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BioWare’s martial arts-themed RPG Jade Empire was supposed to have a sequel at one point. But over the course of development, before ultimately getting cancelled, that sequel transformed into Revolver - an open-world sci-fi action-RPG.
And if you’d like a glimpse of what might have been, you should check out this Eurogamer article that shares a whole bunch of neat-looking concept art for this project. Here’s a quick overview:
"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.