Wizardry 8 Preview

Maybe I didn't read the FAQ well enough but it's the first time I've heard that Sirtech's yet-to-be-published RPG Wizardry 8 was the last of a trilogy beginning with Wiz 6. All I knew was that it built on the story from Wizardry 7, but had no idea they were doing the Ultima thing. Well, they are, according to Computer Games Online's new preview of the game from a recent visit to their offices. A healthy smattering:

NPC interaction involves a dramatic step away from the "shopping list" dialogue choices presented in other RPGs. Instead of simply choosing a path to follow and clicking on the appropriate number, Wizardry 8 players must carefully listen to conversations and pick out keywords to incorporate in further questions. So if you want to interrogate a friendly trader Trynnie (easy-going natives of the planet Dominus) about the Destinae Dominae, pay attention and see if he mentions the artifact. If he does, highlight the relevant words in his text and fire them right back at him in the form of a question. Popular words and phrases can be saved so you can easily ask standard questions of all the characters encountered on your travels.

For your optical stimulation, there are 16 new screens at the bottom. The trees are quite pretty lookin'.

On a tangent:
Even if the graphics are of Thief II caliber as the author of the preview points out, for a 100+ hour hardcore RPG it looks amazing. When MMVI came out it was subpar relatively speaking, and yet many people forgave the engine (myself very much included) because the RPG was unlike any before (3D wise). I have a feeling this one could be like that, new depth to a 3D roleplaying game. No I haven't forgotten Wizards & Warriors but from what I've seen, and heard about the cities in that game, this Wizardry 8 is going to leave that in the dust in terms of mobility.