Oh, what might have been. Thanks to a lovely bit of reporting from Eurogamer, we all know that Obsidian could also be one of the jinxed studios within the historical past of sport growth, not less than till comparatively just lately. Stormlands was going to be one of many flagship titles for the Xbox One (and probably PC afterward). A sprawling, distinctive RPG world that pushed boundaries when it comes to creativeness, scale and know-how, however sadly Microsoft pulled the plug on it in 2012.
Sad although it might be, don’t weep for Stormlands. We live in a golden age of PC RPGs
Stormlands was envisioned as a Witcher-esque motion RPG, however with the addition of NPC social gathering members providing direct help by way of context-sensitive cooperative strikes, just like what we’ve seen in Dragon’s Dogma or Final Fantasy 15. A big a part of the pitch was what Microsoft referred to as the Million Man Raid; A theoretical massively scaled multiplayer occasion, the place dozens or a whole lot of events might converge on a single world-threatening foe that would solely be defeated by way of large cooperation.
If that sounds unrealistic at present, you most likely know why. Sadly, a number of Microsoft’s imaginative and prescient for Stormlands hinged on the sport leveraging The Power Of The Cloud, which they so enthusiastically pitched because the industry-shattering debut function of the Xbox One. Sadly, the cloud by no means fairly materialised, signalling a dry spell that Microsoft’s console totally recovered from. The greatest anybody acquired was a gentle drizzle within the type of shared information similar to Forza’s Drivatar system (which ultimately made it to PC as properly), which is good sufficient… however not precisely on par with their proposed Million Man Raid.
While Stormlands was technically meant to be an Xbox One unique, we must always properly know after this yr’s E3 that Microsoft’s definition of ‘exclusive’ tends to incorporate the PC 9 instances out of ten. And thus, yet one more painful twist to the story. Thankfully, Obsidian are nonetheless going robust, with Tyranny receiving an enlargement this week, South Park: The Fractured But Whole out subsequent month, and the sprawling Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire set for launch someday in 2018. We want them luck, and hope for fewer large cancellations in future.