FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Hasbro Interactive, Jayson Hill: 978-921-3700
MS&L, Jesse Young: 415-676-3900
MicroProse's MASTER OF ORION III Takes Galactic Empire Building a Step Higher
LOS ANGELES (May 11, 2000) When the thousand year Dark Age of Antaran rule was brought to a startling end, the indigenous races of the Orion Quadrant once again reached out to the stars. Rebuilding their empires from Antaran-imposed backwardness, they reached out beyond their lonely home worlds seeking new planets, moons, and other heavenly bodies to survey and settle. The great question surrounding the sudden leadership vacuum surrounding Orion is "who will rise to fill it?"
The traditional "4-X" turn-based strategy game evolves considerably with MASTER OF ORION III. Instead of the usual 4 Xs (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate), MASTER OF ORION III adds a 5th X, "eXperience." Where the usual 4-X game galaxy is a contrived sandbox full of numbers for players to manipulate in disorienting detail, MASTER OF ORION III's "eXperience" leads players to think, act and react like the head of a galactic empire. Matters of war, peace, taxation, and so forth have social and political consequences (not just economic and military ones). There is an entire "domestic front" that every civilization must contend with - its own political opposition factions, rebels, traitors, and even disgruntled citizens who may vote with their feet (or pseudopodia, or whatever) and emigrate to a better empire. A revolution could see the emergence of a new government from among the numerous new governments in MASTER OF ORION III, or the splitting of an empire into Rebel and Loyal factions.
But new eXperiences at home are not the only innovation to the 5th X. The 32 potential players in a galaxy over three times larger than that of MASTER OF ORION II highlight the expanded espionage and diplomacy engines in the game. And at the pinnacle of power in the galaxy is the Orion Senate, where weighty matters of galactic importance are proposed, debated, and voted upon - matters that can change the very rules of the game! The Orions, too, have the political and military power to enforce the Senate's will, but hegemony can only be restored when a new Galactic President emerges or the Rightful Heir to the Orion Throne can be agreed upon.
Adding still more to the eXperience element of MASTER OF ORION III is the expanded, player-controlled Events system where cosmic karma introduces plot devices, characters, quests, and a whole slew of intriguing story elements that make this a game of truly epic proportions. Finally, the eXperience of a galactic emperor is made more realistic as the citizens make decisions that are best for their own lives (like where to live and what to build) and bureaucrats implement policies. The Leader must make judicious use of his "Imperial Focus" to tend to only the most pressing matters of state and affect only those that require his personal intervention. The emperor can do anything in a turn, he just can't do everything.
Although MASTER OF ORION III is a turn-based game, the planning phase is conducted simultaneously by all players under a clock and space combat is conducted in real-time. While the detailed ship design and weapons interactions from MASTER OF ORION II remain (and have been exhaustively enhanced), the unit of maneuver in combat is a Task Force of ships, and each Task Force has a mission to perform and doctrine to follow. Elements of maneuver and surprise often occur around the planet and moons of a typical battlefield in space as players plot the timing and approach of their forces before battle commences to achieve the greatest tactical advantages possible. Cunning, leadership, morale, doctrine, and crew experience will play their parts in battle every bit as much as mass and technological superiority do. And as technology progresses, it changes the very nature of warfare in space; thus players must evolve their battle tactics and will be doomed if they keep trying to win "in the same old way."
From Quicksilver Software, Inc., the developer of such classic strategy games as STAR TREK: STARFLEET COMMAND, CONQUEST OF THE NEW WORLD and CASTLES, MASTER OF ORION III features a wide range of multi-player and solitaire play options, 8 highly distinctive alien races, and a level of graphics and interface design that will raise the stakes for the entire genre. The design is being led by Alan Emrich and Tom Hughes, the authors of the Official Strategy Guides for both MASTER OF ORION and MASTER OF MAGIC. MASTER OF ORION III will be available in November of 2001 for Windows 95/98 PCs.
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© 2000 Hasbro Interactive, Inc