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Everything we learned about Mass Effect 4 from the BioWare Comic Con panel

Monday, 28th July 2014 02:43 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Mass Effect 4 (or whatever BioWare eventually calls it) made a star appearance at San Diego Comic Con, with new concept art, video and details sneaking out.

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The next Mass Effect game is still years away, BioWare confirmed at its panel, going on to say that everything it discussed and showed is subject to change. Nevertheless it’s interesting to look over.

Several attendees tweeted details from the panel, including Gamefront’s Phil Hornshaw, The Escapist’s Andrea Rene and Nerd Appropriate. Many of the details they shared were then collated on NeoGAF.

The new hero is apparently somehow connected to N7, the military designation Shepard held before becoming a Council Spectre. In Mass Effect lore, the N designates the rank holder is in special forces, and 7 is believed to be the highest class.

Although Shepard begins the Mass Effect story as an N7, with its iconic red shoulder stripe, the new hero’s armour looks quite different. It’ll be customisable.

Some known characters may return. We still don’t know when the game is set, unfortunately; BioWare staff were quite cagey about it, apparently. From the hints given, attendees believed the game might be set during Shepard’s lifetime, and perhaps in another galaxy. It’s definitely not called Mass Effect 4, though – not that that’s going to stop us, until BioWare actually gives it a title.

BioWare also discussed the Mako, the equally loved and derided ground vehicle of the original Mass Effect. It’s back, because the next Mass Effect is also about exploring, and much faster than before, but no longer has a cannon. BioWare noted that it learned a lot from people’s frustration with the first Mako.

As a “spiritual successor” to the Mass Effect trilogy rather than a direct sequel, the new Mass Effect will give players “as much choice as possible”, but playable races were not confirmed. BioWare’s Mike Gamble said co-operative multiplayer is much more important to the team than competitive.

Several Twitter uses posted off-screen images of various renders; hit the NeoGAF link above to check ‘em out.

We have no idea when we might get a proper reveal of Mass Effect 4, but EA did make a fuss about it at E3 2014 so hopefully we might see something at next year’s show. It’s being developed at BioWare Montreal, while original team BioWare Edmonton moves onto a New IP. We got out first look at BioWare’s new property with a teaser late last week.

Update: BioWare has released the full panel, so you can hear all this for yourself below.

Thanks, games.on.net, Joystiq.

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9 Comments

  1. TheWulf

    Oh gods, they’re pulling a Stargate Universe.

    Essentially, it’s set in an entirely new galaxy with next to no relation to the original trilogy, so they don’t have to actually do anything with the existing lore. What I’m guessing is that somewhere in the middle of the Reaper war, a bunch of colonists were sent through some strange Mass Relay that they’d had trouble powering up, one that didn’t look like the others.

    Essentially, a mission of exploration to see whether this relay was built as an escape route by the Protheans, the Leviathans, or someone else to escape the Reapers, by fleeing to an entirely new galaxy where the Reapers had never been. And this would likely be a one-way trip if the relay on the other side was inactive, or even… not there.

    This would also explain the new focus on exploration, since the story would probably set not long after the colonists had set up shop on a suitable world, so they’d be sending out exploration teams to find out exactly what’s out there. So this probably means that unless they took members of other races with them, the only recognisable faces are going to be the humans.

    I don’t know how to feel about this.

    #1 2 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    From what I gather, it’s definitely not a sequel, it’s barely a sidequel. It’s just wiping the slate clean in the way that Stargate Universe did. Some time before the defeat of the Reapers (it would have to be, to avoid dealing with the Reapers), the colonists were sent through that gate as a one way trip.

    No contact with earth means no familiar faces, none of them, not Shepard, not Garrus, not Wrex, none of them. And the ‘familiar elements’ will exist in the form of humans using BioWare’s very distinct holotechnology and ships. There may be one or two side characters used, but I doubt it. Generally, it’s going to be entirely new, just Mass Effect themed.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the fans respond to this. >_>

    #2 2 months ago
  3. mxmassef

    @TheWulf
    I`m a big fan of the series and I hope that most of the characters are new. But I wish that they make the gameplay fresh or somehow new.
    Could this game start a new trilogy ?

    #3 2 months ago
  4. Legendaryboss

    EA what are you doing? You’re pushing vapourware projects during E3 and in general now. Well i suppose this long journey until Mass Effect subtitle amongst others might lead to a Mass Effect Trilogy Next Gen Port filler release at somepoint.

    #4 2 months ago
  5. Darkfield

    It all sounds like a Dragon Age 2 to me, same timeline different stories that are of absolutely no consequence to each other, and worse your choices in the previous installment and their effects on the world wont have any meaning. Same timeline, different places is always a great way to dodge answering questions about the lore. I really wanted to what happens after the war, people’s struggle to repair their world, fixing the relays and their fights among themselves. That would’ve made me happy.

    #5 2 months ago
  6. POOhead

    atleast its about exploration, ME1 would of been amazing if the had good gameplay

    #6 2 months ago
  7. TheWulf

    @5

    Read the article and read the NeoGAF source. It’s set in another galaxy. So it’s not just a ‘side story while other things are going on’ like Dragon Age II. It’s wiping the slate clean and starting completely over. Everything in Mass Effect thus far has been set in the same galaxy.

    Consider: The Synthesis/Control/Destroy wave only hit everything within our galaxy. Anything outside of our galaxy wouldn’t have been affected.

    They’re totes pulling an SGU.

    #7 2 months ago
  8. TheWulf

    @3

    I think that’s what they’re doing. I think they’re going for an Inquisition-style affair, considering what NeoGAF said about the Mako. The Mako is basically going to be a fast travel quad bike, similar to the horses in Inquisition. If you remember the Hammerhead missions in ME3, it’s likely going to be mix up of that and normal ME3 missions in much bigger maps.

    So there may be less worlds, overall, but the worlds we do get to visit will have much more content to explore.

    #8 2 months ago
  9. ManuOtaku

    The only great mako is the one from kill la kill.
    Joking Aside, i dont mind a side-sequel because is such a great universe the one behind mass effect, that the more the merrier applies here.
    Since halo, my personal sci – fi seting. I hope It doesnt take that long.

    #9 2 months ago

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