World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (opens in new tab), the MMO's next big expansion, is out later this year, but Blizzard's doing something new to build excitement for its story, this time around. That something is Shadowlands Afterlives, a new animated series that it teased earlier this week before premiering at Gamescom Opening Night Live. Before you get your hopes up, this isn't a big budget Netflix thing or a full-length series showing off Blizzard's famously detailed CG. Afterlives is a series of four 2D animated shorts.
Where will these shorts take us? "Prepare to delve into four realms of the Shadowlands—Bastion, Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, and Revendreth—and discover the journeys souls take once they cross the eternal veil, Blizzard says.
The first episode, Bastion, shows off the first of those realms. The animation is simple—it's barely animated, really, with few frames of actual motion, but the art is as gorgeous as you'd expect from Blizzard. It follows Uther Lightbringer, who was killed by Arthas—but that's not the end of his story, apparently. He ascends to Bastion, and presumably will have some kind of role in the future expansion. You can watch Uther's seven minute afterlife(?) adventure above.