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BioWare: “Calling the next game Mass Effect 4 is a disservice”

BioWare Montreal discusses their plans to break the mold set into place with the current trilogy, dropping a few hints and clues about the new Mass Effect game.

BioWare has made it clear that the new Mass Effect game shouldn't be referred to as "Mass Effect 4", as the upcoming game is not a sequel to Commander Shepard's story.

The trilogy that chronicles Shepard's intergalactic struggle with the nefarious Reaper threat has been concluded and BioWare is looking to move on by creating a new web of plots with a new protagonist at the center.

While the new Mass Effect game isn't a sequel, many have speculated on the possibility of it being a prequel, yet BioWare's community manager Chris Priestly puts that to rest in a recent forum post:

"To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here," Chris began.

"We have already said that the Commander Shepard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her. That is the only detail you have on the game.

I see people saying 'well, they'll have to pick a canon ending'. No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda."

It will be interesting to see the new faces and characters of BioWare's next Mass Effect game–especially the new game's new hero.

BioWare Montreal is handling the development for the new Mass Effect title, and considering the superb job they did with Mass Effect 3's multiplayer and multiple side-quests featured in both the second and third chapters, the game appears to be in good hands.

BioWare Montreal's own Yanick Roy has also clarified Priestly's recent statements and has dropped a few hints and clues on the new title, revealing that the events of the new game may in fact come after those of Mass Effect 3 despite the game not being a direct sequel.

"Thinking of the next Mass Effect game as Mass Effect 4 would imply a certain linearity, a straight evolution of the gameplay and story of the first three games," Roy began.

"That doesn't mean that events of the first three games and the choices you made won't get recognised, but they likely won't be what this new story will focus on.

"If you had three games centred around a group of key soldiers in the US army during World War I and then decided to make a game about another group of people during the Second World War, the games could have many points in common and feel true to one another," he continued.

"You likely would have to recognise how the events of the first war influenced the ones of the second, but you would not necessarily think of it as a sequel.

Again, the analogy is not great, but what I'm trying to say is that the ME universe is so rich that we are not limited to a single track when coming up with a new story."

Although evidence of the game was made available as early as last September, more details won't be coming for "several more months":

"We don't have a firm communication timeline established at this point, but I don't expect it will be for several more months," Roy concluded.

"Early in development, things fluctuate so much that any detail we communicate could have to be 'uncommunicated' a few months later. I think we'd rather have something solid to show by the time we step in the spotlight."

While gamers will have to wait a year or two before they can return to the Mass Effect universe, BioWare Montreal is working hard on creating a dynamic and rich gameplay experience that the current trilogy is best known for. Additionally, with the expected 2014-2015 release window the game may very well see a release onto next-gen consoles–this remains unconfirmed, however.

It will be interesting to see what faraway worlds and vistas featured in BioWare's new Mass Effect game, as well as the myriad of characters, races, and intergalactic plot-lines to explore. We may see a variety of new in-game mechanics and other dynamic features with BioWare Montreal heading up the development, as well as a few surprises to distinguish the upcoming title from the current trilogy.

For now, though, gamers will have to make do with Mass Effect 3's most-recent (and possibly final) single player DLC.

Via Euro Gamer

Derek Strickland
Derek is an avid fan of gaming and everything geeky, and is compelled to make his mark in the field of games journalism. When he's not gaming on a console (everything from SNES to X360) you can find him reading about ancient civilizations or enjoying a fantasy epic or two.

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