Bioware and EA have unveiled “Shadow Realms” a PC game inspired by “Dungeons and Dragons.” Bioware has revealed that the Alpha test is going to be delayed.
Segment Next reports that Bioware has said, ” We got so many excellent questions about what the game will be, beyond just the multiplayer piece that we’ve revealed, and we’d like to be able to show you some answers rather than just telling you what the answers will one day be.
But we need a bit more time.
We’ve taken a deep look at the state of the game – what it is now, what we intend it to be, and most importantly what it could be – and realized this is an opportunity to take a great game and make it even better before bringing it back for more feedback from you.” Shadow Realms will still make use of all the usual Bioware RPG elements, where players make choices through conversation, often segwaying into big cinematic pieces.
You will loot and level up throughout.
The really intersting part is the “modern fantasy world” that Bioware has created, so you can use a sword and a gun at the same time.
The game will be delivered as an episodic experience, meaning the story won’t come out all at once.
Also the quests as it were, are largely 4v1 multiplayer action against another charcter who acts as a dungeon lord and tries to stop the other 4 characters.
BioWare’s horror action title Shadow Realms is in online action RPG due to hit PC “late next year,” Electronic Arts has announced during its Gamescom 2014 press conference.
BioWare was keen to stress that the story was at the heart of Shadow Realms.
The overarching narrative of the world will be released episodically, played out over time like a TV series.
The game hasn’t even got to the Alpha testing phase yet, so it will probably change quite a bit before then.
“Shadow Realms” will be released on PC late next year, and possibly consoles after that.
Players can sign up to experience the closed alpha next month on the game’s official site.
More trailers are surely forthcoming as well.
Speaking to GameSpot at Gamescom , Hickman was surprised by some early reports indicating the game was a PC exclusive, saying, “I saw some reports coming out yesterday saying [Shadow Realms] was exclusive to PC, which nobody ever said…there is nothing that says that if the fans want it, and everything goes well on PC, that we don’t push it to console.
It’s a Frostbite game, so it’s straightforward, and we can do it if we want to.” Hickman also described how the game’s action focus would translate well to console, despite the game’s primary development taking place on PC.
“We definitely are PC first,” said Hickman.
“PC is the tip of the spear for us.
We find that this type of game really lends itself to PC.
But when you see it, what I think you’ll find is…imagine that there could be a controller hooked up to it.
You will go, ‘Oh, yeah!’ because that’s how it plays.
This an action-RPG, not an MMO, not a pushing-buttons-on-your-keyboard slowly type of thing.
This is sword swinging, dodging, blocking, dynamic action.” Metro got some hands on time with the game and had this to say, “As you’d expect from BioWare the back story is extensive, and the game is split evenly between modern day Earth and a magical realm called Embra.
You take the role of an ordinary human suddenly possessed of magical powers ( as alluded to in the teaser trailers ) and able to fight as one of six character classes: Warrior, Assassin, Wizard, Cleric, Ranger, and Warlock.
Although these sound like stock Tolkien-esque fantasy characters, and Embra itself is a pretty generic fantasy world, your characters start off dressed like normal people and carry a mixture of both modern and magical weapons.
But on top of this a fifth player can take the role of the ‘Shadowlord’, an incorporeal overlord who not only controls the other creatures in a level but can also set-up traps and even close or open various parts of the level to funnel players into particular rooms.
Unlike Fable Legends the Shadowlord plays from the same third person view as everybody else, and can take direct control of any of the lesser monsters – or even the boss character.
Playing the game ourselves controlling any of the human characters is pretty straightforward stuff.
As Hickman promised in the interview (we weren’t able to find him again afterwards) the action does indeed feel suitably weighty, even if it’s also very simplistic in terms of melee combat.
Depending on the specific character you’ve got spells and specialist equipment as well though, not to mention the crowd control and tactical implications of working with three other human players.
Even so the human perspective is that of a relatively standard dungeon crawler, essentially a more zoomed in Diablo.
The demo was set entirely in the fantasy world of Embra, in this case a rather generic series of dungeon-like rooms.
It’s a shame we didn’t see anything of the modern day setting, or the story elements, but as a proof of concept for the action gameplay it was still reasonably impressive.
That said it’s playing as the Shadowlord which is the most distinctive element at the moment, as you follow around after the human players and try to lay traps and ambushes for them.
All the magic and abilities run on a timer, much like a massively multiplayer online game, with the Shadowlord able to set up simple traps and spawn orc-like monsters almost immediately but the wait for a giant demonic dog being considerably longer.
As with all the 4v1 games we’ve played recently being the bad guy is the hardest job when first starting out.
And even getting to control the boss at the end (which isn’t as much like Evolve as it sounds, because the boss stage is rather cramped and small) wasn’t enough for us, or anyone we saw playing, to beat the players.
As Hickman points out Shadow Realms isn’t even at the alpha stage yet ( you can sign up here to play it when it is ) but the basic gameplay is already enjoyable.
And although it’s only been announced as a PC game at the moment BioWare are already dropping unsubtle hints that if it’s a hit it’ll also be coming to consoles.
And if Hickman’s enthusiasm for the rest of the game are even partially justified then Shadow Realms has every chance of being another major success for BioWare.” Joystiq said, “The most interesting aspect of Shadow Realms’ design is the way in which it makes players consider and exploit traditional game mechanics and expected player behavior as they progress through each level.
As the Shadowlord, you essentially turn into a level designer, placing traps where they’re most likely to be effective.
At the same time, the heroic party is aware of your intentions, and may start to avoid or purposely trigger traps placed in obvious locations.
It’s a fascinating battle of wits that requires constant adaptation and shifts in strategy for either side to succeed.
Despite Shadow Realms’ genre shift, fans of Mass Effect and Dragon Age will still find a lot to like.
Shadow Realmsretains the developer’s traditional focus on player choice and customization.
Players can create their heroes from scratch, customizing their race, gender, and other key traits while further tweaking their appearance and abilities with loot earned in battle.
The choice wheel also returns, enabling players to leave their mark on the game’s narrative.
Narrative is another area where Shadow Realms innovates.
New episodic content will be released on a regular basis, and its overarching story is a particular point of focus.
Mysteries will develop over the course of the series, and heroes will have to play through several episodes in order to see a resolution to lingering plotlines.” Visit www.ShadowRealms.com/play to sign up for a chance to get into the closed alpha.
Watch the trailer below.