BioWare has been teasing the gaming world for the past few months.
At E3, BioWare casually mentioned that the Edmonton-based gaming studio was working on a new IP (i.e. not a sequel).
Since BioWare has a rich history of success with Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age, the world was undeniably excited.
Today, BioWare finally revealed its new IP to the world. It’s called Shadow Realms. Here are the top 5 things you need to know about this exciting new RPG:
Shadow Realms is a multiplayer-only/online-only game. That immediately separates Shadow Realms from any other game released by BioWare.
In this game, 4 heroes face off against a “diabolic shadow lord”. It’s 4v1 multiplayer gameplay at all times.
The shadow lord can place traps and possess monsters while trying to kill the heroes. Eventually, the 4 heroes and the shadow lord will face a final confrontation. A boss fight, if you will.
Shadow Realms was guaranteed to be controversial.
Why? Well, it’s the first major new IP from the company since it was acquired by EA way back in 2007.
During the early days of BioWare’s merger with EA, the company took a hands-off approach and let BioWare develop its existing IPs largely uninterrupted.
With Shadow Realms, however, many have accused EA’s overlords of taking a more hands-on approach.
In other words, Shadow Realms could have EA’s greasy fingerprints all over it: which could mean expensive DLC and “pay to win” micro-transaction upgrades. Gross.
It’s also likely that Shadow Realms will only be available through Origin. Alpha signups for the game already require an Origin account. So if you’re anti-Origin and anti-EA, this might not be a fun experience for you.
We don’t know much about Shadow Realms. Everything we do know, however, comes from this trailer:
Did you get much info from that trailer? Because I sure didn’t.
Fortunately, BioWare has now posted more information about the game at its official website, https://www.shadowrealms.com/
There’s an entire page dedicated to the lore and the world of “Embra”. Some important things to note about the lore include:
-“The laws of science do not apply”
-“Arcane energy flows through Embra from its molten core to the stars above”
-Embra has self-destructed numerous times throughout its history, although the current civilization, the Radiant Empires, are the first great nation to break the cycle of self-destruction
-For millennia, Embra thought it was alone in the heavens. But soon, another world was discovered which was also populated with humans: Earth. Earth, however, is devoid of the magic power that flows through Embra.
Anyways, it wouldn’t be a BioWare game without deep lore.
Shadow Realms won’t be released for a long time, but BioWare unveiled its alpha signup on the official website today.
You can sign up to receive alpha access to the game here.
BioWare doesn’t say when the game should be ready for alpha testing, but based on the limited footage of the first trailer, I don’t think the game is close to being ready.
Most people are speculating that BioWare will release Shadow Realms in late 2015.