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Here Be Dragons

3DO in press release frenzy

California-based publisher 3DO has unleashed a whole spate of press releases today, announcing two games as part of their new strategy of focusing on the PlayStation 2, as well as revealing a link-up with a well-known development studio who will be working on an as-yet unannounced game for them.

Top of the list is Dragon Wars of Might & Magic, an aerial combat game set in the ubiquitous fantasy universe which is due to be released on PlayStation 2 this Christmas. In it you take on the role of a dragon called Cael as you fight for freedom in a "heroic story of revenge and redemption". The game will feature a range of 32 attacks and magical abilities to unleash on your foes, a 16 level campaign for single or co-operative play, and half a dozen deathmatch maps for you to battle it out with other dragons. 3DO describe the graphics as "stunningly photo-realistic", but the first batch of screenshots from the game are anything but. Still, they have six months to work on it...

"Dragon Wars creates a sense of empowerment and accomplishment as the gamer explores this compelling new fantasy adventure", according to 3DO founder Trip Hawkins. "The gripping tale of an underdog hero conquering overwhelming odds will propel the player from one crusade to the next."

Next up is something of a departure for 3DO, in the form of a trick-based skiing game called Jonny Moseley Mad Trix, again for the PlayStation 2 and again due out around Christmas. SSX on two planks instead of one? 3DO are no doubt hoping so. Once again the publisher is claiming to have "stunningly photo-realistic environments", this time in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Rome. Not the kind of places you would normally expect to find much snow, but with a healthy array of half-pipes, quarter-pipes, kickers, picnic tables, big air ramps and rails to play around on, this crazy idea just might work.

Finally (for now at least - E3 hasn't even started yet!) comes word that 3DO have signed an agreement with Pandemic, the brains behind Battlezone 2 and Dark Reign 2. Neither game exactly flew off the shelves, despite fairly positive reviews, but Trip Hawkins is apparently "thrilled to be working with Pandemic on new and exciting projects", adding that "Josh Resnick and his team of developers have an impressive track record for creating quality titles in this highly competitive industry". Quite what they are working on is a mystery at this stage, but the first game is expected to be released early next year, and 3DO are promising that it will be "the ultimate gaming experience across a number of leading formats".

Source - Dragon Wars press release, Mad Trix press release, Pandemic press release