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GameInformer's Kimberley Wallace has compiled a list of 10 RPG franchises, both Western and Japanese, that she'd like to make a return in the near future. Critically acclaimed series like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Ultima make an appearance, and for good reason. Here's a short excerpt, in which Wallace explains why she'd like to see more Jade Empire and Ultima games:
Jade Empire is a universe brimming with untapped potential. It focused on what BioWare does best: multidimensional characters, great dialogue, and creating a fascinating world. It stood out for its mythical China backdrop and how it was infused into every element of gameplay. Your orphaned main character sets out to save Master Li, your caretaker and teacher. You fight using traditional martial arts, but can also develop different weapon, magic, and fighting styles along the way. In addition, two moral philosophies rule the Jade Empire: The Way of the Open Palm and the Way of the Closed Fist (similar to Mass Effect's Paragon and Renegade system). Seeing BioWare revive this IP and make it grow would be exciting, especially considering how much the team has learned in recent years with Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Not to mention, numerous people at BioWare have said they wanted to return to Jade Empire at some point.
We're not talking about the spin-offs games that are only related by name. We want a true new main entry in one of the most influential RPG franchises. The series was known for its captivating worlds that made you want to piece everything together, and it never held your hand throughout the trek. These days open-world games are in high demand; we couldn't think of a better franchise to make a comeback that could compete with the big dogs, such as Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and The Witcher. Ultima was doing the things that make these games captivating long before their existence, such as a living world populated by people going about their lives and having tons of side quests to keep you playing. Thankfully, Ultima mastermind Richard Garriott is currently working on a spiritual successor to the series, entitled Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, but we'd still like to see a single-player experience that captures the wonderment and endless possibilities that occurred when we stepped into an Ultima game.