Shadow Realms is an upcoming episodic online story driven 4v1 action adventure role playing game that is currently being developed by the Austin Texas based division of Bioware, Bioware Austin. The Studio was formed in 2006 to develop the licensed MMO, Star Wars The Old Republic.
Set to release at an unspecified time in 2015, Shadow Realms is set to be published by Bioware owners, Electronic Arts (Battlefield Series, Dragon Age Series & Mass Effect Series) and it will be running on the powerful Frostbite 3 Engine which is developed by the EA subsidiary, DICE (Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment).
The game is currently only slated for release on Microsoft Windows based PC’s with no mention of an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 port being in the works unless fans call for it (see paragraph 2 of Development for pre-release reception information). The game will be available at launch both at retail and via digital download.
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It’s not yet known for sure when the development of Shadow Realms began, but Bioware Austin announced the game for the first time at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con event. The announcement of the game was accompanied by a live action trailer called “you’ve been chosen”. The trailer seemed to pitch the game as other story driven RPG similar to the likes of Mass Effect, both of which are the most commonly thought of games when someone mentions Bioware.
Much to the ire of those looking forward to the game, it was announced as being an online story driven 4v1 action adventure role playing game that is being released in an episodic manner, frustrations were compounded recently when a gameplay video from Gamescom 2014 showed the game to be significantly less impressive as it sounded. Whilst industry critics praised the games customisation options and freedom of combat choice, however non industry gamers have said that the game is unimpressive in regards to gameplay, graphical fidelity and they have criticised the choice to use an episodic release model.
The game was set to have a Closed Alpha sometime this year, but that has since been delayed. This comes after the game was debuted at Gamescom in 2014. Whilst the games senior producer admits that this delay is rooted in players wanting changes being made to the game, he fails to address the matter directly and instead says “One of the most important things to us on Shadow Realms is listening to – and making changes based on – that player feedback. Having fans play the game at Gamescom and PAX Prime gave us incredible insight.” Gamers have praised the developer for taking player feedback to actively influence the games play style.
James Ohlen, a Canadian video game designer and Senior Creative Director for Bioware has said, “Shadow Realms has its genesis in old school Dungeons & Dragons. When I first started designing BioWare RPGs back in the 90s, what drove me creatively was the desire to give players the experience I had while playing pen and paper games as a youth”.
Plot specifics are vague, with a vast amount of lore being available but no real mention of the games story. Despite being a “story driven” game, the player is free to make choices that change and influence the story. This, coupled with the fact that the game is predominantly an online experience, leads to some confusion as to what exactly is going on with the games plot, or even if there is one in an overarching sense of the word.
Shadow Realms is an online story driven 4v1 action adventure role playing game that “has its genesis in old school Dungeons & Dragons”. To that end, players are free to choose one of six character classes from the classic class archetypes, including Warrior, Assassin, Wizard, Cleric, Ranger and Warlock. As you would expect, each of these classes comes equipped with their own special attacks, unique skills, class specific abilities and various strengths.
The character classes will be augmented by various levels of character and combat customisation that will range from changing play styles and load outs. There is also a variety of abilities that can be used regardless of the players chosen class.
The crux of the gameplay will revolve around the player and three other players teaming up online to tackle another player who controls the enemies and traps in the level. Similar to what is being done in the newest Fable title, Fable Legends.
New gameplay “episodes” will be released “frequently”, though nobody knows just how frequent that actually is. Despite being Story Driven, the player can apparently choose their own path drawing comparisons to other Bioware rpg’s.
As mentioned above, the characters are created by the players by way of an in depth customisation suite.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.