Shadow Realms, the cancelled BioWare online multiplayer RPG, makes us intensely curious.
A host of new details regarding Shadow Realms have surfaced, allegedly provided by anonymous former developers.
There are loads of assets, including a good round up of publicly released stuff, on Unseen64. According to the site’s report, those live action teasers we saw would have kicked off a full series revealing the game’s story and world, which was expected to leverage the popularity of young adult supernatural properties like Harry Potter and Twilight.
The setting blended traditional fantasy with modern day, with environments like office blocks and subway stations. Modern real world clothing brands would be featured, presumably as part of character customisation, which was described as fairly robust and supportive of transgender characters.
There were eight classes in addition to the Shadow Lord role. Each had a unique skill progression tree. Human classes could choose freely between weapons but were restricted to a unique form of magic. The whole thing would have been funded by microtransactions, and although BioWare toyed with a single-player campaign, it was not the focus of the project and was abandoned.
Shadow Realms was conceived of before the public reveal of other 4v1 games like Evolve, according to the site’s sources. If you don’t want to read the full report, watch the summary below:
The report doesn’t have much to say on why the project was cancelled, although it does mention mixed to poor reactions during testing and after reveal.
I’d really like to hear how Dragon Age: Inquisition’s multiplayer is going. It was modelled on Mass Effect 3’s very successful multiplayer suite, but after reading through Unseen64’s report, it sounds like Inquisition’s online mode has a lot in common with Shadow Realms, too. If the multiplayer side of Inquisition hasn’t been as popular as Mass Effect 3’s was, that might have given BioWare and EA the heebie-jeebies.