Interplay Press Release
Black Isle Studios, the role-playing game division of Interplay Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: IPLY), announced today, plans to release an expansion pack for its popular role-playing game Icewind Dale. Developed internally, the new product, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter will offer more classic dungeon crawl using the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition rules under license from Wizards of the Coast, including new monsters, spells, and areas to explore within the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Based in part on the series of books by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter will also offer many new technological and gameplay enhancements to the original game including higher resolution, new gem bags, and scroll cases.
"Icewind Dale exceeded all of our expectations, and is another product that Black Isle is proud of," stated Feargus Urquhart, Director of Black Isle. "It truly reminds us of our early days of playing D&D and the expansion pack adds another dimension to this with higher resolution graphics and many new areas to explore."
The original Icewind Dale has received significant critical acclaim in the gaming media. Icewind Dale is a first-rate D&D dungeon romp, said Computer Gaming World. Once again, Black Isle has succeeded admirably in creating a game that both the casual gamer and hardcore roleplayer can enjoy. Computer Gaming World awarded Icewind Dale with an editors' choice award in their October 2000 issue.
Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter incorporates the award-winning gameplay elements found in Icewind Dale, offering players the ability to hone their combat skills, and achieve more powerful possessions, spells, and experience. Supporting 800 x 600 high resolution graphics and improved OpenGL 3D support (developed by Bioware for Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn), Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter adds new spells including the wizard's Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting and the cleric's spell of Blade Barrier. Players will be able to explore five new treacherous lands, as well as Lonelywood (another of the Ten Towns), and encounter new creatures including Barbarians, Undead, Remorhaz (polar worms) and more. Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter will also feature powerful new magical items like The Ring of the Will-o-Wisp, which allows the wearer to shoot a shower of electricity at enemies, and the Vexed Armor, a suit of armor inhabited by a demon, where the demon inside can destroy the wearer and go on a destructive rampage.
The Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter expansion makes use of a modified version of the award-winning BioWare Infinity Engine, originally developed by BioWare for Baldur's Gate, and the forthcoming, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter offers novice and advanced players more challenges, allowing them to reach levels upwards of 22nd depending on the character.
Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter is being developed in-house at Black Isle, and will be available for Windows 95/98-based computers. Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter expansion will require an installed copy of the original Icewind Dale in order to run. Complete information on Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter can be found at http://www.interplay.com/icewind.
Coming soon from Black Isle Studios are Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Neverwinter Nights. A sequel to the award-winning and much loved Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II will be a mythic saga continuing the Baldur's Gate storyline along the southern portion of the Sword Coast in the merchant kingdom known as Amn. Neverwinter Nights will bring the pen-and-paper D&D game experience to the PC by allowing players to create their own modules, host those modules on their own server and even DM the game. Baldur's Gate II and Neverwinter Nights are being developed by BioWare Corp. and will be published by Black Isle Studios.