IGN'ss Jason Ocampo has put up his preview of Elemental. Stardock'ss new turn-based fantasy strategy game isn't due until 2010 but even at this early stage it's pretty far along.
During Stardock's recent preview to IGN, one of the closest kept secrets of the game, its diplomacy system, was finally unveiled. In Elemental, diplomacy is not merely a matter of trading and treaties but involves family politics as well. Each sovereign, while eternal, can have children who will, in time, grow up, have children, grow up, and pass on and repeat the cycle over and over. Political marriages can strengthen ties and children and family members can become playable characters in the game world similar to Ã¢€œheroesÃ¢€ found in other games who have their own unique abilities based on their pedigree.
In addition, while the game will include a state-of-the-art 3D engine designed from the ground up for massive scale strategy games, it will also be fully playable as a 2D cloth map. Players can zoom in to the full 3D experience and set in the options dialog how close they want to be before the transition between strategic view and tactical view occurs.
The beta program, which is open to all who pre-order the game prior to the end of this Summer, begins in the next few weeks and will play entirely on the cloth map in order to allow players to maximize the actual game-play input into the game's development.
The game's website is www.elementalgame.com.
News source: IGN Elemental Preview