Sorcery was to be the first, ambitious project of game developer Starbreeze Studios, who have been responsible for such titles as the Chronicles of Riddick series, and Enclave. They have developed games that have been seen on all of the major consoles since the Xbox. Sorcery was conceived in 1997, long before either of these well-received titles.
Little information is available about Sorcery, and what we do know comes largely from interviews with the developers. Sorcery would have been a fast-paced RPG, with a “high fantasy” setting. The player would have taken the role of a young mage seeking to restore order in a war-torn continent.
The unique thing about Sorcery‘s gameplay is that it was being created with an almost exclusively magical combat system. Instead of using weapons, the protagonist would have used various spells to take down opponents. The creators described the gameplay of the concept as “a cross between Diablo and Quake, with a huge world to explore and lots of quests to solve”. Indeed, the game would have contained a number of different activities and tasks for the player outside of the main plot, giving the game a heightened sense of freedom. Despite its fast-paced nature, strategy and puzzles would have been important gameplay elements.
Another promising aspect of the game was its custom-made 3D engine. The engine, created by Starbreeze, included support for movable mirrors/portals, illuminated volumetric fog, skeleton animation/deformation, animatable multitexturing materials, dynamic lighting, day/night cycling and curved surfaces with variable tesselation degrees depending on a user’s computer’s capabilities. In 1998, when 3-dimensional gaming was still in its infancy, these technologies would no doubt have been a very impressive.
Sorcery would also have contained a multiplayer mode, although the developers have admitted that this part of the game was only going to be included after the single-player game was completely polished. We know that the multiplayer side would have included team play, action and “plenty of possibilities to develop your own playing styles”, according to one of the game’s developers.
Starbreeze Studios originally found a company called Gremlin Interactive to publish Sorcery. However, after Starbreeze merged with O3 games in 2001, the game was sadly deprioritised, and never reached completion. However, the company has gone on to make excellent games since the project’s demise.
Thanks to Megalol for the contribution!
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