BioWare Says Next Mass Effect *Isn’t* Number 4
The folks over at BioWare are being blunt about one thing: even though the next Mass Effect game will be the fourth one in the franchise, it is not—I REPEAT, NOT—Mass Effect 4. This thing is a brand new jam. Community manager Chris Priestly said as much in the BioWare forums:
“To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here. 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.”
BioWare Montreal’s studio director Yanick Roy added more to Priestly’s points, helping to flesh out the new game’s place within context of the trilogy that just wrapped up:
“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. That doesn’t mean that events of the first three games and the choices you made won’t get recognized, but they likely won’t be what this new story will focus on.
If you had three games centered 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.
You likely would have to recognize 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.”
Got all that? Mass Effect 4 is NOT Mass Effect 4. Just like how Star Trek Generations and First Contact are NOT Star Trek’s 7 and 8. And Insurrection and Nemesis? Those aren’t even movies—just bad dreams.
Did I get off-topic there? Yes. I believe I did. Suffice it to say, the next Mass Effect game is going to be different, and that’s all you need to know. Now shut your jabbering gob and gird your loins for BioWare’s next action-RPG space opera already.