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Lethal Dreams: The Circle of Fate Preview

publisher: Russobit-M
developer: Boolat Company
genre: Strategy

ESRB rating: n/a

release date: Cancelled
» All About Lethal Dreams: The Circle of Fate on ActionTrip

This year we're expecting a myriad of promising titles from a number Russian development teams; Etherlords 2 and Blitzkrieg will be arriving some time this year from the crew at Nival Interactive and CDV. Also, Russobit M, another Russian publisher, has several game projects going for the PC: Kreed, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Oblivion Lost, Firestarter, Hover Ace, and Homeplanet. At the same time, Russobit M also appointed the developer Boolat Company for the creation of a new role-playing strategy game, dubbed Lethal Dreams: The Circle of Fate.

Interestingly enough, Lethal Dreams doesn't involve a traditional medieval RPG atmosphere. Rather, it is set some time in the 26th century. The lands are divided, and the only way to travel from one realm to another is via magic portals, each of which leads to a certain magical realm. Your job is to select one of these portals and follow the path of the magician. The player has to prove he is a worthy follower of Wintrix by choosing one of the six youthful magicians of Ahlvern, the famous Master of All Paths. It so happens that the Ahlvern society is desperately seeking six neophytes (magicians evidently) who can master the knowledge of magic. Each one is destined to follow his/her own Path of Magic.

While speaking with the doods at Russobit M, we discovered that Lethal Dreams is being developed with utmost attention to detail. Generally, the game has the essentials necessary to capture the hearts of RPG gamers and RTS fans. To begin with, the game features an impressive number of diverse worlds for players to venture in (Boolat claims they have created over 60 worlds - the so-called incarnations). Once the game begins, players will be able to choose one of the six available characters, who are endowed with a set of unique skills and abilities. You can play either as Zerin the Evocator, Mirtis the Incarnator, Cruan the Necromancer, Syrimbel the Gate warden, Verition the Transmuter, or Inanna the Enchantress (who will definitely be my choice). As you may have gathered already, each of these characters is a member of a certain incantation (or magic) school, and therefore gets to handle different types of spells. Whenever a player uses a spell he drains some of his/her energy; the amount of energy wasted will depend on the power of the spell that was cast. All of the characters have distinctive magic abilities. The one I found the most interesting was The Transmuter, who has a variety of powerful spells at his disposal. He uses the art of transformation to elude and outsmart his opponents. According to the developers, The Transmuter will have the ability to change the shape of mountains, cliffs, rocks, and plains; he's not a conjuror of cheap tricks, you know. It's even possible to place a sea in the middle of a desert, a feat that will likely save your skin. All in all, the game includes more than 40 unique spells per Magic School, so brace yourselves and prepare for a full-scale magical war.

Using spells can be fun and all, but sometimes it would be wiser to act cautiously and tactfully, which is where strategic elements come in. Indeed, a good boost to the tactical aspect of gameplay is the fact that players will often be able to use alternative means of persuasion. Your magician can gain trust and respect of NPC's with diplomacy. Via these negotiations, it's possible to secure a great number of NPC allies.

One can also use his strategic skills in advancing on one of the neighboring domains. The key, of course, is to decide which domain gives the best tactical advantage over the enemy. Incidentally, all domains are supervised by a certain magician. It is also important to highlight that some domains are neutral, which means their territory is usually occupied by a so-called Custodian. Regardless of their name, these guys should not be underestimated; they can often prove to be worthy opponents to any magician. Their main weakness, however, is that they are not equipped with special artifacts, which means that they cannot travel between domains. One more interesting gamelplay facet is the inclusion of global spells. As you probably guessed, players have the opportunity to cast global spells before they enter a selected domain, which gives them yet another tactical advantage over rivaling magicians and custodians.

SHOT3: Please tell us who killed the Archbishop of Lester.
SHOT4: Come to me my warriors!

As players progress through the game, they will have to tend to seven crucial parameters: attack, defense, vitality, speed, skill, magic power, and immunity. Every parameter can be upgraded from level 0 to level 20. In order to advance to the next level, players will have to gain a certain amount of experience points (we assume this method of exp. advancement is similar to the classic RPG routine we've seen in games like Diablo).

Most of the media released last year indicated that the maps were huge, although it was obvious that the environment, as well as the character models, longed for more texture detail. After viewing our bunch of exclusive screenshots, we noticed that the game made considerable progress in terms of visuals. The camera angle seems to offer a good survey of the surrounding area and it obviously has a certain zooming degree. Lethal Dreams also appears to offer some decent eye-candy. For instance, spell-casting produces colorful and vibrant special effects, and some of the creature models look really nice. Furthermore, it was easy to note that the main GUI wasn't burdened with too many details, hence the gameplay (more precisely, the combat and spell-casting) should be quite plain and fluent.

That's all for now folks. I guess, until we get our greasy mitts on a playable version of Lethal Dreams: The Circle of Fate, it would be hard to draw parallels with other RPG titles. Judging from the media and info we have so far, one could deduce that the developers added a smidgen of elements from games like Evil Islands, Warcraft 3, and the Heroes series; I could, though, be wrong. There's still a lot we'd still like to know about this one, and we're currently working with Russobit M and Boolat to bring you more details about the game's multiplayer mode, more info on the spell-casting system, the level editor, and so on. So, be on the look out for additional media and updates soon.



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