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.
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.
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.
— Andrea Rene (@andrearene) July 26, 2014
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.