Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a series of strange and intriguing viral marketing teases for an upcoming BioWare and Electronic Arts game known only as the You’ve Been Chosen mystery project.
BioWare was part of EA’s presentation at Gamescom 2014 today, mainly for Dragon Age: Inquisition, but also to finally reveal what this mystery game of theirs really is. The game is officially titled Shadow Realms and it’s…probably not what you were hoping it would be.
Continue reading for all the details and to check out two trailers, one live-action that brings all of those teasers together and the other a gameplay trailer, as well as a gameplay demo.
Here’s the full rundown of info:
From the storytelling experts at BioWare comes Shadow Realms™, a new 4v1 story-driven Online Action RPG with dynamic co-op missions in a constantly evolving BioWare world. Join an ongoing adventure with new episodes released frequently. Experience the thrill of making your own choices as to the path you take through the story, uncovering new mysteries and revealing hidden twists unexpectedly as you progress. Fight as a modern-day Hero who suddenly awakens with magical powers and is pulled into a dark realm and centuries old battle. Team up with three other Heroes in adventures facing off against a fantastic array of demonic bosses and supernatural creatures in a raging war against the Shadow Legions to save all of humanity. Summon all your powers as you prepare to battle a player-controlled Shadowlord, who possesses the ultimate weapon – the human mind.
The power is yours. You’ve been chosen.
EXPERIENCE EPISODIC STORYTELLING
Enjoy the excitement of a constantly evolving story as new cliff-hanger episodes are released regularly with intriguing characters and impactful choices, letting you and your friends speculate on what comes next, much like your favorite TV series.
DISCOVER A NEW MODERN FANTASY WORLD
From the dark alleys of Paris to the gothic towers of Embra, adventure through an immersive new BioWare world where machine gun wizards and bomb squad clerics rule the day.
FIGHT DYNAMIC CO-OP 4v1 MISSIONS
Team up with three other Heroes in story-driven adventures packed with fast-paced tactical combat against a player-driven Shadowlord who controls creatures, sets traps and changes the environment itself, making the adventure and the battle different every time.
DEEP COMBAT CUSTOMIZATION
Deep character and combat customization options offer you the ability to build and progress as a powerful Hero and Shadowlord uniquely suited to your play-style and one that sets you apart from the crowd. Earn and choose from a broad set of abilities that you can mix regardless of class offering a very deep and diverse set of options.
You’ve got choices and the freedom to play your way. The power is yours.
The simple fact of it all is that multiplayer games like this are hot like Hansel right now, so if you were hoping for an exciting new game from BioWare along the same lines as Mass Effect or Dragon Age, such as I was, this news is a tad bit anti-climactic. It also sounds like the game is PC-only, which immediately takes myself and many others out of the equation. That might be for the best; I got about a minute into the gameplay demo seen at the bottom of this post from IGN before I felt a headache coming on and had to bail. Maybe it’s just allergies.
But if we absolutely have to live in a world where these types of games have taken over the industry, BioWare is doing it the right way. A new Dragon Age is releasing soon. A new Mass Effect is in the early stages of development. These are the types of games we really want, and they’re still giving them to us. The same can’t be said for Lionhead, for example, who decided to throw what everyone knows and loves about Fable out the window and go all-in on the multiplayer/co-op craze for the next entry in the series, Fable Legends. Fittingly, Shadow Realms is quite similar to what Fable Legends is.
You can read more about Shadow Realms, including how it was inspired by old tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons, at the game’s official site, and those interested can sign up for Alpha right here.