PC Gamer (US Edition)

CHOICE & CONSEQUENCE

NO DECISION IN WORLD OF WARCRAFT MATTERS MORE THAN YOUR RACE AND CLASS.

EVERY CHARACTER, FROM HARDCORE RAIDERS TO THAT LEVEL 14 UNDEAD WARLOCK YOU STARTED SIX YEARS AGO ON A WHIM, BUT NEVER TOUCHED AGAIN, IS DEFINED BY THESE TWO TRAITS. AND FEW OF THE CHOICES YOU MAKE IN THE COUNTLESS HOURS THAT UNFOLD AFTER STARTING A NEW ADVENTURE ARE EVER AS MEANINGFUL.

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: SHADOWLANDS IS GOING TO CHANGE THAT.

When it launches later this fall, Shadowlands will take players on a journey to the afterlife to save the world of the living. At the end of that initial campaign, players will have to make the most difficult choice they’ve faced since the character selection screen. But Shadowlands is more than a chance to inject some feeling of consequence into your adventure. It’s an opportunity for Blizzard to tear the veil off an entirely new part of the Warcraft universe—one that wasn’t spelled out in game manuals, tie-in novels, or lore bibles decades ago.

“Many of our past expansions had a clear anchor in some large established villain, piece of lore, a place in the world,” game director Ion Hazzikostas tells me. “There were reams of novels that have been written or past references in games like Warcraft III or otherwise. But Shadowlands really started from almost a footnote, frankly. It’s a world created largely whole cloth from the imaginations of our artists and our narrative designers.”

THE OTHER SIDE

To understand what’s happening in. After being ousted as Horde Warchief, the undead banshee queen Sylvanas Nightrunner flees to the frigid continent of Northrend. It’s here she battles the new Lich King, Bolvar, for his Helm of Domination that Arthas once used to rule the undead Scourge. Instead of wearing it herself, however, Slyvanas shatters it, tearing the veil between the living world and the Shadowlands—’s version of an afterlife. Obviously that’s not a good thing.

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