After almost a month following the first cryptic "Chosen" trailer, BioWare officially unveils Shadow Realms today, a 4v1 online action RPG. In a setting where "modern meets fantasy," four gifted heroes must fight the evil Shadowlord across numerous co-op missions. With the episodic format, the narrative will unfold over time, across numerous chapters.
Shadow Realm is currently being developed by BioWare Austin, a studio best known for the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. Jeff Hickman, general manager and VP of BioWare Austin, described this new title as a throwback of sorts, to the classic pen and paper RPG.
“This game brings us back to our roots in the realm of classic Pen and Paper RPG, but also delivers something that’s completely new and innovative for our fans. Shadow Realms is a new BioWare RPG that has the hallmarks of all BioWare games with a rich story, a unique world setting and deep combat progression, but built as an interactive experience that evolves the genre and broadens the appeal to online gamers all over the world.”
It's actually very similar to what Lionhead is doing with Fable Legends, just with a totally new IP that involves a lot of shadows. The "Modern Heroes of Earth" are awakened to battle the Shadow Legions of Embra, commanded by the player-controlled Shadowlord. In Embra, the Legions have been at war with the Radiant Empire for years, but the newly-arisen Shadowlords had begun turning the tides of battle, and are on their way to Earth.
So of course this means a bunch of young people with superpowers are chosen to stop the evil forces. None of this explains why the teasers have been all over the place, but maybe the Shadow Realms story will provide a bit more insight, once we actually learn more about that. Here are the live-action clips previously released, leading up to today's announcement:
EA didn't provide a release window for Shadow Realms yet, but we do know it will be released for PC via Origin. Sign-ups for the closed beta have also begun, for anyone who's interested; just keep your Origin login info handy.