When is the last time you played a game that sucked you into its world? I’m not talking about just pretty graphics and landscapes. I’m talking about story, culture, lore, music, backstories, history, religion – in short, worldbuilding. It’s a term often thrown around by fiction writers that basically means crafting a believable, imaginary world that isn’t cookie-cutter like most of the drek we see nowadays. Worldbuilding can make or break a book just as it can a video game.
Fifteen years ago, we were treated to BioWare’s first original title, Jade Empire. While many gameplay elements were borrowed from BioWare’s 2003 hit, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, what set Jade Empire apart was its focus on martial arts combat and magic as well as a colorful setting and story derived from Chinese mythology.