Exodus Looks To Be The Next Big RPG

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Highlights

  • RPG sci-fi game Exodus, unveiled at the Game Awards, has the potential to be the next big RPG.
  • Archetype Entertainment was formed by former BioWare employees and includes talent from other esteemed AAA studios with extensive experience in creating groundbreaking RPGs.
  • The inclusion of Drew Karpyshyn as the lead writer and the concept of time dilation in the game’s storyline add to the excitement and anticipation for Exodus.

At this year’s Game Awards, the unveiling of the new single-player RPG sci-fi game, Exodus, took me by complete surprise. What at first was merely an intriguing new video that I was kinda interested in began to bloom into something that had me doing a deeper dive into not just the game itself but the people behind it. This was especially true when several former BioWare employees’ names popped up in my investigations into it. I knew that this wasn’t “just another new game,” but potentially the next big RPG.


Investigating The “Mass Exodus”

Archetype Entertainment came into being in 2019 through the collaboration of two distinguished figures from BioWare, James Olen and Chad Robertson. Olen’s extensive tenure spanning 22 years at BioWare was marked by pivotal contributions to iconic titles like Baldur’s Gate, Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age. Similarly, Robertson, during his 14-year journey at BioWare, played significant roles in shaping Star Wars: The Old Republic and Anthem. Notably, the studio prides itself on a team comprising talents sourced from major gaming hubs like BioWare, 343 Industries (known for Halo), Naughty Dog, and various other esteemed AAA studios.

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One of the major draws is the inclusion of Drew Karpyshyn who joined Archetype in 2020 as the lead writer. Drew was instrumental in writing for a few of BioWare’s games, including Mass Effect, Baldur’s Gate, and Dragon Age. Chances are, if you’re a fan of many of the earlier entries in these series, you’ve enjoyed some of his works. Beyond this, he also wrote novel tie-ins to Mass Effect, such as Mass Effect: Revelation, which were important canonical works that fleshed out characters like Saren from the first Mass Effect who didn’t get as much screen time.

His presence alone stirs excitement, given his proven prowess in crafting exceptional sci-fi narratives. Departing BioWare due to corporate constraints, Karpishyn’s move to Archetype has reignited his creative spark, he wrote in a blogpost on his website. He emphasized this shift, expressing renewed passion and a belief in Archetype’s potential to create groundbreaking RPGs.

A New Sci-Fi Adventure Awaits

When Archetype unveiled Exodus, even in its pre-alpha stage shown in the trailer, you could see the promise of an engaging storyline centered around time dilation, harkening back to Mass Effect’s lore. In this game, you step into the shoes of a Traveler on a quest across the galaxy in search of ancient remnants. These artifacts hold immense power, offering choices that ripple through civilizations and personal connections, all due to the effects of time dilation.

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I want to note, though, that the game isn’t just some Mass Effect ripoff. Conceptually, it revolves around time dilation rooted in real science, contrasting the fictional Mass Effect fields. Executive creative director James Ohlen explained the concept to Polygon, giving more insight into what they’re working on:

“[Time dilation] essentially supersizes all of the choices that you make. Instead of seeing the consequences of a choice you make in conversation or in gameplay, you know, days later, or weeks or months later, years or even decades later, you’ll see the impact. The choice you made with, say, bringing a remnant technology back with you, or how you decided to use that tech. You’re going to have all sorts of twists and turns, and family dynamics that just get really weird. You have some children, and you go off, and it’s been a month for you, but 30 years for them.” – Jame Ohlen, Exodus project

The Game Awards trailer pulled a Cyberpunk 2077 by introducing Matthew McConaughey as a character with an undisclosed relationship to your character. The trailer pulls at the heartstrings and gets me really intrigued. At the heart of the story, at least as far as I can tell from the trailer, seems to be one of humanity and love. I’m a sucker for such narratives.

Matthew McConaughey will play a role in Exodus

Beyond the trailer, you’ll discover detailed information about the game’s universe and lore on the game’s official website. It introduces you to the protagonist’s backstory, unveiling a heritage that’s both human and Celestial, granting you the ability to interact with Celestial technology. Throughout your journey, you’ll be joined by loyal companions essential to the narrative, each carrying their own unique stories, motivations, and roles that influence this new adventure.

I’d also recommend that if you’re as hyped as me, that you read the extra narratives on the website that hint at the shady aspects of the ark colonies. It seems like there will be a lot of complexity to the places we’ll explore, and undoubtedly there will be some big twists. I’m already getting big Mass Effect 3 and Baldur’s Gate 3 Act 3 vibes as far as complex storytelling and accompanying revelations are concerned.

Still Making Room For More

Exodus will feature a character centric narrative resized

These pieces of information are important to me, because a huge part of what I love about BioWare games and Baldur’s Gate 3 is not only the great characters but the lore behind them. These intricate unraveling pieces of information are creating so much hype. There seems to be so much depth. On top of that, I think it’s important that we see other companies come up and build upon what BioWare and now Larian Studios have established. I’d argue that while there is still room for more BioWare games in the gaming world, given their recent issues, it’s ideal to start making room for new IPs and RPGs to make their mark as well — especially those made by developers who were a part of BioWare’s earlier projects and now have moved beyond the company and want to show us what they can do on their own.

Though the game’s release isn’t imminent, the depth of world-building by Archetype Entertainment hints at a major sci-fi experience on the horizon. The anticipation for Exodus, fueled by the team’s expertise and a compelling narrative, sets the stage for an exciting addition to the RPG genre. I’m eagerly awaiting more information.

Exodus

Developer
Archetype Entertainment

Release
TBA

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