Bioware Announces 4v1 PC-Only Online RPG Shadow Realms

Shadow Realms Teaser Image

Bioware has announced their newest project – a 4 vs. 1 online RPG for the PC titled Shadow Realms.

Bioware’s been teasing a new game for a while now, and this morning at Gamescom, they finally showed it off. Shadow Realms is at once familiar and new for Bioware, as it’s an online RPG that aims to recreate the feel of tabletop gaming. That’s something Bioware has done before, but never quite like this. Rather than have players fighting against static, AI-driven foes, Shadow Realms will embrace a 4v1 model, where four players take on enemies controlled by another player.

The trailer we saw from EA’s Gamescom press conference showed off a game that reminded me The Secret World in many ways. Players will discover a modern world that’s being invaded by the Shadow Legions of Embra. Those legions are controlled by a player known as the Shadowlord. You’ll be able to customize your hero to fit your play style, and do the same with your Shadowlord.

The Shoadowlord isn’t controlling characters through some top-down interface, either. Instead, he’ll possess monsters, cast spells, and interact with the world through a third-person, over-the-shoulder interface, just like the players.

Most interesting to me was that Bioware plans to release the overarching story for Shadow Realms episodically. According to the press release, this will provide “players the ability to experience story-driven adventures as a community.”

It’s an interesting idea, to be sure. Obviously, it’s still a bit early to make judgments, but the concept behind Shadow Realms seems a bold one indeed. All that remains is to see if Bioware can pull it off.

One other thing to note. While Shadow Realms is being released through Origin, the game’s website specifically states that, “This game does not require the download of the Origin client.” That’s a major shift in EA’s PC model if it continues with other titles.

You can get more info on Shadow Realms, and sign up for the game’s alpha test, on the official Shadow Realms website.

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