the nture genre back into vogue.
Siggi Kogi, managing director, and the creative genius behind The Real Never Ending Story, describes it as "a first-person perspective action adventure with strong RPG I overtones". Relating the game's | history, he adds: We started writing a game engine purely as a programming tool, but soon became sure we could produce a great game with it ourselves. He smiles when lecting: We didn't pay a lot for the licence, which surprised me given the popularity of the book in Germany. The game takes the setting of Fantasia from the book, but creates a witl refl plot of its own. After being imprisoned for stealing a precious medallion, your first task is to escape, after which you set off to recover the amulet and clear your name. There's astrong strategy element apparent in your dealings with the Fantasian inhabitants, and Kogi is keen to encourage players to think their way out of trouble, rather than just reacting with violence: Fighting may be effective in the short term, but that's how you make enemies. We don't want players to be passive though - they'll have to make tough decisions and accept the consequences.
At the moment, Kogi's team are optimising the 3D engine, which looks set to make Unreal look positively geriatric. Kogi is proud of the fact that despite its obvious power, the engine runs quite happily on a 3Dfx-supported P166. However, even without 3D acceleration, the software Tenderer depicts the mystical world of Fantasia beautifully - we witnessed some glorious set pieces and the most haunting weather effects seen on any PC, anywhere. The in-game characters are all superbly realised too; their speech has been lip-synched which, combined with the astonishing level of their animation, has really brought them to life.
Desperate to avoid the disappointingly linear nature of adventure games, the Monsters are devising an Celastic plot device', which means that although everyone will reach the same end, the way in which you get there could be unique, depending on your reactions at numerous critical points in the plot.
Work continues apace, with a rolling demo anticipated by Christmas. Kogi, a reserved but confident man, sums up: I don't see how the idea could have been done better or differently. And from what we've seen so far, we would be fools to disagree.
Download Real Neverending Story
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP