Shadow Realms announced, is Bioware's 4 vs 1 online RPG

In 'weirdest thing to happen EA's Gamescom press conference' news, Peter Moore was revealed to know what twerking was. The second weirdest thing was undoubtedly the reveal of Bioware Austin's Shadow Realms. It's a 4v1 asymmetrical online RPG, with a modern setting and an episodic release plan. And, as a Bioware RPG, it'll have a heavy focus on story.

Bioware claim the game harks back to pen 'n paper RPGs. "We can bring back some of that magic; that creativity that a human game master possesses when authoring an ever-changing adventure right before your eyes," said Jeff Hickman, Bioware Austin's general manager, on-stage.

A story-driven adventure, the game will pit a four-hero party against the "Shadowlord". That player will be given great power to shape the match. "Just like the Hero player characters, the Shadowlord character has broad progression and customization," explains the new Shadow Realms site . "However, their objective is to stop the group of Heroes by haunting them, setting traps, casting spells, summoning monsters, and controlling any monster in the level."

The narrative will not only be present through individual adventures, but will be updated episodically. Hickman describes it as "playing out over time like a great TV series, providing an ever-evolving backdrop to the player-versus-player action."

It certainly sounds interesting: like Left 4 Dead meets Arma 3's Zeus mode.

Shadow Realms is due out late next year. In the meantime, you can sign up for alpha testing at the game's website .

More Gamescom? Sure, have at it .

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.