Everything started in 2002, when an announcement was published in the January edition of the Swedish PC Gamer magazine, which stated that Fallout 3 is in development. After a few rumors sustaining the true name of the third part will be Fallout Fantasy, three months later, from a list with the expected games published by Virgin Interactive (Interplay’s distributors in Europe) we thought this game was going to be launched in September 2002. All we knew back then was that they would show it at E3 2002 and that it will be a fantasy RPG which promised players the same skills’ system as we’ve seen in the Fallout series. These statements raised new speculations that Lionheart was indeed Fallout Fantasy and they proved to be true somehow. As fans knew that Lionheart had the same SPECIAL system and that Black Isle Studios was a serious company with a strong RPG background, they didn’t cry that much when this game got delayed until the end of this summer. Unfortunately, many fans were disappointed once again and not because Lionheart is not Fallout 3.
The difference is pretty clear right from the start because of the storyline. In the Fallout series the action took place in a post-apocalyptic future but in Lionheart we see a parallel medieval universe. King Richard Lionheart of England, during his third crusade against Saladin’s Muslims (1192), sieges Accra, a city in the Middle Orient, and gains possession of some holy relics. Despite the warnings, Richard performs a ritual called the Disjunction to help him win the war but a cataclysm takes place and spirits and magic invade our real world. The game starts nearly 400 years later, around 1588, the player assuming the part of one of Richard’s descendants who is caught in a series of events involving the theft of some holy relics which were divided between Richard and Saladin when an alliance between them was set up. You can join one of the four factions (The Knights Templar, Saladin’s Muslims, the Spanish Inquisition or the Wielders secret society); each with their particular or common quests so some of them may be solved in many ways. There are secondary quests also. They give you experience, money or better items and they are very well integrated into the story, such as the conflict between beggars and thieves.