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#SDCC14: What We Know About The Next Mass Effect After BioWare’s Panel

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#SDCC14: What We Know About The Next Mass Effect After BioWare's PanelI couldn’t be at BioWare’s SDCC panel this year and it killed me to miss it. Turns out they remain tight-lipped about the direction of the next Mass Effect game, but we got some interesting tidbits, nonetheless.

Fans speculated that BioWare would at least indicate the direction or title of the next game in the series this afternoon. Instead, fans who attended the SDCC panel got glimpses of character armors and vehicle designs. They were also treated to a quick video that showed the (somewhat infamous) Mako in action.

Those who played the original Mass Effect will recall the mobile infantry vehicle that was necessary for exploring the planets you traversed. The all-terrain buggy was taken out of the sequels when fans complained that navigating it was a royal pain in the ass. To be fair, it was. But it was also a lot of fun, and its removal cost the series its exploratory spirit. Something that many of us absolutely loved, warts and all.

See what I’m talking about (from the 2007 game):

Naturally, most of us assumed that the Mako was gone for good. But this news indicates that BioWare intends to make good on their promise that the new game brings back the exploration. That’s a really good thing. While I love the storyline, there was something about picking my team and just scouring every damn corner of the game that I’m looking forward to doing once more.

BioWare also reminded the panel that Commander Shepard is not returning for the next game (which, producer Michael Gamble stressed, will not be called Mass Effect 4). Curiously, though, we may see other familiar faces, and BioWare hinted (but did not state or confirm) that the next game could be set in another galaxy (an obvious choice if they’re looking to avoid reference to the trilogy’s ending).

If I were a betting man, I would assume this means we’ll see Dr. Liara T’Soni once more. Asari live for a thousand years, and Liara was just over 100 when we met her in Mass Effect. She also happens to be one of the only characters who cannot die at any point in the trilogy (unless you really screw up at the end of 3). Hopefully they can pepper in some other characters without making it seem too forced or reliant on past glories.

The new game is being developed by BioWare Edmonton and BioWare Montreal, and they maintain that gender selection for your hero will remain. It’s obviously an important feature for player agency and hopefully they’ll include more precise character customization. They also confirmed that cooperative multiplayer (introduced in Mass Effect 3) is expected to return as well.

This information comes courtesy of Nerd Appropriate’s Twitter feed, which I’ll posted below. Appreciate the diligence there, folks!

Watch this space in the coming months. No, it may not be horror, but I’ll going to be covering Mass Effect for Dread Central. Let me have this one, guys. I’m kinda excited about it.

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Matt Serafini

Author (Under the Blade, Feral), slasher movie enthusiast, N7 Operative. Plays games, watches movies, reads books. Occasionally writes about them.

  • frank_dracman

    Matt, you can write about Mass Effect anytime you want. That game is my Star Wars. It drives me crazy that a lot of people write off the third game (or, even worse, the series) because of the admittedly shitty ending. This series was always about relationships, interesting villains, exploration and characters. You ask any fan what their favorite part of the games were, and they will hardly ever same the combat. It’s all about your crew, the decisions you make and their ramifications.

    Watching that video makes me want to go start the whole series over. This time I’m going to try and be the biggest asshole in the universe. Fuck you, Krogans. I’m wiping out your race.