New space RPG from Mass Effect veteran takes a hard sci-fi approach to FTL travel, and that means there's nothing that can save you from the ravages of time

(Image credit: Archetype)

Last year, a group of BioWare veterans unveiled Exodus, a new space RPG made by former developers from Halo, The Last of Us, and, of course, those classic BioWare RPGs. While hopping around the galaxy in BioWare is a pretty speedy affair, though, Exodus takes a substantially more scientifically accurate approach.

In a new FAQ, the developers attempted to explain that approach. One of Exodus' key ideas is Time Dilation - the principle that the closer you get to Light Speed, the slower time moves for you. In Exodus, that means that "while you may experience only days or weeks passing by on your own journey, years or even decades will pass for everyone and everything else in the galaxy."

That idea is key to Exodus' choice-based gameplay and multiple endings - the decisions you make in the present could be felt years, decades, or even centuries down the line, after you return from your spacefaring adventures. And developer Archetype is keen to make sure that you know there's no way to reduce the effects of Time Dilation.

The devs describe the phenomenon as "an inescapable fact of our universe," and "an immutable law of physics." That means that "there is no possible way to prevent, avoid, or alter the effects of time dilation." No items, abilities, or technologies will protect players from the long-term consequences of their actions, because Time Dilation is stitched into our understanding of the universe, and Exodus is taking a pretty 'hard sci-fi' approach to its world, the core facets of the game based on Einsteinian physics.

That hard sci-fi is also based around the understanding that it's not possible to travel at the speed of light, but to help with that, Exodus relies on a technology known as the 'Gates of Heaven'. A hyper-advanced technology left behind by a missing race known as the Elohim, these Gates allow Travelers - those who explore the galaxy and will have to deal with the effects of Time Dilation - to accelerate instantly so close to Light Speed that interstellar travel becomes possible.

There are some hints around the narrative of Exodus hidden within the description of the Gates. The Elohim's absence from the galaxy seems a likely plot point, and there are also mentions of what happens if the Gates are attacked or otherwise destroyed, as well as in-universe rumors of a virus capable of damaging the Gates. If I know anything about galaxy-spanning time-based sci-fi, it's that if a character can get trapped on the other side of the known universe with no obvious way of getting home before being Deus Ex Machina'd back to civilization, they will.

As yet, there's no word on when Exodus will release, but as it's planned for release on PS5 and Xbox Series X, as well as PC, it shouldn't be more than a few years away.

Mass Effect 5 director gives props to Exodus, the new time-hopping sci-fi game from BioWare RPG veterans.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.