BioWare and Beyond BioWare expands Neverwinter Nights and premieres Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
BioWare began as a quiet little development studio started by two doctors in Canada, but it has quickly established itself as one of the premier PC role-playing-game developers in the industry. BioWare is currently working on five projects, three of which will be displayed at E3: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide, and a second untitled Neverwinter Nights expansion pack.
BioWare is in the enviable position of creating the first Star Wars-based role-playing game with Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. Using the new Odyssey Engine, KOTOR features real-time combat (including blasters and lightsabers), hundreds of classic Star Wars items and enemies, and a wide variety of skills (such as stealth or persuasion) and Force powers. BioWare promises a massive nonlinear story line that will let players be a smuggler, a bounty hunter, a gambler, or even a Jedi knight. The game is filled with hundreds of side quests, multiple pathways through every quest, and even fully developed romances. KOTOR will be on Xbox this summer, with a PC release to follow in the fall.
The company also will show off two expansion packs for its award-winning PC RPG, Neverwinter Nights. The first, Shadows of Undrentide, was co-developed with Floodgate Entertainment (composed mainly of former Looking Glass employees), and features an entirely new single-player campaign along with new monsters, spells, and character feats. The unnamed expansion pack (codenamed XP2), developed by BioWare alone, features even more monsters, spells, and feats, and will allow players to create even more powerful (Level 20 and above) characters, as outlined by Wizards of the Coast's Epic Level Handbook.