Mass Effect 4 may be one of the most-anticipated PS4 & Xbox One titles with Bioware now hard at work on the latest installment promising an all-new story
The rumour mill about the latest instalment in BioWare's space opera franchise is churning along, and with a fourth Mass Effect game now confirmed to be in development at BioWare's studios in Montreal, we're eager as ever to get the latest.
E3 2014 showed off a spanking trailer for Mass Effect 4 which will have fans of the series giddy.
However, details such as what it will be called and when it will be set in the franchise's timeline are completely up in the air.
“To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here,” BioWare community manager Chris Priestly said.
“We have already said that the Commander Shepard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her. That is the only detail you have on the game. I see people saying 'well, they'll have to pick a canon ending'. No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda.”
Mass Effect 4: Release date and Formats
Whilst there's no set release date for ME4 some recent revelations could explain why many are suggesting it won't be released until late 2014 or even early 2015.
Speaking on Twitter GM for BioWare's Edmonton & Montreal studios Aaryn Flynn confirmed that the team at BioWare have actually been considering an original Mass Effect Trilogy remake for PS4 and Xbox One which would then take valuable time and resources away from the development of Mass Effect 4.
@shinobi602 @YanickRRoy We have discussed that internally. If we can put solid plans together we'll share. Great to hear you're keenMarch 2, 2014
Mass Effect 4: Engine
At a recent Battlefield 4 event in Sweden, DICE showed off gameplay footage from its fortcoming miliary shooter running on the Frostbite 3 Engine. The developer said that the Frostbite 3 Engine would also be the most licensed gameplay engine within EA.
Late in March, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn then confirmed via his twitter account that Mass Effect 4 will be running on Frostbite 3.
"We're using Frostbite 3 for both DA3 and the next Mass Effect. Different games but same engine fundamentals," Flynn tweeted.
Mass Effect 4: Pictures
This year's E3 played host to BioWare and a super fresh trailer for Mass Effect 4. Stay tuned.
The trailer revealed a huge new world with new characters and a more expansive environment to explore. They also used the latter third of the video to tease a brand new IP. Brilliant.
If there's one thing Devs like it's twitter and no doubt at the approval of Bioware they've been tweeting their progress with some handy teaser images showing the game in progress:
…with new characters to fall in love with… #N7Day13 pic.twitter.com/pdIDR4xRCGNovember 7, 2013
...new enemies to encounter… #N7Day13 pic.twitter.com/sTkBoCeVcmNovember 7, 2013
...and new worlds to explore! #N7Day13 pic.twitter.com/5uC5fPXeI4November 7, 2013
Mass Effect 4: Plot & Characters
At this stage, BioWare is being very sketchy about Mass Effect 4, although they have certainly confirmed that a new game in the series will be going into production. However, one thing is certain: the new Mass effect game will not feature Commander Shepherd.
BioWare Montreal producer Fabrice Condominas confirmed in an interview with VG247 that any new story in the series will not involve Mass Effect's iconic hero.
“There is one thing we are absolutely sure of," said Condominas "there will be no more Shepard, and the trilogy is over.”
“This is really our starting point. Now the Mass Effect universe is vast, and very, very rich. So at this point in time, we don't even know what kind of time frame we're going to be in. All we're doing is more gathering ideas from the teams, gathering feedback to see several things.”
“So first, we don't want to make 'Shepard 2′, or Mass Effect 4 with like, 'oh there's no more Shepard but you're a soldier in the universe'. So this will be a very, very different context for sure, and nothing has been decided on the rest.”
That being said, BioWare Edmonton and Montreal boss Aaryn Flynn didn't want to keep us entirely in the dark, telling Game Trailers: "I can't get into that too much. We've got a really cool idea for how we're going to carry on - keep the trilogy separate but at the same time give a bunch of nods to fans who enjoyed the trilogy in the past,"
So no Shepherd. It may also be worth - given the shenanigans with Mass Effect 3 - if BioWare take some audience feedback to heart, too!
Flynn avoiding revealing any potential returning characters, but said there would be returning races: "Definitely returning races. It wouldn't be a Mass Effect game without the krogans - we showed a krogan today."
Watch this space for more news, rumours and media as we get it.
Mass Effect Plot (CAUTION SPOILERS)
Earlier this year, gamers saw the epic storyline of one of the game's industry's most beloved franchises draw to a close. Mass Effect 3 finally brought the curtain down on Commander Shepherd and his (or her, depending on your preference) battle with a race of sentient spaceships known as the Reavers, who were intent on wiping out all life in the known universe. Over three games, which managed to weave players' individual choices seamlessly into a winding narrative, Mass Effect established itself as one of the best series of RPG videogames on this generation of consoles.
That having been said, the ending of Mass Effect 3 wasn't to everyone's liking. To be blunt, there was a large section of the Mass Effect faithful who absolutely loathed how Shepherd's quest ended. Some of them even voiced their anger by starting an online petition demanding that BioWare change it. The Montreal-based developer eventually capitulated and released an extended cut, which attempted to explain some loose end, but there remained a segment of the Mass Effect audience who were dissatisfied.
While Mass Effect 3 may be done and dusted, both BioWare and EA show no signs of putting the series on hiatus. In fact, news of a sequel, Mass Effect 4 has started making the rounds.