If you frequent any RPG forums, you’ll still hear the occasional wistful reference to the ‘hand-painted’ isometic vistas of the Infinity Engine games. You’ll also hear pedants quick to remind them that they weren’t painted at all, but rendered. Like all pedants, though, they’re missing the point – from the glittering god-bait of Baldur’s Gate 2’s temples to Icewind Dale’s white wastes, the early Black Isle games had screens to spare of Romantic artistry.
And if the first Project Eternity screen is anything to go by, Obsidian still remember how to do it.
That brush-bordered path just screams out its need to be trampled by a party of adventurers with fluorescent green rings around their feet, taking players via a brook (babbling, natch) across a dilapidated, moss-covered bridge to a dungeon doorway, which glows faintly in an ominous gold.
Two figures, robed and haughty, lean threateningly out from the cliff face on either side of the entrance. Their bodies are emaciated, partially-rotted, though that hardly seems to phase them.
Project Eternity’s Kickstarter campaign is in its last week, and wouldn’t you just know it. In the last couple of days alone, Obsidian have announced mod support and an expansion pack due six months after release. Have they convinced you yet?