4v1 online co-op and episodic storytelling? That’s different.
Earlier this month, BioWare teased a brand new franchise by saying “you’ve been chosen”. We now know what it’s talking about. Entitled Shadow Realms, it’ll have an evolving episodic story set in a modern urban fantasy world. Oh, and it’s entirely based around online multiplayer.
That’s right, Shadow Realms focuses exclusively on 4v1 co-op multiplayer. Four players play as heroes who awaken in the modern world with magical powers. They’ll team up to battle the Shadowlord, who sets traps, controls minions, and can alter the battlefield. You’ll level up playing either role, and unlock various abilities that you can mix and match in a free-form progression system.
That sounds like the basis of a solid co-op action game, but this is BioWare here, what about the story? Apparently, Shadow Realms will feature an episodic storyline of sorts. BioWare says that it will feature a “constantly evolving story as new cliff-hanger episodes are released regularly with intriguing characters and impactful choices”. That particular wording reminds me of Guild Wars 2‘s Living Story and Telltale’s staggered release dates, but we’ll have to wait and see exactly how it plays out.
So, that’s one more iron in the fire for BioWare, who also has Dragon Age Inquisition and a new Mass Effect game in the works. While BioWare might be known for its engaging single player games, this isn’t untraveled territory for the developer. Heck, I thought that Mass Effect 3‘s multiplayer was only going to be an afterthought, but I ended up spending far more time online than I did in any of my many playthroughs. Should be interesting to see how this shakes out.