Previously-unseen concept art from cancelled BioWare project Revolver has been posted online by artist Matt Rhodes.
Revolver, a spiritual successor to Jade Empire, was never officially announced. Bits and pieces about it surfaced over the years, before BioWare finally went into detail on the game in its recent 25th anniversary book.
Set in the near-future, the project was designed to spread BioWare’s trademark narrative and character-driven efforts across a more open-world and action-heavy setting. Huh, sounds familiar.
“Beginning its life as a sequel to Jade Empire, Revolver evolved and changed course many times throughout its development,” Rhodes wrote. “It was recently revealed in more detail in the book ‘Bioware: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development’. To celebrate, I sifted through the archives and blew 15 years of dust off some of my favourite pieces from that project.”
In development for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 from around 2005 to 2008, Revolver had lofty plans to make the BioWare formula work in a sandbox environment you could parkour through and explore at will. Characters and quests were designed to be encountered in a non-linear narrative.
As the scope of the project became clear, BioWare roped in help from Big Sandwich Games, a studio filled by former Rockstar Vancouver staff, to work on the game’s open-world elements. But eventually the project was quietly cancelled, and BioWare focused its efforts on the imminent release of Dragon Age: Origins and, a year after that, Mass Effect 2.