BioWare Unveils 4v1 Online Action RPG 'Shadow Realms'

Shadow Realms Screen - Shadow Lord


For the past few weeks, BioWare has been teasing the announcement of a new game through a series of cryptic teaser trailers. Each piece of footage featured three common elements: ordinary protagonists, extraordinary events, and shadowy figures. However, with little to go on, few knew what to make of the trailers, only that BioWare was set to say more at Gamescom.

Now that Electronic Arts' Gamescom conference has come and gone, we know what this new BioWare game is and more importantly we know what those cryptic trailers were trying to tell us. And boy does this sound interesting.

As previously rumored, this new BioWare game (developed by the company's Austin studio) is called Shadow Realms. It, like many of the current-gen games in development, features 4-player co-op, but is still story-focused in nature. However, as of right now, BioWare is billing the game as a PC-focused online action RPG with no mention of a console release.

Obviously, BioWare wouldn't say much but Shadow Realms' story apparently sees players taking on the role of ordinary-looking characters with extraordinary powers. As you can see from the trailer above, Shadow Realms is a modern fantasy game where players fight against a malicious being known as the Shadow Lord.

What makes things interesting is that another independent player is controlling the Shadow Lord, setting traps, calling forth minions, and doing direct damage to the team. It's a little bit Fable Legends and a little bit Evolve, and sounds very intriguing.


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Aside from brief story details, we know that Shadow Realms is targeting a release late next year, but an alpha test is planned for next month. Interested players can sign up for the alpha at the official Shadow Realms site here.

BioWare also revealed that Shadow Realms will tell its story episodically, almost like a TV series. In essence, it sounds like whatever content BioWare releases at launch will only be the beginning.

Based on this brief teaser, it appears Shadow Realms borrows heavily from BioWare's past work, but combines those core ideas of story-driven fantasy role-play into something completely new. The game also features episodic storytelling and co-op gameplay, which are two big buzzwords in game development as of late.

However, positioning the game as a PC-only release might disappoint those gamers who know BioWare because of their console efforts like Mass Effect or Dragon Age. But of course it's only disappointing because this game appears to be a somewhat unique experience.

What do you think of Shadow Realms? What about the game appeals the most to you?

Shadow Realms will release late 2015 for the PC.


Source: BioWare, Kotaku

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