Xoanon here,

Recieved this press release from Sierra, makers of the LOTR related game ‘Orcs’. I also got a smeek peek at a few rather cool screen shots from the game. Working on getting those up for you all to see.

Orcs: Revenge of the Ancient to Ravage Computers This Fall

Berkeley Systems Opens the Door to Tolkien’s World

BERKELEY, CA (May 3, 1999) –Orcs: Revenge of the Ancient* will come tearing into stores this November, Sierra division Berkeley Systems, Inc. announced today. Set in the world of Middle-earth from J.R.R Tolkien’s internationally acclaimed trilogy The Lord of the Rings, the upcoming Orcs: Revenge of the Ancient is a fantasy strategy game which casts the player as an Orc chieftain caught in the middle of a deadly power struggle. Players will custom equip, train, and then fight the Orcs under their command against more than 30 enemies before taking them online for multiplayer mayhem. They must survive the conflict between Middle-earth’s evil powers in order to shape the destiny of their Orcs and reap the spoils of war. Orcs: Revenge of the Ancient will be published by Sierra Studiosä …

“Players who want to fuse the game play of their favorite genres will now have the opportunity with Orcs: Revenge of the Ancient, a raising, training, fighting game with RPG based elements.” says Orcs Creative Director, John Race. “We’re excited to set Orcs original story line in the rich and layered world of Middle-earth. ”

Orc’s original and extensive story line takes place in the Third Age during the War of the Ring. Sauron, the Dark Power, is on the offensive and gathering his forces to invade the West. Such a large number of unruly creatures packed into a small area has led to ferocious infighting. Sauron has assigned the player command of an elite group of fighting Orcs to keep the peace between the many factions, using whatever brutal means necessary. In addition, other evil powers have emerged from the past to vie with Sauron for aid in their respective quests. The player must carefully choose their alliances to survive.

Up to four common Orcs can be chosen by the player and transformed into brutal fighting machines, each with a unique fighting style. The Orcs’ fighting skills can be customized through intense training in which the player chooses the best combination of killing moves suited to their Orc. After selecting their armor and weapons and suggesting fighting moves, the player will command the Orcs in real time 3-D combat. The better the player outfits and trains their Orc, the more specialized and effective his fighting techniques will become.

Each Orc has its own specific personality and characteristics. For example, an Orc who is prone to violent outbursts may be difficult to train but ferocious in battle. The player develops their Orc’s Stats such as intelligence, strength and dexterity in arena and field combat and sustain them with training exercises. Once the Orcs have been trained and outfitted like no other, they can be taken into online combat to see how their skills match up against other players.

As the original story pulls the players deeper into Tolkien’s Middle-earth they find themselves trapped in a deadly conflict of interests between multiple dark powers. Each player is charged with the unenviable task of survival within this violent struggle for power. The path they choose for their Orcs will determine whether Orcs are, in fact, capable of self-determination or mere servants of the Darkness.

Orcs: Revenge of the Ancient is set in the world created by J.R.R Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He is considered the father of fantasy literature by millions of fans around the world.

Sierra Studios is a member of the Sierra On-Line family. Sierra Studios’ games include Caesar III, Lords of Magic: Special Edition, Half-Life, King’s Quest: Mask of Eternity, Team Fortress Classic and the upcoming games Homeworld, Gabriel Knight III, Pharaoh and Civil War 3.

Sierra On-Line, Inc. is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is comprised of a family of brands: Sierra Attractionsä, Sierra Homeä, Sierra Sportsä, Sierra Studiosä, and Dynamixä, a Sierra Company. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, whose holdings also include Knowledge Adventureä, Davidson & Associates®, Blizzard Entertainment® and WON.net.