BioWare has announced that their decade-old classic Jade Empire has been made available on EA’s Origin Access Vault. This means that by paying a subscription fee, you can play as much Jade Empire as you like (on PC only). Although the game originally launched on Xbox, the version you’ll get to play is the Special Edition for PC, which was released in 2007.
Origin Access is a special monthly-billed subscription service that allows you to play all the games included in its vault, at no extra charge. Jade Empire’s inclusion in the service is accompanied by a number of other EA-owned titles, such as the Crysis series, Plants vs. Zombies and SimCity 2000. If you’re interested, check out the official page here.
Jade Empire features an East Asian (mostly Chinese) aesthetic, and is heavily inspired by the Wuxia genre of films and literature. You play as an orphan growing up under the tutelage of a certain Master Li, who runs a martial arts school. The school comes under attack, and it’s now up to our hero or heroine to save the day, thanks to the combined powers of kung fu and RPG progression systems.
Jade Empire is not entirely as prevalent as other BioWare games such as Dragon Age or Neverwinter Nights, but it was an important stepping stone after the company’s success with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Despite desire on part of the founders of BioWare, the game never got a sequel, and so, no franchise was ever spawned. Instead, BioWare went on to create another original IP that did meet quite a bit of success: Mass Effect.