Off to the Shadow Realms with you

I was a little stunned by the announcement that Biowares Asymmetric multiplayer dungeon “crawler” was being canned, especially as the focus seems to indicate that the development resources were being channelled into Dragon Age, Mass Effect and another IP.

As Syp puts it, this IP was something new from Bioware in over 6 years, in all honesty I was really excited about a game with a player controlled army of minions, trap and obstacles to overcome. All my DM dreams come true. The Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises aren’t really my cup of tea and I’ve no desire to play either of them.  As sil says at least their will be more from the company, I guess I’ll wait for news on the new IP but to be fair this was the only Bioware game to really turn my head in good number of years, so my expectations are very low.


The molyneux implosion has been rather odd to watch, the promise of a new god sim by one of the person who helped define the genre was a dream come true. Only 2 years after the kickstarter ended the veneer is flaking off the ultimate prize and latest reports aren’t great. With reports that the development team are slowing moving to another project and the kickstarter goals may never be realised, it’s a very sad state of affairs. You can see the official video here, if you can watch it all.

At this time the most successful part looks to have been the tap and giant cube app that chose one person (Bryan Henderson) to be the God of Gods, you can read more about that exciting misadventure over at Eurogamer.

I think the lesson is that even with the right people (person) and all the best will in the world backing a project isn’t alwasy certain to yield a positive result.

And weight gets thrown

As I was typing this I also spotted the layoffs at Daybreak (SOE), I loved the line “Last week … we were acquired” shortly followed by “We deeply value our employees and never take these decisions lightly”, of course a week is long enough to know that deep value for any employee. Harsh.

These first steps by Daybreak to “realign resources” it order to “better position our newly independent studio for future growth” just tell me 2 things: Firstly someone was really going for the Buzzword Bingo on the press release and secondly SOE may take some turns that veteran customer may not really like.

I hope everyone affected can find something soon.

All the fun of 4v1

Bioware’s Shadow Realms look set to jump into the pool with Turtle Rock Studio’s Evolve, both sporting 4v1 online co-op gameplay, but the target audience maybe vastly different.

In the blue corner

Evolve’s First Person Shooter feel will undoubtedly draw on Turtles Rocks experience with the Left 4 Dead franchise and attract those fans, especially with advancements they made in AI with the Director functionality and multiplayer elements playing right into the setup for a 4v1 style of game.

The Evolve setting is based a group of hunters, which when I originally heard about it sounded a little boring but it turns out the setting is a distant planet where colonists come under attack by alien forces. The group of players will have to take down the Monster, while navigating the less than friendly environment.

The roles of the players will be assault, trapper, support and medic classes, each with unique abilities they bring to the table, below is a long playthrough but within the first 10 minutes you have a feel for the game and how it mechanics slot together especially for the hunters, each with a key role to perform.

And in the red corner

The Shadow Realms setting looks to be modern linked with a parallel world and just a hint of conspiracy thrown in for good measure (reminded me instantly of Dreamfall). It has a feel like a traditional RPG with a 3rd person perspective and looks to be going down a fairly magic heavy route compared the Scifi themed Evolve. Additionally it looks to be offering episodic content that leans more heavily on story than raw gameplay.

The fantasy setting comings more apparent when you look at the classes in the game Assassin, Warlock, Warrior, Cleric, Wizard and Ranger. Another nod comes from the fact the ShadowLord acts like a dungeon master to a certain degree, selecting traps and altering the environment to hinder the co-op players.

If I’m honest watching the video below got me thinking of a modern retake of Gauntlet, which isn’t entirely a bad thing.

#Blaugust #Evolve #ShadowRealms