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Mass Effect 4 News: A 2015 Review of What We Know

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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January 4, 2015

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Mass Effect 4 News 2015

Scanning the environment. Image Courtesy of BioWare.

Mass Effect 4 News That Can’t Fail to Excite

BioWare is gradually releasing more and more tantalizing Mass Effect 4 news. Without a doubt the next Mass Effect will have much to offer gamers when it’s finally released. The company is going for something fresh, distinctive yet familiar. Here are some things we already know about the game as of January 4, 2015.

Away With the Old: In With the New

As any Mass Effect fan knows the trilogy featuring Commander Shepherd is over. Commander Shepard won’t be even making a cameo in this next installment. Past characters like Liara Tsoni, Ashley Williams and Garrus Vakarian are unlikely to show up. I do hope though that there are a few surprises in store for us there.

Despite lots of fresh content and distancing itself from Commander Shephard’s story there will be references made to events that transpired in the Mass Effect trilogy.

New Details on Mass Effect 4 (November 7, 2014)

Gamers rejoice! At a recent N7 Day developer roundtable Bioware talked about certain elements of the new Mass Effect game that’s liable to make your heart beat faster. We’re talking great ambitions here.  Mass Effect 4 or whatever it will be called will be the biggest Mass Effect game ever.


N7 Day Developer Roundtable Video. If you want to get straight to the news about Mass Effect 4 go to the 9.18 mark of the video.

Mass Effect 4 News: A New Protagonist & Companions

BioWare isn’t interested in rehashing a soldier’s story just like they’re not interested in this being a spin-off of the Mass Effect series.

We know from what has been said that we are starting with a new hero-to-be. There will be a “hero” experience for the you to play through. While the protagonist you play is capable and skillful he is slowly becoming a hero unlike Shepherd who started out as one.

BioWare has promised to load us up with tools that will help us achieve that and get a sense of fulfillment. Part of that is exploring other planets, learning new things and doing research. The character will also be able to scan his envirnoment. Based on this it sounds to me like the new character may be a scientist.

Creating relationships with other characters will still be one of the pillars of the game.  There’ll be new people to fall in love with. Romance options will be included and it is likely that same-sex options will be part of that.

The Game Won’t Be Lacking in Combat

Not much has been said about fighting in the game. What was revealed is that despite the exploration theme there will also be plenty of shooting and fighting with the same quality of weapons and equipment as before.

The Freedom to Explore New Worlds

We will have the freedom to explore the vastness of space and the planets therein. These will be rendered by the Frostbite Engine so they should look pretty awesome.

There will be a lot of depth as far as exploration goes. New worlds, new alien races and new species. We’ll see alien architecture the likes of which we haven’t seen before in the series. It will also be about cultural exploration, discovering new races and new things about known races. BioWare is deliberately creating epic spaces that we will want to stay in and explore.

The developers at Bioware have stated that players won’t be forced into one type of experience. Players aren’t going to be tightly strapped into the Mako and made to do endless hours of exploration if that’s not what they want. It will be a game about choice and the Mako is just one of the options available.

The game will have “vaults and tombs” sections that have an air of mystery. If you liked the scene at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy where he goes to retrieve the orb on that abandoned planet that’s exactly the kind of experience Mass Effect 4 is going to offer.

We will have the use of a more fluid Galaxy Map. There will also be a sleeker, faster Mako to drive around in.

Lastly, while it’s an epic adventure to be sure they also wish to make it a personal journey.

 

Mass Effect 4 News 2015

Image Courtesy of BioWare

Development Cycle of Mass Effect 4

So, where are they now in the Mass Effect 4 development cycle?

Casey Hudson revealed on the 8 November 2012 that they were in the early stages of designing a completely new Mass Effect game. At the time he asked fans to contribute their ideas to the project.

In September 2013 executive producer Casey Hudson and BioWare’s Edmonton and Montreal boss Aaryn Flynn both stated via Twitter that they had already played a workable build of the game.

Studio director Yanick Roy shed some light on this at the end of April, 2014. He said they were somewhere in the middle of development.

From what I heard we’ll be extremely lucky if there is a 2016 release date. Boy, do I hope I’m wrong!

Cooperative Multiplayer is a Go

It was revealed at the San Diego Comic-Con that cooperative multiplayer would return.

Cut-Scenes

Apparently, there will only be a modest amount of cutscenes as their goal is to keep the player immersed in the world as much as possible. Personally, I loved the cutscenes in the Mass Effect trilogy and I felt they did help ‘immerse’ me in the game. They certainly helped to make ‘living, breathing’ characters.

The PAX Prime 2013 Leak: Revelation or Rumor?

At the PAX Prime 2013 event 21 select fans met with BioWare for a two hour presentation.

It was all suppose to be hush hush but someone couldn’t resist and revealed a few juicy tidbits on a forum. This mysterious attendee commented on two of the alien races. One was a skeletal race with glowing eyes that came across as somewhat arrogant. The other was an ancient and advanced guardian race that had a golem sci-fi look to them.

Well, I don’t know about you but I’m stoked about this Mass Effect 4 news! We have a lot to look forward to.

Got any Mass Effect 4 news to add?

 
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