Unexpected: BioWare’s 4v1 Online RPG Shadow Realms

By Alice O'Connor on August 13th, 2014 at 10:17 am.

Meet the gang.

We were expecting BioWare’s teased new game to be something a bit real-world-y with supernatural horror. We were not expecting it to be a 4v1 online action-RPG. They officially announced Shadow Realms during EA’s Gamescom press event today and gosh, it is a surprise for BioWare. Think The Secret World‘s real-world-ish monster-mashing setting mixed with the evil overlord side of the Zombie Master mods.

Like The Secret World, it sees plain old people suddenly finding themselves amongst an old supernatural throw-down with modern-day wizards and knights. Four folks from the usual classes will dungeon-crawl through levels murdering monsters while that fifth player, the Shadowlord, tries to stop them. The Shadowlord can summon and possess creatures, lay traps, cast spells, and change the environment to hinder the heroes. It’s inspired by ye olde tabletop roleplaying games with dungeon masters thwarting players, BioWare say.

And like tabletop games, it won’t be a fixed thing. BioWare plan to release “cliff-hanger episodes” regularly.

I’m quite excited by this. More co-op games are always welcome, especially ones with a competitive side too. And Mass Effect 3 proved that hey, BioWare can actually make pretty fun multiplayer. I don’t think anyone expected that either.

As EA seems reluctant to upload the trailer, for whatever reason, here’s a streamrip:

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140 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    My love for the ME3 MP is the only the reason I signed up for this. 4 Player vs Overlord is close enough to PvE for me (I hate PvP).

    • P.Funk says:

      You prefer unthinking drones to humans that can surprise you now and then?

      • Dawngreeter says:

        Some people just don’t like playing against other people. A lot of my gaming group is like that. It’s not a question of competence, it’s a question of non-competitiveness. And very likely also a question of being somewhat asocial, which we can be.

        • P.Funk says:

          I read a lot of not very good reasons in there.

          I used to be a dogged single player. I wasted the best years of Total Annihilation’s popularity being too scared to play online. I was a fool.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            That sounds familiar. I’m trying to get myself to play games socially, but it’s a process. Aside from initial discomfort of playing anything with strangers, I also feel very bad about other people depending on me. It’s a very odd anxiety that I’ll have to leave the computer for whatever reason and ruin a game for a number of other people.

          • Premium User Badge

            Big Murray says:

            The problem with PvE is that other humans (if you haven’t chosen them yourself) will inevitably end up metagaming any game they play, resulting in you having to play the metagame or just lose.

            I like being able to suck at games and still have fun, whereas it’s very hard to suck badly in a PvP game and still have fun. Having your ass repeatedly handed to you isn’t much fun. I can’t play RTS games. I suck badly at them, I don’t think I’ve ever managed to beat another human being in an online RTS game. But I enjoy playing them.

            Playing online is like setting the game to some difficulty setting beyond the hardest. It’s not for everyone.

          • mattevansc3 says:

            Well I was like that and decided to take the plunge with ME3 multiplayer because it was non-competitive…I was then greeted with “Hey arsehole, where you from?” over and over again. I left without saying a single word after about two minutes.

            Too put some perspective on it I was bullied throughout Comprehensive School and am being assessed for Asperger Syndrome so my social confidence is below average at best. Online gaming is just too hostile a social environment for me to get any enjoyment from it and I’d bet there’s plenty of people who share that sentiment.

          • Wulfram says:

            My experience of ME3 MP was that it almost always passed in blessed silence.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            Definitely prefer co-op to competitive the few times I play online. People in highly competitive online games tend to be jerks and I have neither the energy nor the desire to compete with anonymous assholes on the internet. Co-op (at moderate skill levels) tends to be more conducive to friendly pressure-free play. I play games to relax and immerse myself in different worlds, not to prove my arbitrary numbers are bigger than your arbitrary numbers.

          • Distec says:

            “I don’t like playing against others” seems like a perfectly adequate reason that requires no further explanation.

          • hennedo says:

            Something about the legitimacy of different play styles and ways of having fun seems to get lost when “winning” becomes as central a goal as it is in competitive gaming environments. And it tends to get lost in a rather judgmental and sneering manner.
            I don’t think we have to choose between foolish fears and the truth of pvp. That seems like a strange false choice to force on gaming, and on play more generally.

        • Premium User Badge

          Rizlar says:

          Indeed! For me it’s not an issue of sociability it’s the fact that I’m hardly competitive at all and don’t generally enjoy playing games competitively.

          But I’m really into certain multiplayer games, like Planetside 2, the ME3 multiplayer and more recently Payday 2, where the emphasis is on working as a team, having each other’s backs.

          So I understand the appeal of something like this over an MLG 360noscope FPS or New World Record APM RTS or what have you.

          • Chuckleluck says:

            I concur. Also, from my experience with RTSes, it seems like the coop crowd is a lot nicer and less internet-troll-like than the PVP crowd.

        • Chuckleluck says:

          I also find bots stay in character. I don’t play Civ 5 online unless it’s with friends that share my love of being an emperor. I like the immersion, and playing online with randoms far too often breaks that.

      • Premium User Badge

        Philopoemen says:

        I used to play with a dedicated clan who used real tactics, and worked together and had fun, and it was glorious. Then I finished university, got a job, got married, got divorced, and time evaporated. I would love to play games with those same people or similar people, but that requires regular hours, or at the very least a regular schedule.

        The other option is to be matched with some child and have my auditory senses assaulted by what passes for light discussion, mainly telling me how much I suck.

        I don’t begrudge people multiplayer games; I am only disappointed that the Bioware title that has been hinted at is not going to be the next Mass Effect in terms of a new IP, but another group-based game that I’ll unfortunately not get to play properly because of life.

        • toxic avenger says:

          It’s just one game. It’s not like there won’t be anymore singe player Bioware titles, or singe player titles full stop. I think your disappointment can only go so far, while still being honest, no?

      • Xocrates says:

        @P.Funk: Quite frankly, yes.

        To me, it’s not a question of being surprised or looking for a challenge, it’s about playing at your own pace and your own style. Competitive multiplayer essentially prevents this since neither you or (often) the other person will be having much fun if you’re not playing “standard”.

      • fake_squirrel_gamer says:

        I’d say that when I play a video game, I am taking time out of my day to do something fun. When I control the experience, then I know that I will get what I need out of playing. In online multiplayer, it’s too easy to have someone else control my experience. Multiplayer can be fun if the game is designed that way, but I don’t want some jerk who had a bad day at work to make me feel bad.

        • malkav11 says:

          This is a big part of it for me. Plus, the relative predictability of an AI-driven opponent is a selling point for me, not a disadvantage. It creates a consistent experience. When I’ve played PvP, it’s been very random and that randomness has tended to skew towards lopsided and unenjoyable experiences, be that the common scenario where I and/or my side are completely outmatched and there’s no room for any actually enjoyable activity in the process of being ruthlessly stomped flat, or the significantly less common scenario where I and/or my side are the ones doing the stomping, which is also not particularly enjoyable.

          Add to that bad player behavior, the tendency for all but the most popular competitive experiences to rapidly die down to a few hardcore fellows clinging on, the usual lack of conventional narrative elements or world exploration (which are the strongest draws for me in games), my general disinterest in “challenge” as a concept, and my complete disinterest in spending a great deal of time honing skills that in no way actually contribute to my life or well being, and PvP multiplayer is very solidly not for me.

      • Napoleon15 says:

        In my experience, unthinking drones often provide a better play experience than the average online gamer. No stupid idiots on voice comms, no cheaters or hackers, and in the case of AI team mates, they actually make more of an attempt to complete objectives than real players. I still distinctly remember being unable to complete a L4D2 level until two of the other players left and the AI took over, with the AI doing a better job of working as a team than they ever did.

        I enjoy the odd multiplayer game, but there’s only so much I can take of them before I rage quit. When you don’t have a lot of time or your usual online gaming group isn’t around, it’s a lot easier to just fire up a single player game and have some fun.

      • fdisk says:

        I don’t like PvP games for two reasons:

        1) Failure at the hand of another human feels a lot worse than at the hand of a computer.

        2) Most importantly, I have yet to play a PvP game where someone doesn’t upset eventually because they are doing poorly, because they are being steamrolled, or because of whatever reason. I like a game where everyone feels good about themselves and has fun at the end of the session.

        • toxic avenger says:

          Why does failure at the hand of someone else feel so much worse, compared to a computer? When you play, say for example Left 4 Dead 2 Vs. mode, doesn’t everyone at the end of the game get up, leave, and largely forget about their gameplay outside of remembering how fun the process was of playing? Competitive ribbing from the victors is all in good fun, and for the losers can simply be turned off by turning the game off. Am I missing something?

          • fdisk says:

            Taunting and ribbing are mean spirited by definition. When I’m doing well in a game I say nothing, so when someone is clearly better than me and taunt me on top of that I get pretty pissed off. I can’t help it, I have a very competitive nature.

            L4D and L4D2 are perfect examples, when one team clearly does better than the other that losing team generally just leaves the game, it is literally called “rage” quitting. Rage is not a feeling I want any of in my life, therefore, I avoid PvP games.

          • Premium User Badge

            Big Murray says:

            As much as the internet would like to have us believe that caring about whether you win or lose in a competitive game makes you a “loser”, it’s a natural feeling that pervades almost every competitive competition throughout time. Unless you’re playing a game socially and therefore deriving pleasure through alternate means, usually the idea of playing a game is to win. And failure in anything doesn’t feel good, whether it’s something serious or an online game.

          • Enkinan says:

            You are not. I’ve been in plenty of competitive groups. Sometimes you get rolled. It’s a great opportunity to come together and figure out what went wrong and improve it. It feels great when you come together, work it out, and then go out as a stronger team and overcome whoever took you down. Good competition only makes games more fun.

      • Bobka says:

        Personally, I prefer playing at my own pace and according to my own preferences, not at max speed and according to the latest greatest approaches dictated by the meta.

      • Premium User Badge

        golem09 says:

        Considering the kind of game I’m looking for would be extremely asymmetrical, with a dozen players would only playing the most basic cannonfodder and probably bored out of their mind, the only way to actually achieve this in PvP is with the overlord system.
        My most basic problem about this is that I don’t get a kick out of beating another player. Most of the time I feel sorry for him having lost, which makes me unhappy. So I’m unhappy when I loose, and unhappy when I win.

  2. JFS says:

    Free-to-play? Or free-to-play 3 months after release?

    I don’t like that cliffhanger stuff. Sound like loads of DLC and episodic whatever, which in a multiplayer game means everyone must have it to play the same game, which of course won’t happen, and anyway, why does everybody have to make online multiplayer stuff these days…

    EDIT: They’re talking about “story” and it playing out like a tabletop game. As if.

    • Premium User Badge

      Keymonk says:

      Considering all the multiplayer DLC for ME3 was for free, it’s not a far stretch to assume they’ve an idea of how to not split up their userbase. They had in-game purchases which sped up your progress (by gambling, essentially), but they didn’t split the community.

    • nzmccorm says:

      I assume the table topiness is supposed to come from the fact it’s all about dungeon crawls where you’ve got a DM type person fucking up your shit with monsters.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Amatyr says:

    BioWare’s – interesting
    4v1 Online – Interesting
    RPG – Iiiinteresting
    action – Oh. Forget it.

    I want more co-op turn based RPGs like Divinity: Original Sin.

    • toxic avenger says:

      Thank you for your input. My turn, I guess.

      I’d like lots of money and big tittied women to surround me while I work offering double entendres as positive encouragement.

      • chargen says:

        Hey, I’ve actually got that. It’s pretty great.

        Though I do motorboat the phrase ‘I wish you were a turnbased, co-op rpg’ a lot.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Yeah, of course it had to be online. So Left 4 Dead-likes are somehow like tabletop RPGs?

    Well, some boardgames like Mansions of Madness are similar I guess, that was fun apart from the first hour of finding the right mission cards and setting up the table. Wouldn’t call it an RPG though.

    If it is well written and the missions aren’t just hack&slash actionfests, I might be interested. Bit sceptical though, doubt it will have investigation quests like in The Secret World.

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      I thought the description sounded more like an online version of Descent: Journeys in the Dark. Which sounds pretty awesome to me.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Phinor says:

    Nooo, I was hoping for a real game (you know, one of those singleplayer things), not online action game. Probably free-to-play too?

    There’s supposed to be some event about this game later today with streaming available as well so maybe we’ll learn more then.

    • Premium User Badge

      Philopoemen says:

      Sums up my feelings – I was hoping for a return to the complexity of the first ME and Dragon Age (which weren’t exactly *complex* but there was complexity in the various builds and tactics). Not Evolve: Bioware Edition.

      I miss the day where AAA games didn’t require a static diary to enjoy. Some of us have jobs/schedules that negate any sort of organised group play, and I learnt long ago on UseNet what the average denizen of the interweb is like when trying to play a game.

      • Premium User Badge

        Big Murray says:

        How is this in ANY way like Evolve? “Oh, 4v1 … EVOLVE COPIER!”

        For god’s sake man.

        • Premium User Badge

          Philopoemen says:

          Please name another 5 player-required game where it’s 4 on 1 and I’ll gladly substitute that in there.

          Because “5 player-required game where it’s 4 on 1″ is much wordier than “Evolve”.

          • Fanbuoy says:

            Dungeonland, published by Paradox? Kinda the same thing, isn’t it? Not that I know much about Dungeonland.

          • Premium User Badge

            Big Murray says:

            So despite the fact that it was only revealed that Evolve is a 4v1 game in February of this year, and Shadow Realms has been in development for certainly longer than that (being referenced as being in development by the latest of January) … nope, not good enough. They’re obviously copying Evolve. It got there first, everything else is henceforth to be known as “Evolve: Whoever Copied The Idea Here Edition”.

            You are the perfect example of why gaming is f**ked. “Oh, someone’s done that already, OLD”.

          • Premium User Badge

            Lars Westergren says:

            Philopoemen didn’t say anything about this being a clone, or being old. He said he would prefer a game that didn’t require coordinating a play session with 4 friends to enjoy.

            And that’s my main problem with this game too. I haven’t dismissed it totally. I DO play games with friends on and offline, just not very often, and another game needing our time and attention would have to be very good for us to invest that.

          • Premium User Badge

            Philopoemen says:

            @Fuanboy: Was unaware of that, and I normally love anything by Paradox even when I shouldn’t…

            @Big Murray: I could not care less what came first – as Lars pointed out, my disappointment revolved around not being able to enjoy a Bioware game (and I’m re-playing the ME trilogy right now, because Origin…but mainly I enjoy Bioware games) because my lifestyle and schedule is not conducive to multiplayer games where I need at least five people. And I don’t particularly want to play with ring-ins from the net.

            My disappointment is further exacerbated by the fact that I was a keen for a new Bioware RPG IP – I saw the trailers, liked the ideas being put forth, and was hoping for the next Mass Effect-style offering. Instead we’re told that Shadow Realms (which is a pretty boring name) is that new IP.

            I don’t begrudge anyone who does play it, but I unfortunately won’t be, at least not the way it’s meant to played and enjoyed.

          • Premium User Badge

            FhnuZoag says:

            Evolve is 4 player characters against 1 monster. This sounds like 4 player characters against 1 *environment*, with multiple monsters spawned and controlled by one player. If they are making it like a tabletop, it wouldn’t actually be competitive, the role of the 5th player would be to provide an interesting challenge, not *defeat* the others. Oh and Evolve is a FPS, we don’t know how this will be played.

            The play experience, from the description, does not sound like Evolve at all.

            Pubbie play on *co-op games* have actually been quite pleasant from what I’ve had of it. Alien Swarm, Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, Men of War, Velvet Sundown, even bot stomps on League of Legends have generally been very enjoyable experiences.

          • Premium User Badge

            Big Murray says:

            The phrase “Evolve: Bioware Edition” heavily implies you think it’s a clone or an otherwise copied idea. If that’s not what you wanting to say, then it was an extremely poor choice of words.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      Same here, disappointed about this announcement.

  6. inf says:

    The embodiment of decline.

  7. Salix says:

    Sounds like Dungeonland, although I’ve never actually played it.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Yeah, that title came to mind. In a similar vein, there’s also that kickstarted dungeon game in which one person plays the ‘hero’ and other people play spectres possessing monsters and trigger traps and the like. And the one who lands the killing blow then becomes the ‘hero’. Can’t remember the name, though.

    • Shooop says:

      If that’s what it plays like instead of like Evolve where the antagonist is just a buffed-up monster, it could actually go places.

      But the names Bioware and EA Games strongly suggest anyone with that kind of radical thinking would get demoted to janitorial staff.

  8. Kollega says:

    I don’t know about you people, but the art direction looks… somewhat promising, dare I say. The mixture of modern and medieval may not be the most original thing under the sun, but it’s way better than plain medieval European fantasy or plain Call of Oscar Mike: Modern Hoorah. Of course, the gameplay might suck, and even if it doesn’t, it’s not exactly my genre… but hey, having some nice art is better than not having anything at all.

    • abomb76 says:

      But what’s with the framing of that main image? Character heads cropped by top of frame, lots of empty ground in the foreground….just seems weird but don’t think it was intentionally weird….or was it?

  9. Blackcompany says:

    So…the ability to play this ARPG is entirely dependent on having five – count em, FIVE – players all available at the same time. And that’s just for one game. Moreover, if you dont have four friends all available at once, you end up playing co-op with strangers. And we know how that works out.

    As interesting a premise as this sounds…what is the plan for when server populations fall off? Also, how much control will the Shadowlord have over a map? Can they alter narrative, increase/decrease spawns and determine how much action v. exploration v. puzzle solving maps will have? What happens if you are a group looking for a certain balance you almost never find?

    This new “games as a service” thing really isnt very well thought out over at EA, is it?

    • Premium User Badge

      Big Murray says:

      “So…the ability to play this ARPG is entirely dependent on having five – count em, FIVE – players all available at the same time. And that’s just for one game. Moreover, if you dont have four friends all available at once, you end up playing co-op with strangers. And we know how that works out.”

      I hear some games have this newfangled thing called “AI”. It probably won’t catch on, but they might include it with this one?

    • P.Funk says:

      I have never read someone make a more tepid review of the entire concept of multiplayer in my entire life, as if its some newfangled thing nobody’s ever tried because its simply unworkable.

      I swear, Bioware fanboys must be the most doggedly isolationist single players out there, perceiving multiplayer like Mr Burns trying to place the word “recycle”.

      • Bull0 says:

        Made only more bewildering by the fact that the pen and paper RPGs they’re harping back to are by definition multiplayer games.

        • MattMk1 says:

          Not remotely “bewildering” since there has never really been a multiplayer game that did a good job delivering an experience reminiscent of a pen-and-paper RPG, but plenty of single player games that *did* deliver at least some of the aspects of pen-and-paper RPGs people are so fond of.

          BTW, it’s “harking” not “harping”.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lars Westergren says:

        Is that so odd though, seeing as their most fondly remembered games are single player titles? Would you be happy if the big studios were taking your favorite multiplayer titles and announcing that form now on everything must be “ONLY OFFLINE, ONLY SINGLE PLAYER!” like this was a positive for you?

        • Bull0 says:

          Isn’t Shadow Realms a new IP? So it’s more like saying Bioware aren’t allowed to make multiplayer games because you like their singleplayer ones. Which is weird, particularly as they’re still making singleplayer games too.

          • Premium User Badge

            Lars Westergren says:

            They are certainly allowed to, just as I’m allowed to say I would have preferred single player.

          • Bull0 says:

            Oh, so that’s all you’re saying? Fair enough!

          • bleeters says:

            And yet, Bioware have had a creeping tendancy to bring multiplayer to their singleplayer over the last few years, between swtor’s awkward grafting of a singleplayer style rpg onto an mmo and ME3′s multiplayer affecting the campaign story to the point where racking up enough I-win-the-plot points to have Shepard maybe survive in one ending was only possible if you played it (or bought the god awful ipad game, I guess). Heck, their initial ME4 marketing survey was, if memory serves, multiplayer focused. I’m pretty sure there was talk of DA3 having it as well, but I also stopped following the development of that a while back so I’ve no idea anymore.

            I don’t really have a point here. I’m just saying, they keep putting their multiplayer in their singleplayer and it’s kind of annoying I guess.

        • toxic avenger says:

          What are you talking about, “from now on?” Am I missing something, or are you being purposefully obtuse?

          • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

            Well, EA did explicitly say that every game they publish from now on must have an online component or some form of multiplayer or another, and so far they’ve been steadily following that maxim to the letter, so… yeah. That is why we don’t see exclusively singleplayer RPGs from BioWare like we used to anymore, and likely never will again. At least not until EA’s upper management gets their heads surgically removed from their rectums, anyway.

          • denthor says:

            What online component does DA:Inq have? The amount they’ve been spruiking that game i haven’t heard anything about an online component.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        Perhaps he doesn’t want this game to be multiplayer-only because people like you will be there?

      • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

        And there we go with the f-word. Just because people may like games that are different than the ones you like does not make them “fanboys.” Jesus Christ.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Goodtwist says:

    The whole thing sounds like EA’s attempt to generate as much money by barring piracy because online gameplay usually negates illegal copies.

  11. pegolius says:

    So this is Crawl the other way around?

    • dE says:

      So you basically install the Orb of Zot, instead of stealing it? Reverse MacGuffin, eh?

  12. zhivik says:

    Actually, I think this is a good idea. I am aware that in many situations you will have to play with strangers, but it’s not so different than going to a game club to play tabletop games. As a matter of fact, CD Projekt are developing something similar at the moment, but set in the Witcher’s universe. Bioware’s choice to go for an urban fantasy setting is great, this is so much used right now – just look at the Secret World, which may be flawed in gameplay, but its setting is truly original.

    What worries me the most is the episodic nature of the game. This means that Bioware can milk players episode after episode, like an endless series of DLCs. If content per episode is big enough, it might be acceptable, but somehow I think this won’t be the case here, especially with EA involved.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      > but it’s not so different than going to a game club to play tabletop games

      People in game clubs tend to be more well behaved towards people they meet than people online though. :-/

      • mattevansc3 says:

        Then only play with friends. The way Bioware is describing it sounds like its not meant to be played with randoms and like with D&D, Magic The Gathering or even LAN parties you make this into a group event.

        • Premium User Badge

          Lars Westergren says:

          Getting 5 people together regularly to game when you have work, kids etc is not the easiest.

  13. Premium User Badge

    slerbal says:

    Sounds potentially intriguing, but my days of buying anything made by EA are long behind me (SimCity, Origin, awful micro-transactionhell, EA Access etc), so I guess not. Still, no hard feelings towards Bioware – ME2 was the last EA game I played and I enjoyed it :)

  14. Wulfram says:

    This is Bioware Austin, the SW:tOR guys, rather than “real” Bioware (Edmonton) or even Bioware junior (Montreal, doing next ME), so it being multiplayer is kind of expected.

  15. TheVGamer says:

    Welp, if this was what Casey Hudson was working on, I can see why he would leave. Oh Bioware, why did you guys let EA treat you the same way they treated Origin?

    • Wulfram says:

      Different studio, as I understand it.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Why does BioWare allow EA to run roughshod over them like this?

      In response, allow me to speak for those who remain behind and haven’t already jumped ship yet by quoting Antonio Malochio from Interstate ’76: “Money. They pay me well, young Champion.”

  16. plugav says:

    I can’t help but feel disappointed by this reveal. Not that I hate the concept. It’s just… Am I doomed to replay Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines till the end of time?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Yes, yes you are cursed to roam the World of Darkness.

    • nzmccorm says:

      Here’s what I don’t understand: The MMO cratered (as it was obvious it would) and now WW is basically an albatross. Why… why not… I don’t know… license the WoD out to a studio that’s voiced an interest in doing modern-set role-playing games? Like those nice boys at Obsidian who were actually in talks to do a nWoD game before CCP bought WW? I’m sure that sweet Mr. Avellone could come up with something clever and fun.

      • plugav says:

        The WoD licence aside, I simply don’t get why there aren’t more urban fantasy games around. The genre has enormous representation on the book market and is doing pretty well in comics and TV as well. Meanwhile, all we get in games are The Secret World and The Wolf Among Us (both enjoyed, but neither quite what I’m looking for). And Dark, I suppose.

        On the plus side, the continuing frustration lead me to finally start running tabletop RPG campaigns.

    • Scelous says:

      God damn, Bloodlines is an amazing game. I think maybe my No. 1 game of all time.

      • plugav says:

        Definitely my no. 1 game of all time, despite all the issues. I just wish it had a successor of some sort. (Preferably indie, since AAA developers are determined to burn my hardware with their ultragraphics.)

  17. Armante says:

    “More co-op games are always welcome” Ummm nope. Maybe I’m an old fashioned gamer, but I prefer my games single player.

    • P.Funk says:

      *yawn*

      • Premium User Badge

        Big Murray says:

        We get it. You hate single-player gamers and think they’re pussies. Enough already.

      • Distec says:

        Yeah, that guy is clearly not having fun correctly.

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        You think multiplayer is inherently superior to singleplayer? That’s adorable.

      • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

        Thanks for that insightful comment, sir or madam. Please continue to grace us with your fresh perspective on matters such as this.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      Yeah me too, seems like all these great games that get announced is built around multi player. Give me some good single player again like in the old days.

      • denthor says:

        But online multiplayer is acceptable DRM. Won’t somebody please think of the poor publishers.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      I like co-op and local versus, but I’m with you on mostly preferring singleplayer games.

    • Shooop says:

      More games in general are welcome to me as long as they’re not shit.

  18. Dawngreeter says:

    I am cautiously optimistic. This sounds great and I like that it has 4v1, but not wanting to play with strangers I find myself wondering how often my group will be able to come together to actually have a game.

  19. derbefrier says:

    Despite the expected RPS commenter cynicism of a new EA game( which is as predictable as the day is long) I think it sounds like it could be fun. Of course I will have to see some gameplay before I even think about buying it but I like the premise.

    • Damien Stark says:

      Actually I don’t mind it being an EA game. I think of it as a Bioware game, which gets me really excited. It’s the “multiplayer-only” part that killed my enthusiasm.

  20. TormDK says:

    Sounds like Fable – Legends, which I also hope is coming to PC.

  21. Lobotomist says:

    Did anyone noticed that the trailer goes : “There is another world” (cityscape shown)

    Than it goes : “Filled with evils greater than anything on earth” and trailer switches to EA logo shown clearly along with this sentence.

    Someone working on trailer was trying to send us a little message ?

  22. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    Sounds mildly interesting. Multiplayer team-based games are exceptionally hard to balance though, so we’ll have to wait and see if they can pull this off. Conceptually excellent, but very ambitious.

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      I think the solution would be to *not* balance it. Run it like a tabletop: the job of the Shadowlord is not to win, it’s to create the illusion of threat and ensure everyone has fun.

      • Asurmen says:

        But the job of the Overlord in Descent, which seems pretty equivalent to me, IS to win, so it does need to be balanced.

        • Premium User Badge

          FhnuZoag says:

          Well, that’s potentially a problem with Descent, that the Overlord player *is* trying to win, so he can do potentially annoying and unfun things to the players to try and achieve that. It would be interesting to see how and whether Bioware resolves this issue.

          If they are making this as an episodic story, they really need to make it so that the heroes are generally expected to be able to get through each episode.

          • Asurmen says:

            That isn’t a problem with Descent though. It’s not supposed to be for, for a lack of a better term, carebears. You have to expect to be shafted by the Overlord, and if you can’t hack that then it isn’t the board game for you. Not only that but losing a quest to the Overlord doesn’t mean game over.

            This can be the same. Both the players and Shadowlord have to be able to complete their objectives through all the mechanics they have available, and losing a quest can just be dealt with using a branching mission system, which also encourages replayability.

          • Premium User Badge

            FhnuZoag says:

            Maybe, I guess personally I’d like it better if it wasn’t like that.

  23. denthor says:

    Doesn’t interest me at all. As others have mentioned before, online co op is just too hard to fit in – It was great when i was younger but now time is a commodity i just don’t have on a daily/weekly(!) basis. When i do have an hour or two to spare other friends more than likely don’t. Ohh and i’d rather stab myself in the eye than play co op with internet randoms.

  24. Turkey says:

    I knew the teaser trailer was way too interesting for what the game actually is.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Rizlar says:

    Did Bioware actually do the ME3 multiplayer though? I know a lot of extra multiplayer modes are developed out of house. It was pretty brillo anyway.

    And I imagine the Secret World comparisons will not extend to the creativity and quality of the writing. Though the fighting should be better…

  26. peterako1989 says:

    “The story will be told over various episodes, playing out over time like a TV show, BioWare says.” thats an official statement from EAs briefing

    I hate this, I mean EA copiyng popular ideas and smearing stupid buzzwords all over their games.

    Let me explain

    Facebook and “social” networking goes really big. In Dev diaries, features lists and all that sort of announcements EA’s minions go social experience this, social experience that, social up our bottoms, social comming out of our ears and social and social and social!

    Now we got this. I don’t know if you have noticed the “playing out over time like a TV show”. Yeah, guess what is popular nowadays. A wide assortment of TV shows are currently playing that are uber popular like game of thrones, orphan black, doctor who and in the past we had shows like breaking bad.

    If you look closelly there is a pattern forming. EA’s “experts” must have thought that copying what’s popular and trying to apply it on every game possible will 1) make them money and 2) will allow them to cover DRM scemes, But they are bad at it arent they? coughsimcitycough

    • Premium User Badge

      Philopoemen says:

      When they said episodic, like a TV show, the Telltale offerings immediately sprang to mind.

      • Premium User Badge

        FhnuZoag says:

        It’s not like Telltale is the first ones to do episodic gaming.

        • Premium User Badge

          Philopoemen says:

          Indeed, but they’re the ones that are wildly popular at the moment, and capturing the public interest.

  27. Laurentius says:

    There was once Bioware company, now it’s EA/Bioware or Bioware/EA or whatever and it’s showing where this is heading.

    • Turkey says:

      I dunno, they’ve been EA’s dedicated team for trying to duplicate the success of other popular games for a while now. This isn’t exactly a recent trend.

  28. Snoken says:

    Am I the only one here that has no clue what ever the hell was going on in that teaser, I could not clearly see anything…

  29. Becalel says:

    As much as I understand that there are many people out there who will enjoy this type of game, personally, well… there are no words in human language to express how disappointed I am. There are simply so many other studios, who could make such a game and make it well. Anyone else, I’d just shrugged and kept on walking. But BioWare? What a waste of talent and potential…

    • Wulfram says:

      This is just Bioware Austin. Bioware have DA, ME and most likely the unannounced IP being worked on at Edmonton to be SP focused.

      • Premium User Badge

        FhnuZoag says:

        Yeah, this is the Old Republic team. It sounds a lot more interesting than a MMORPG, anyway.

    • nzmccorm says:

      First off, Bioware haven’t made a good game in a while. If you’re inclined to be charitable, this is probably down to growing pains as they try to shift away from using established tabletop systems and IPs, and from their four hub towns system. Personally I’m not.

      Second, this is Bioware Austin, not Bioware Edmonton or Bioware Montreal. Edmonton and Montreal are the ones that do the plotty, story-heavy RPGs. Austin specializes in being so shit at making a simple MMO that they had to draft half the mythic team.

  30. fdisk says:

    So this is basically “Evolve” in a fantasy setting; I’m OK with this, I like it; I do however feel that this feels a little rushed and I hope it doesn’t suffer for it.

  31. aliksy says:

    Sounds mildly interesting, but…
    a. I don’t have 4 friends who all play games and are all reliably around.
    a1. In most games I’ve played, random people are incompetent or unpleasant or both.
    b. I refuse to give EA any money.
    c. That trailer looked kind of bad to me. Too much blinky, and the animations didn’t look right to me.

  32. Tei says:

    I don’t have 4 friends to play online. I like coop games. I like to play with stranger! (so I dont understand most people reaction in this thread. I suppose are the type of people that will never play with me, because I am a “stranger”). But what we have seen did not inspire me enough (I am talking about the real gameplay ingame). It looks bland, and I hate stupid console concepts like “kill 9 moronites so the area door unlock”. Anyway It can be any direction and end going awesome is they avoid mediocrity.

  33. Bobka says:

    I was prepared to be all disappointed at how I’d miss out on a cool Bioware game because I refuse to install Origin. But then – multiplayer? Yuck. No loss for me.

  34. fearghaill says:

    While I still prefer single player in a lot of cases, this sounds like the type of game that I do actually enjoy playing with strangers. I had no problem with playing ME3 multi with randoms, and playing as the “1″ side of the 4v1 seems like it would be even more fun if you don’t know the people you’re competing with.

  35. Enkinan says:

    This may be the whiniest non-sexism based comment section I’ve ever read on this site.

    It sounds like a fantastic concept….before taking in to account EA and DLC releases.

    A shame.

  36. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    ME3 multiplayer was surprisingly enjoyable – even if it’s not the same Bioware team there might be some overlap in lessons learned if not in people – and I like a good fantastical meets real world setting so this could be good.

  37. rocketman71 says:

    I’m guessing this is going to be Origin only, so until anyone says otherwise I’m not going to even watch the video.

    And that’s despite the hope that Douchebag Casey leaving Bioware gives everyone. Until you remember that EA still owns them, that is.

    • Asurmen says:

      Signing up for the alpha says it does not require Origin. Might just be the alpha though.

  38. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    Here’s an alternative alt text for you: “Boy, I hope the next metro train arrives soon.”.

    • curiousepic says:

      Bahahaha… your username! Is there any context beyond the original reference?