‘Mass Effect 4′ Doesn’t Involve Shepard’s Story ‘Whatsoever’ – Is It A Prequel?

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Mass Effect and Commander Shepard’s story offered a gret technical achievement in interactive storytelling. So few games come close the the level of choice and adaptation that the franchise offered and even fewer, if any, on the scale of BioWare‘s trilogy. Spreading out the story across three AAA titles in a way that allowed for massive choice potential was something entirely new. It’s a story many gamers became emotionally invested in and the series enjoys an incredibly loyal fan-base. (Even if that loyalty was tested by Mass Effect 3′s conclusion)

That is why fans who feel most connected to the series’ central character might be disappointed to hear that the events surrounding Commander Shepard and the original trilogy won’t have any bearing on ‘Mass Effect 4.

Talking to Complex, series writer Mac Walter has ruled out any of the Commander’s influence on the new game. Shepard not being the lead character of the next game is nothing new, but Walter’s comments certainly shed new light onto what the next game in the franchise could be.

“Well, I can’t get into details, but 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.”

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Taking the mythos of Mass Effect into account, it may be possible to discern a few things about the next game. Walter seems particularly adamant that the franchise won’t relate to Shepard’s story “whatsoever” This might suggest that the next game is a prequel or set many years after the original games. Shepard’s story is fairly all encompassing for the Mass Effect universe with Shepard also becoming a recognized celebrity. To have a game set in the same timezone, but not reference Shepard, could be a little complicated.

Mass Effect 4, for want of a better title, will also be accessible to new players jumping into the universe for the first time. All these changes and appeal to a wider audience could have loyal fans worried but Walter did assure them that even without Shepard, the next game in the franchise would still be Mass Effect.

“But throughout it all, one of the key things is that it has to be Mass Effect. It can’t just feel like a spin-off. It has to feel like a Mass Effect game at its heart, at its core. Just without the Shepard character or the Shepard specific companions.”

What would you like to see from the next Mass Effect game? Would you prefer to go backwards or forwards in the timeline? Are you sad to see Shepard isn’t going to be influencing the game at all?

Source: Complex

TAGS: BioWare, Electronic Arts, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect 4

47 Comments

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  1. I think they should keep Shepard going. I have played all three games and I do not think it is fair that Shepard has to die. The hard core fans are very upset with that ending.
    They need it to explore the dark matter that was brought up. Shepard is the only one that can get it done. If it is called Mass Effect in anyway Shepard has to be there with his or her crew. If you are going to do the game right just look up on all the mods people have downloaded to make the game the way they want. It will be a stepping stone for the new Mass Effect. Just like Dragon Age 1 was great then they made dragon age 2 that suck now they have improve and made a great new dragon age. Thank You for your time

    • i agree they need to continue off of shepard atleast for a little bit give some true closure i have played through all of the endings and i have concluded any time i play now i will always destroy synthetics and save shepard. even if they dont let shepard into the new mass effect i would like them to start out with him being found or whatever because from me2 to me3 it clearly states that you have to live to continue with shepard. so why would they give the ending with the possibility of shepard living. i personaly want closure as to if he lives or dies and i want to also know what happens with ashley because after the citadel dlc she says she will wait for you. bioware has left to many holes open they need to close them.

  2. Please bring Shepard and her crew back they have been threw hell and back three times you would have an increase fan base and money tremendously with out a doubt if you can’t do it with Mass Effect 4 then do it with the next one in some way you guy’s have to appeal to your fans and end Shepard’s story the right/good way put him or her up with one last foe and let one of the endings have one where the Commander and her crew/squad can sit back have some drinks smile and say it’s finally over. HEARS TO THE NORMANDY, CREW, COMMANDER AND THE FALLEN THAT MADE THIS ALL POSSIBLE!

  3. I’m not sad, I’m devastated, I can’t handle it. I can’t imagine the game without Shepard, Liara, EDI, Garus, Joker and so on… In ME3 the destruction ending is awful, I love EDI too much. But then if I choose synthesis, Shepard dies, it is so painful. And now what about ME4, I can’t believe this…WHY BIOWARE, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS!?

    I shouldn’t start playing this game in the first place, I KNEW it was a bad idea because I heard and saw on youtube that so many die, I’m too emotional for this and just can’t handle it…I wish I knew how to programme games, now only thing I have left is my imagination.

    • Some may say it’s just a game but to me it isn’t, I’m so depressed over this. Please, don’t be insane and bring Shepard and her/his crew back including EDI. I don’t know what are you thinking, most people won’t buy ME4 and many will be in emotional pain.

      • From the horse’s mouth (Yanick Roy, Bioware Montreal Studio Director):

        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, and 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.

        So ME1 to ME3 featured a group of soldiers, and this next game will feature a *different* group of solders, but the games will feel similar to each other, although the next game will probably have more evolved gameplay. Yup, sounds like no Shepard/crew in this next game.

        Especially the last part, the Mass Effect universe is so big, that they wouldn’t want to tell the story of the same characters in each game (eg. Shepard and crew). Game would get pretty stale if it did. Glad they are going to branch out and try some new things, instead of doing the game stuff over and over again.

        Change is good.

        • Change good? That’s not always true. Change for changes sack is usually bad. Just compare Highlander 2 with Highlander…

        • Well, when you finally get around to playing Mass Effect, you’ll understand why your statement is stupid.

  4. If they want to change the story and crew and appeal to a wider audience, do it under a different name than “Mass Effect.” And to have the game potentially be a prequel is such an overrated thing that companies do. It’s like remaking a movie. Either make a new one, or go away. If Shepard and the others are not in Mass Effect 4, then I will not be buying it. It will not be “Mass Effect” without the same crew. This isn’t Star Trek. And, if done correctly, you know, with good writing and skilled developers, they can make the game immersible for everyone, old or new to the series.

    It’s like God of War IV not being about Kratos, Uncharted 4 not being about Drake, or The Elder Scrolls not taking place in Tamriel. Then again, they wouldn’t be the first company to ruin a franchise. I sincerely hope the guy was joking, but with game companies being, well, not so smart with story lines nowadays, it wouldn’t surprise me. Mass Effect no longer belongs to BioWare- It belongs to the fans. The fans who have spent years with this story line, crew, and all the hard work they put into it. And, with the PSN, Xbox Live, etc, carrying over a story from the previous generation of consoles is not difficult. This is just people trying to get more money and not realizing that they will, in fact, lose money doing it this way. And, with so many holes left open in the story, it really would be a moronic thing to do. I hope, for everyone’s sake, BioWare makes the correct decision with the game.

  5. I loved all of Mass Effect. I liked how the series ended. But I’m not sure about having a new character. Shepard and is crew were iconic characters.

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