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Mass Effect 4 already in a playable state

The next Mass Effect game, which we're tentatively calling Mass Effect 4, is far enough along to be playable.

BioWare Edmonton and Montreal general manager Aaryn Flynn has been playing the next Mass Effect, according to a comment on Twitter.

"Great time playing the next Mass Effect game in Montreal," he said, showing an off-screen photo of the BioWare logo.

"Ambitious. Beautiful. Fresh but recognizable. And fun."

The next Mass Effect game is in development at BioWare Montreal, a support team founded in 2009 now working on its first lead studio project. Although the design document is complete, we've heard very little about it.

We know it won't star Shepard, or even "Shepard 2", and that it'll run on Frostbite 2, sharing some mechanics with Dragon Age: Inquisition. This reference may suggest that Mass Effect 4 is a more traditional RPG than the shooter-driven original trilogy, which would explain why BioWare keeps referring to it as a "new thing" for the series.

We don't know if it is a prequel or sequel, but in either case BioWare has promised to be respectful of earlier games.

Don't expect to hear much about the new Mass Effect until after Dragon Age: Inquisition ships in the third quarter of 2014.

Thanks, GameInformer.

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