ECHOES OF INFINITY
While there were only five games based on Infinity, its legacy lasted a little longer. BioWare’s next engine, Aurora, was largely about bringing the experience into 3D. Its big debut was in Neverwinter Nights, which combined a pretty dreadful campaign with tools that players could use to create their own single- or multiplayer 3D adventures from scratch. These systems were fairly complex, but the audience soon rose to the challenge with everything from the comedic Sex And The Single
Adventuress and the detective-focused Maugeter, to persistent online servers for full MMOs.
Already though, BioWare was tiring of the limitations of the top-down, old-school RPG, and looking for the next step. Aurora really only saw use in Neverwinter Nights, its sequel (made by Obsidian), and, out of seemingly nowhere, (though a heavily reworked version of the engine), the first of the Witcher games. Black Isle, meanwhile, didn’t survive the Infinity era. Its final published – though not developed – game was a mix of magic and the Crusades called Lionheart, which started reasonably well but quickly puttered out into a disappointing mess. After that, it was intended to go on to a new game, Torn, as well as sequels to both Fallout and Baldur’s Gate – Van Buren and The Black Hound respectively.
The Black Hound was going to be the start of a whole new series rather than a continuation of the previous games’ story, with the tagline “You cannot kill guilt”. It would have seen a new hero bound to its essence and growing stronger through dark actions, using a new engine called Jefferson. Why not Infinity? Because as popular as it is with fans, everyone who’s used it agrees that, under the hood, it’s a mess. Much like BioWare’s Aurora, Jefferson was going to be the same basic idea, but in 3D.
Financial problems at Interplay led to the entire team being unceremoniously booted to the kerb. Interplay would later try one of the more desperate crowdfunding campaigns, asking fans to contribute to the rebirth of Black Isle to create an online Fallout game – something allowed even after selling the main licence to Bethesda. Its only goal, however, was to fund a tech demo to try to attract investors, and none of the actual Black Isle staff from the company’s glory days were involved. As expected (and deserved), it failed miserably and with much mockery.
Player s could cre ate their own 3D adventure s from scratch
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