Blizzard is well known for its cutscene prowess. From the earliest days of Warcraft to Diablo and StarCraft the stories have been bookended by Oscar-worthy CGI visuals with top notch voice acting and superb storytelling. More recently with World of Warcraft, Blizzard has moved to in-game cinematics to offer machinima-style cutscenes in far more abundant quantities. But that hasn’t stopped the high production value projects.
Exhibit A: The Burdens of Shaohao Prelude: The Vision. The first in a series of six “dramatic shorts.”
The video, available in full after the cut, takes lore hounds back to the time of the last emperor of Pandaria. Before the mists enveloped the island after the Great Sundering, hiding it for ten thousand years. To the time of a single, massive continent and a Pandaria led by Shaohao.
Blizzard, at least for this first installment, has stuck with Chinese influence. No longer will viewers see in-game machinations or meticulous CGI. The Burdens of Shaohao Prelude: The Vision is delivered in gorgeous watercolor style animations and narrated by Loremaster Cho.