Revolver started off as Jade Empire in the near future (pic: BioWare)
BioWare has revealed new glimpses of what would have been Jade Empire 2, with a near future setting and more cartoonish visuals.
Back in 2005, when BioWare were still an independent developer and neither Mass Effect or Dragon Age existed, the studio released Jade Empire – an action role-playing game based on Chinese mythology that is not quite like anything else they’ve ever done.
The role-playing elements were similar to their other games but the real-time combat and 2D shooter sections were most definitely not. Unfortunately, the game was only a mild success and so there was never any sequel – but that wasn’t for want of trying.
Revolver, as it was codenamed, has been mentioned before by BioWare, most recently in coffee table book Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development, which includes some previously unseen artwork from the project.
Revolver was intended as even more of an action game than Jade Empire (pic: BioWare)
By the end of the project the references to Jade Empire seemed to disappear (pic: BioWare)
This week though, artist Matt Rhodes has also released some different images on Instagram and ArtStation, seemingly with BioWare’s blessing, and some brief descriptions of what the game was intended to be.
‘Beginning its life as a sequel to Jade Empire, Revolver evolved and changed course many times throughout its development’, writes Rhodes. ‘I sifted through the archives and blew 15 years of dust off some of my favourite pieces from that project.’
The game went into development as soon as Jade Empire was finished but after a few years of effort was cancelled in favour of focusing on Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2.
BioWare teamed up with outside studio Big Sandwich Games, who were staffed by a number of ex-Rockstar Vancouver developers that worked on Bully, and it sounds like it would’ve been closer to a GTA style open world game than one of BioWare’s, with wall-running and a non-linear story.
Alas, it was not to be though and there seems little chance of BioWare returning to the franchise anytime soon, as they’ve got new Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles underway at the moment – not to mention rumours of a new Knights Of The Old Republic.
What could have been… (pic: BioWare)
This all looks a lot more dynamic than BioWare’s usual approach (pic: BioWare)
If nothing else the artwork is great (pic: BioWare)
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