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Here's the first episode of WoW: Afterlives, a new series of animated shorts

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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.

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter (opens in new tab) and Tested (opens in new tab) before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.


When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).