Independent developers n-Space and Digital Extremes have announced a new, upcoming Dungeons & Dragons PC game – a party-based RPG titled Sword Coast Legends, based on the popular Forgotten Realms universe seen in classics like Baldur’s Gate. Remember Minsc’s probably-imaginary space hamster, Boo? Did you shed a tear at Yoshimo’s tragic backstory? If so, Sword Coast Legends might be right up your alley.
Sword Coast Legends seeks to modernize the classic pen-and-paper experiences of older Dungeons & Dragons games in addition to altering the way players interact. Instead of pitting players against one another, the game features a party of four players, and a fifth player acting as a DM (Dungeon Master) – who is meant to guide the party forward through the adventure. When not in the DM mode, n-Space promises a wide campaign for players to explore. With a tactical combat system highly reminiscent of Dragon Age: Origins – and, in fact, designed by a Bioware veteran of that franchise, which most recently enjoyed critical praise thanks to Dragon Age: Inquistion – Sword Coast Legends promises to be an interesting title for classic pen-and-paper and modern RPG enthusiasts alike.
Speaking on the upcoming game, President of n-Space Dan Tudge said: “We are huge D&D fans and are thrilled to create a modernized storytelling experience in the iconic Forgotten Realms universe. Developing a new way to experience such a beloved and culturally influential franchise is a dream come true for our team. We are giving players a way to experience the magic of playing D&D, as either a player or the DM.”
Given that it’s being created by relative newcomer n-Space and Digital Extremes – the development studio behind high-speed online game Warframe – the level of quality is pretty nebulous at this stage. Warframe is a solid, well-maintained title; but this sort of game is a pretty far-flung departure from action and sci-fi ninjas on spaceships. D&D is a revered franchise, arguably the birth of the entire RPG genre; so it deserves to be handled with respect. What we hopt will become the next Baldur’s Gate 2 could, without enough care, become the next Pool of Radiance. And no-one in their right mind wants that.
Wizards of the Coast Brand Director, Nathan Stewart, seems hopeful, at least. “With the director of Dragon Age: Origins and contributors from Neverwinter Nights and the Baldur’s Gate series driving development of Sword Coast Legends, we feel n-Space has the deep industry experience and talent required to deliver a new way for D&D players to experience exactly what a DM can add to the adventure,” he said in a statement which absolutely, positively, was not prepared in advance by a PR department.
While I’m naturally wary of any form of pre-purchase or pre-order, the pedigree behind this game is solid, especially given how steeped in the genre it is. Set to be released this year, Sword Coast Legends is sitting at a baseline pre-order price of $34.99 and available through the official website, in addition to more information about the game, more purchase options, and more media, including the trailer below.