With the wheels turning in earnest on the next Mass Effect, producer Mike Gamble wants to know what fans are really looking for from the game. To that end, he tweeted a link to a brief survey last night that asks about the RPGs you play, how much time you sink into them and what it is about them that you find so darn interesting.
Mass Effect 4
As a jerk, I'm tempted to shout "HEY EVERYBODY, LOOK AT THIS IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT THE NEXT MASS EFFECT." If you want that, though, you're going to need to leave this website, get into a time machine, and travel a year or so into the future. What we have here is good ol', entirely inconsequential teasers. A series of pictures were tweeted over November 7th (or "N7 Day" as BioWare so desperately want people to rechristen it), showing Mass Effect developers working on a Mass Effect game. If you really, really squint, you might even see a tiny bit of some new Mass Effect.
Were you hoping for Commander Shepard to make a triumphant reappearance in the next Mass Effect, after that thing happened at the end of ME3 that a lot of people got quite upset about? (I seem to recall that he/she turned the island off and on again, and then it turned out everyone was dead all along.) Well consider your hopes dashed: Mass Effect 3 lead writer Mac Walters has explained to Complex that BioWare want to move the series on. "The idea is that we have agreed to tell a story that doesn't relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all, whatsoever".
BioWare's biggest sci-fi franchise will be taking a cue from its biggest fantasy franchise, with BioWare studio director Yanick Roy revealing that Mass Effect 4 will share "core systems" with Dragon Age 3.
We've already seen our first look at DICE's powerful Frostbite 3 engine in yesterday's Battlefield 4 reveal, and it looks like we'll soon see more of its considerable capabilities in other EA-branded franchise titans. A tweet sent out today by BioWare Edmonton and Montreal General Manager Aaryn Flynn reveals the next Mass Effect and Dragon Age 3: Inquisition harnesses the newest version of the engine known for huge landscapes and mega destruction effects in Battlefield.
In a panel at PAX East, Mass Effect executive producer Casey Hudson has given some details about the next entry in the series. Okay, so 'details' might be a little strong. 'Vague hints of the studio's development plans' is probably closer to the mark. Hudson did, however, also give a similarly cryptic teaser about the existence of a brand new fictional universe being developed by BioWare Edmonton.
Executive producer of the Mass Effect series, Casey Hudson, has been asking fans where they'd like to see Mass Effect go next. "Parsing through your thoughts on the next #ME game," said Casey in a tweet spotted by Eurogamer, "Would you be more interested in a game that takes place before the trilogy, or after?" AFTER. No, wait. BEFORE. No wait, I DON'T CARE JUST LET ME BE A KROGAN.
Following the announcement of a new Mass Effect game, and an invitation to contribute ideas to it, Bioware are now passing the baton for the franchise's future development from its Edmonton crew to the company's Montreal studio. And that's not the only change for the series: the new game will set aside Unreal in favour of Battlefield's Frostbite engine and there are hints of significant changes to the game's formula, too. Fingers-crossed for that rhythm-action Krogan-boffing minigame we've all been waiting for!
At some point between frantically disarming the 20th planet-devastating bomb and punching mono-gendered aliens in their vestigial fringe in Mass Effect, I realized the notion of more than one hero safeguarding the sprawling galaxy isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, it worked in Star Wars -- not only did Luke Skywalker's heroics mature only at the very end of Return of the Jedi (before that he mostly sat around complaining about power converters), they couldn't happen without the just-as-potent heroism of the people around him. To that end, BioWare Montreal Producer Fabrice Condominas told VG247 that Mass Effect 4 definitely won't include Shepard in any capacity.