Preview: “Project EGO”

Big Blue Box is one of Lionhead’s satellite studios. Lionhead is the company that brought us the magnificent and innovative Black and White. The Black and White engine is the basis of Big Blue Box’s first game, code named Project EGO.

With such a pedigree already behind it, there are tremendous expectations for what Project EGO will be, and Big Blue Box has made some tremendous promises about what we can expect, mainly in the area of character management.

You start off with a single character, either male or female, who starts the game at the age of 15, and will age realistically. The average lifespan of your character will be about seventy years or so. Once your character dies, another, younger character can be created to take his place, but the details of that process is still being worked on.

As with Black and White, Project EGO gives you the freedom to have your character behave and develop however you like. If you want to be a valiant warrior, just grab that sword and start slapping enemies around. A thief? Put on some black clothing and stick to the shadows. A wizard? Well, you get the point by now. You’re not locked into any particular stereotype, though. If you want your thief to wear the brightest, loudest costume in the land, you are free to do so.

Your character’s appearance will change according to your personal preferences and lifestyle choice. A character that spends a lot of time whacking monsters and roaming the land will develop rippling muscles and tanned skin. Spend your time lounging in inns, and you’ll get soft and fat.

You can further customize your character by having his hair and beard styled in many different ways, and you can even get tattooed. You can also buy (or steal) any clothing that fits your fancy, even if that clothing is meant for a member of the opposite sex. Although, it should be noted that a brave male warrior who runs around wearing an old maid’s outfit won’t be taken very seriously.

This is because the appearance you choose to cultivate will inevitably effect the way people initially view you. Handsome, clean-cut characters will enjoy more favorable reactions than scruffy ones. However, these perceptions can be changed by doing courageous or cowardly/fiendish deeds. A shining white knight who murders children for fun will inevitably be hated, while a filthy but noble savior will be praised.