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SystemWindows 95/98

Westwood Studios

Windows 95/98

0  14633  07993  7

Release Date: 1/31/2000
Manufacturer: Westwood Studios
Nox is an action role-playing game developed by Westwood Studios and published by Electronic Arts in 2000 for Microsoft Windows. It details the story of Jack, a young man from Earth who is pulled into a high fantasy parallel universe and has to defeat the evil sorceress Hecubah and her army of Necromancers to return home. Depending on the player's choice of character class at the beginning of the game (warrior, conjurer, or wizard), the game follows three largely different linear storylines, each leading to its unique ending. In the multiplayer, players can compete against each other in various game modes such as deathmatch and capture the flag, or cooperate against computer-controlled monsters in the "Quest" mode introduced with the latest patch. The game was generally well-received by the critics and media.

The player controls Jack from isometric perspective with the mouse and a number of pre-defined hotkeys. The single-player campaign consists of multiple locations which Jack must explore, killing enemies and monsters and assisting his allies. Most of the game time is spent in dungeons and wilderness where Jack gathers experience points (the highest possible level in the game is 10) and collects items such as weapons, armor and spells, which can be equipped, learned, or sold to traders found on several locations throughout the game. The story is told through dialogue with non-player characters, cut scenes using the game engine, and a few pre-rendered full motion videos.

Depending on the character class the player selects at the beginning of the game, the style of gameplay varies greatly. The warrior characters are able to equip nearly all armour and mêlée weapons available in the game but cannot use bows, staves, or magical spells. They do have five spell-like special abilities but instead of using up magic points like the other classes' spells, they recharge over time. The conjurer class specializes in conjuration of various monsters found throughout the game, healing himself and his allies, and the use of bows and crossbows. They have a smaller array of spells than wizards but can summon monsters they've learned about from items called "Beast Scrolls".

Alternatively, they can tame wild animals and monsters into following and fighting for them. The wizard characters are very limited in equippable weapons and armor and have very few hit points but can learn the largest array of magical spells. These are not only useful for killing enemies but also for teleportation, invisibility, and limited healing of themselves and their allies. Weapons in the game come in different varieties and are mostly only equippable by certain classes: most melee weapons and a few ranged weapons can be used only by warriors; bows and crossbows, by conjurers; and many magical staves, by wizards. Some weapons have enchantments on them that add magical bonus to the physical damage they deal to enemies. Armor can also have enchantments on it, protecting the wearer from certain types of harm (fire, poison, etc.). With very few exceptions, both weapons and armor wear down when used, so the player must either have them repaired by NPC traders or replace them with new items. At several points of the single-player campaign, non-player characters temporarily follow Jack, either to assist him or to be led to safety by him. These NPCs can be neither controlled by the player nor equipped with better items.

The multiplayer game types are similar to those found in online first-person shooters: deathmatch (further subdivided into "free for all", team, and clan modes), capture the flag, "Flagball" (similar to Bombing Run in Unreal Tournament), "King of the Realm", and "Elimination" (deathmatch with limited respawns). Patch 1.2 introduced a cooperative multiplayer mode named "Quest", wherein a player team must navigate through 20 locations, killing monsters and looting items. Originally, Westwood ran an online ladder ranking system of Nox multiplayer matches but it has since been closed down.

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