The Mass Effect series is one of my favourite sci-fi settings in all media, with the original trilogy really bringing a diverse galaxy to the audience. Today is N7 day and in honour of that BioWare has just wrapped up a stream discussing the next entry to the franchise. One of the main points that was reiterated is that the new title is not simply Mass Effect 4, but instead a different way to look at the series. We already that there will be a new cast of characters, and Shepard likely won’t return, though it will feature familiar races like humans and Krogan. You can watch the stream below.
The team behind new Mass Effect is split between Edmonton and Montreal, with it expanding as Dragon Age wraps up for now. There’s a concentration on using Frostbite and a focus on PS4, Xbox One and PC only. Earlier this year it was confirmed that the Mako vehicle would return, and today it was explained that there will be a bigger emphasis on exploration, with added danger. Don’t worry, the Mako’s handling will be improved so you don’t end up sliding all over the place. There will be more diverse types of planets to set foot on, with quite a few alien worlds that will hold both peace and danger. The exploration will also stretch to Space where instead of it being just a hub the absolute enormity of it will be pressed onto players.
The new Mass Effect will bring with it new alien civilisations that can be either peaceful or hostile, though there will likely be shades of grey too. The main character will not be as powerful as Shepard was at the start. Shepard started as a strong character already, while the new protagonist is just breaching that area. Players will have the tools at their disposal to create the kind of character they want, and there will be many instances to choose your own path. The emphasis on relationships, which is one of the strong points in the series, will still be there though there was no information on the new characters that will populate this galaxy.
- Something akin to the citadel, with the third image. That kind of lush vibrant artificial environment, but with a twist.
- Build places that people want to spend time in.
- Concept 4 is a safer place. Concept 5 is from an alien race full of danger, vault or tomb and a mystery behind the huge area.
- Concept 6 shows a kind of dynamic in-game interface for, maybe, scanning an environment, maybe charting a world (exploration again!). Tries to ground you in the world, with too much GUI or HUD.
- Ha! Seven bits of concept art.
In terms of style the above images give a glimpse of what to expect. The first image in the gallery shows the Mako on a planet with some quite large rock formations. Picture two makes it look like you could land on asteroids and explore those, while number three looks very similar to the Citadel. It could be that another one has been discovered or built, or the original is still around. Picture four is of an area that will be considered safe for the player, which could be an alien world that is friendly to you. However, picture five is the opposite and is on a world that holds a lot of danger including a hostile alien race. The structures look a bit like pyramids. Picture six may be showing a new tool for players that will act like a HUD or map. There will be less clutter on the screen in terms of health bars and ammo counts, so it could be this tool brings that information up. Finally picture 7 appears to show a ship about to dock on another ship, with the larger one looking similar in style to the structures on image three.
I personally can’t wait to see more and hopefully we’ll get at least a glimpse, even a teaser of the new Mass Effect in the coming months.