There is a lot of talk concerning BioWare right now, especially regarding the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, but Jade Empire is another narrative treasure that deserves the same love. While many have been begging for a new Jade Empire game for over a decade, it’s not looking likely in the foreseeable future, but we do have at least a glimpse at what could have been with some newly revealed concept art from the canceled Jade Empire sequel.
BioWare has mentioned in the past that a Jade Empire sequel is “never dead,” but the recent Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development book revealed the now-canceled concept of Revolver, a game that was meant to be the spiritual continuation of the Chinese mythology RPG. We’ve got another new look at what could have been when BioWare art director Matt Rhodes shared a few pieces of artwork on his Instagram account.
Each Instagram post above has numerous art entries per post, showing off villain concept art, shapeshifting, and an almost cyberpunk-esque take on what players loved about Jade Empire.
“Beginning its life as a sequel to Jade Empire, Revolver evolved and changed course many times throughout its development,” Rhodes wrote in a recent Instagram post. “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 favorite pieces from that project.”
The canceled sequel isn’t something I would have expected as a Jade Empire fan, but it is intriguing nonetheless. The original vision for Revolver was an open-world adventure that took what players loved from BioWare’s trademarked decision-making RPG elements and blending that with a non-linear story to lose oneself in. The now-canceled Jade Empire spiritual successor was in full-on development up until 2008 when it was eventually canned so that BioWare could pivot and focus on Dragon Age: Origins and the continuation of the Mass Effect trilogy.
The artwork is interesting, but we’re curious what you think. It’s a big change from the Jade Empire we know and love, are you feeling the direction planned, or would you have rather had a more traditional sequel instead? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!