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Mass Effect 4: BioWare discusses its place in series, choices may carry over

Thursday, 7th February 2013 10:54 GMT By Dave Cook

Mass Effect will live on in a fourth game, but BioWare has stated that calling it ‘Mass Effect 4′ is to do a disservice to the series’ legacy.

Over on the BioWare forums, community manager Chris Priestly wrote, “To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here.

“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.”

BioWare Edmonton head Yanick Roy has backed up Priestly, adding on the forums, “Thinking of the next Mass Effect game as Mass Effect 4 would imply a certain linearity, a straight evolution of the gameplay and story of the first three games.

Interestingly, Roy suggested that choices from previous Mass Effect titles may carry over, “That doesn’t mean that events of the first three games and the choices you made won’t get recognised, but they likely won’t be what this new story will focus on.

“If you had three games centred around a group of key soldiers in the US army during World War I and then decided to make a game about another group of people during the Second World War, the games could have many points in common and feel true to one another.

“You likely would have to recognise how the events of the first war influenced the ones of the second, but you would not necessarily think of it as a sequel. Again, the analogy is not great, but what I’m trying to say is that the ME universe is so rich that we are not limited to a single track when coming up with a new story.

“What makes it Mass Effect is indeed the alien races, the technology, the lore, history, etc. You can safely expect those in the next Mass Effect.”

We already know that ‘Mass Effect 4′ will use Frostbite 2, along with some other snippets of information.

I spoke with BioWare about the above last year, and they confirmed that the studio didn’t want the game’s hero to be ‘Shepard 2′. They want someone fresh instead.

Thanks Eurogamer.

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26 Comments

  1. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    I just hope it tells a more personal story. Mass Effect just rose the stakes and rose the stakes until it was this really quite ludicrous ‘Do this or every living thing in the universe dies’-type deal. It was bloody silly.

    I want a personal story, in that universe. A bounty hunter’s tale, perhaps. Something with huge locations and story locations, but also something far more intimate. That’s when Mass Effect truly shone; when Jack cried over her lost childhood or when Thane Krios lost his son.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Hellhound30x

    Mass effect started off sooooooo goood…. Not saying I didn’t like the sequels, because I did. It just seems like the initial vision for Mass Effect was bigger.
    Exploration was totally stripped down to nothing by the time you get to ME3. That was one of my favorite parts in the first M.E. was just exploring the planets… even though it was pretty simple… mine some ore here, kill a big worm there… but it was still fun to get lost in the illusion of it especially when you were looking at the sky…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. SplatteredHouse

    I’m in complete agreement. I’d hope to see Bioware delve into character, events, circumstance and consequences.

    @2: Who could have guessed that searching the ruins and wrecks, almost literally digging up history (locations telling their own stories, and discoveries informing players, rather than lengthy conversations/blocks of narrative) would devolve by 3, into pointing and clicking.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. daytripper

    dont make it a fps please

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Tormenter

    @3… Ummm… anyone who’d played 2?

    Anyway, why is Mass Effect still a thing? Were people not pissed off enough when Bioware spent 5 years saying that the endings would be multiple, unique and tied to your entire journey.

    Why do you people swallow this garbage? You can get up now, your constant bending over is embarrassing.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Telepathic.Geometry

    @Tormenter: I sense much anger in you…

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Clupula

    Personally, I hated the Mako sections of part one. Having to search the whole goddamn planet just to find the same identical “maze” (if you can call it a maze when it’s only four rooms big) that I seem to find on every other planet was not my idea of fun.

    Of course, I started the series with 2, but when I finally got to one, I realized that, yes, it had more RPG elements, but they weren’t very well implemented and I’m kinda glad they decided to just focus on it being a third person shooter with a lot of story elements.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Vapsyvox

    @1

    If a game doesn’t have an epic story that involves the entire known universe, then it isn’t good! /s

    They tried using a more personal story in Dragon Age 2, and I liked it. The story, not the game.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Night Hunter

    @8: I liked the DA2 story too, but there are a lot of people who absolutely hated it.

    EDIT: Okay, hyperbole, but a lot of people found it lacking because you didn’t have to save the world

    #9 2 years ago
  10. roadkill

    Wow! You people have some serious issues. Why do you play games if you don’t like them!? And after that you come here and spew nonsense. What do you gain by being assholes!?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DSB

    Mass Effect 2 was like the world’s dumbest commercial break. “And now for something completely different”:

    Don’t worry about the continuity or how little sense this makes, JUST LOOK, a giant terminator! How fucking awesome is this?!

    I loved Mass Effect even though it was a technical mess, but 2 just completely killed it for me.

    @1 Personally I saw that as a huge quality of the first game. Instead of worrying about personal drama, you were actually a part of something much bigger.

    Mass Effect 2 was basically 90% “Getting the band back together” with 10% actual progress. So you spend most of your time assembling a team that you really have no purpose for, beyond some waifer thin plot that kinda (but doesn’t) tie into the original game in any believable way.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. fearmonkey

    I’d love to see a darker not so nice character as the lead next time, think Zaeed, allow the possibilty of being an alien, and space combat!. bring back landing on planets but not the simplistic shuttle shooting as in ME1.

    Think ME meets Privateer with more RPG elements and choice and free form exploration.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. deathm00n

    For me ME2 is one of the best games I’ve played in my life… I think it’s a huge improvement over 1. Sure the story of simply assembling a team was horrible. But there were so many good side missions.

    3 was just meh… I don’t even finished it.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Bomba Luigi

    They can’t be serios. If someone have choosen the Green ending everybody in the Galaxy is shining Green. That would be really Strange.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Hellhound30x

    @#7 Clupula

    “Of course, I started the series with 2, but when I finally got to one, I realized that, yes, it had more RPG elements, but they weren’t very well implemented.”

    “It just seems like the initial vision for Mass Effect was bigger.”
    In terms of scope the vision for ME was huge in comparison to what we got. You could see it will all the “rpg elements” in the game. This is what i meant.

    Makes you wonder if Mass Effect would have stayed a better game if E.A. hadn’t bought Bioware…

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Hellhound30x

    @ #13deathm00n “3 was just meh… I don’t even finished it.”

    Wow… you missed alot… When Shepard says bye to his team, I actually got a bit emotional. It was a good game.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DSB

    I got emotional when Mass Effect 2 said goodbye to a coherent story.

    That series has gotten enough emotions out of me. It’s definitely one of those times where I’ve felt genuinely angry with disappointment.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Eyelekin

    Another case of BioWare starting the hype train way, way too early. Happened with DA2, happened with SWTOR, happened with ME3 – each failed to live up for their own individual reasons. They should take a leaf out of Rockstar’s book and only start talking/leaking when they have enough assets ready to show and the game is close enough to release that they can say things with certainty. All this nonsense with “We’re not ready to talk about x yet” is frustrating as a fan.

    Personally I’d be very happy to see another game in the same universe with different writers (please oh please, different writers…). The aesthetic and personality of the era lends itself very well to the ‘interactive film’ type of experience. While I appreciate the fan service the multiple choice conversations offer it’s not going to redirect the stories in such a dramatic way as the first few BioWare titles; as we’ve seen in their recent games. I suspect this is down to very limited budgets now they’re partnered with their investors much more closely, and writing, directing, modelling and texturing so many additional assets for maybe 20% of the players isn’t very cost effective.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Joe_Gamer

    Big fat Meh, Mass Effect is pretty much dead to me.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Vice

    I’m really not interested in a Mass Effect without my Fem Shep…. But I suppose as long as there’s an option to have a female main hero, I’d play it.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. jimbodabeast

    You guys must have no life . You come on here checking on the game but yet all you do is hate . If u don’t like it then go get a LIFE AND STOP POSTING DUMBASS COMMENTS ON A GREAT FRANCHISE.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. YoungZer0

    @21: It was a great franchise until Fanservi- I mean Mass Effect 3 came out.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. TSoniLawson

    I am a super ME trilogy fan, I am fine with new story yada yada but I would LOVE LOVE if they would bring characters over, characters that are sure to last a few human lifetime, like Liara (I love Liara! suggested by my name) but also garrus! I mean they can be integrated into the squad right? or whatever… I guess Garrus and Liara will not take order from a random person. And I like human characters :( different characters, same/similar …. features….

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Kreion

    @12
    Surely the point of ME is that you don’t have to BE a nice character xD Though I suppose the game does have you act as the hero regardless, but wanting to destroy the reapers and your characters…character don’t have to conflict. Shepard can be an asshole and still want to destroy them haha.

    I feel like it’s less of a darker character that I’d want next time, and more of a less-heroic figure. Or at least someone who doesn’t start of as a hero, then you have the choice of which way you want to go…

    But who knows what Bioware will do next time. ME3 was a good game, aside from the ending, but it was by no means perfect. I don’t know what direction they will try next.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. bradk825

    @9 I liked the DA2 story in general, I just felt it was a step backward considering everything the first game offered.

    I am hoping the single player campaign for the next Mass Effect includes choosable races like Dragan Age Origins did. It could be a very similar idea. There was a common story no matter who you were, but each character had their own origin story that had lasting effects throughout the game. I see no reason they can’t do it again.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. bradk825

    Here’s a nostalgia moment: Remember back at the launch of ME1 when a guy decided to write a review without having played it, and told everyone is was a porn game disguised as a space combat game? He claimed you could customize the bodies of the characters as much as you wanted, and then choose the sexual position they assume and such. He took the idea of the blurry fade-to-black love scene and just used his vivid imagination.

    Just realizing this is so far fetched maybe not everyone will believe me, so here: http://gamepolitics.com/2008/01/14/conservative-blogger-claims-mass-effect-offers-customizable-sodomy

    #26 1 year ago

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