‘Mass Effect 4′ is Already In A Playable State; Described As ‘Fresh But Recognizable’

Published 11 months ago by , Updated December 20th, 2013 at 10:52 am,

Mass Effect - The Citadel

What we currently know about BioWare’s next game in the Mass Effect series could probably be written down on a very small napkin, with enough room left over to mop up a coffee spillage. Mass Effect 4 might be the working title in general use for the moment, but BioWare has already confirmed that it won’t be a direct sequel to the existing trilogy and also will not star Commander Shephard.

With literally a whole universe of possibilites on offer, it seems like just about everyone has their own personal wishlist for Mass Effect 4, but the one wish unifying all members of the series’ fandom is one for more information. Now that almost two years have passed since the release of Mass Effect 3, the time seems ripe for us to learn more.

Luckily, BioWare’s general manager Aaryn Flynn just can’t resist a good tease and today shared a boast on Twitter that’s bound to make a lot of people jealous. Along with a photo of one of the BioWare studio computer desktops (which unfortunately just has the company logo instead of any actual artowrk from the game), Flynn wrote of his fun times playing the in-development title.

The next Mass Effect game is definitely worthy of a nice long development cycle, so it’s encouraging to hear that there’s already a playable build of the game before BioWare has even released any plot details, let alone a trailer, to the public. Flynn recently said that more information about Mass Effect 4 will become available in 2014, which makes it likely that we could see the first trailer for the game at next year’s E3 – maybe even an early 2015 release date announced. Wishful thinking? Possibly, but that’s the most fun kind of thinking.

Mass Effect 4 BioWare Montreal

What we do know is that BioWare is designing the new Mass Effect game to be accessible to newcomers, which is probably why Flynn describes it as feeling “fresh.” The series already has an established and popular formula, however, with a good balance of combat sequences and character interaction, so Flynn’s comment on it still being “recognizable” suggests that this gameplay skeleton is going to remain intact. The game will be built using the Frostbite 3 engine.

The Mass Effect games are also known for being very meaty, containing a wealth of information of the universe’s various species and their politics, as well as extensive dialogue trees whose choices can have ramifications a long way down the line. Experience has taught that it’s almost always better to give a development team plenty of time to construct and test a game before release, rather than simply having it rushed out onto the market with bugs and glitches in tow. With any luck, BioWare’s next Mass Effect game is going to be worth the wait.

We’ll you bring you more updates on Mass Effect 4 as details become available.

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Source: Aaryn Flynn

TAGS: BioWare, Electronic Arts, Mass Effect 4

26 Comments

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  1. “extensive dialogue trees whose choices can have ramifications a long way down the line” LOLnope it isn’t known for that. “simply having it rushed out onto the market with bugs and glitches in tow” ME3 is known for that though.

    • Considering the decision you make regarding the Rachni Queen in Mass Effect 1 has consequences that trickle all the way down to Mass Effect 3 I’m going to say yeah, it is known for that.

      • Oh, you mean where if you save the Queen, she’s in Mass Effect 3, but if you don’t save the queen, the Reapers just find another Rachni queen conveniently? Yeah, my choice really mattered there.

        • Actually, if you saved the Rachni Queen in the first game, she’ll return in ME 3 and aid you against the Reapers. If you didn’t save the Queen in the first game, the Reapers use a genetically engineered queen in Mass Effect 3, who eventually betrays you if you save her.

          • If you save the Rachni Queen in Mass Effect 1 she gets turned into a Reaper Rachni Queen (Reapers found the Rachni Queen and indoctrinated most of her children, though not the queen herself). If you did not save the Rachni Queen in Mass Effect 1 another Rachni Queen is found and turned into a Reaper Rachni Queen (Reapers will artificially construct a Queen thrall in order to control a rachni army). Oh silly me I guess those are big decisions with big consequences (a little lost of points if you kill the first queen and save the second queen).

  2. well i guess this guy played it for the last time… i cant see him having a job revealing mass effect 4 when the game has not been officially revealed.

    • It’s a safe bet he was approved to say that. And btw, it’s official that BioWare Montreal is developing the next Mass Effect game so he’s not leaking anything other than the keyword “fresh”

      Random sidenote: Tim Hortons is “always fresh” so they win.

    • You cannot seriously be that dense.

  3. I am sure there will be an ending to ME3 complaint in this section soon enough, but time is good for Bioware. I enjoyed the original trilogy immensely. I did indeed have problems with both versions of the endings (original and extended) but it was more down to presentation and Casey Hudson’s promotional shots than anything else.

    Simply, when I put up the 150 odd hours I got from three games against a misguided 10 minute ending, I think there is more than enough to warrant goodwill to the next installment in a quite spectacularly created universe.

    ‘Dragon Age’ on the other hand… after the second one? Pffft…

    • I think they hurt their rep badly with Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 since both earned bad press and forum rage. Throw on the C&C fail on top of that and they have to cut the crap with their next releases and deliver everything fans want (which is impossible to define) in a super polished package.

      • The internal promotion for ME3 was all wrong. Outwardly I thought it worked a treat, but the moment Casey was let out amongst real people suspicions began to grow immediately. Once that was in play it was almost begging for a critique of ME3 no matter how good the game itself might have actually been. But to be honest the third act was all about Casey, a rush to see his name appear in the credits to marry with the promotional shots of him looking all thoughtful and genius like. They won’t make that mistake again.

        The old Bioware let the games do the talking. That is all they need to get back to in my opinion. Their games. Not EA’s games. Their games. It took three games to damage their reputation (counting their online attempt). It will only take one game, a Bioware game, to get it back.

    • I just don’t understand all the rage about the ME3 endings. Maybe people played it so much differently than I did, but what I did in the series had tons of ramifications. My decisions…

      …stopped the Quarian/Geth war
      …prevented the Rachni genocide, and they became my allies
      …saved the Krogan people
      …united the Krogan/Turian/Salarian people
      …allowed my crew who passed on to die heroically
      …united a fragmented galaxy against a common foe
      …defeated that common foe
      …allowed Shepard to live

      I do admit that the original, un-DLC endings were not overly satisfying in terms of providing closure, but they FIXED THAT. With the extended cut DLC, it cleared up a lot of that ambiguousness. Add in the Leviathan DLC that let the cat out of the bag and showed us who the Reapers really were, and the light bulb finally goes on in your head, and you see why exactly everything is happening (it also makes the “Control” ending more viable in my opinion, as before Leviathan, I never did anything but destroy the reapers).

  4. Well, ME3 was the only ME game I never played through more than once, and the only ME game I did not purchase any DLC for(save the day 1 DLC). I am pretty bitter now, and unless the game gets absolutely RAVE reviews when it comes out I, for one, will be staying away.

    • You missed out. ME3 has some great DLC. Citadel was a blast.

      • Citadel= best part of ME3. imho.

  5. I’m looking forward to a fresh start in the Mass Effect universe. I still have immense faith in Bioware. They’ve made mistakes but they can learn from them.

  6. I am interested in seeing the new take on a Mass Effect story that will not Shepard. I think we should give it time. To everyone who hated the ending of Mass Effect 3 it was perfect before the extension you want closure too much instead of having an open mind. The third installment was fun and may not have been as great as the second but it was close. You had the chance to meet old allies and die in the end, something Shepard had to do no one is supposed to come back from suicide missions so much. The story was not perfect but it was good enough to enjoy and the multiplayer was a lot of fun. Had problems could have been better but still hugely enjoyable. Lastly, if you really have no intention of purchasing the next installment then please refrain from commenting on any posts containing information about this game. Thank you.

  7. I want a gritty rpg in the Mass Effect universe. Less space travel with more fleshed out planets and locals. Bring the camera in close over the shoulder. I don’t want to be a super soldier, I want to be a young guy just trying to make ends meet and gets wrapped up in illegal space trade. Combat should be slower and more realistic, and less of it. I want to enjoy the little things.

    • So…you want an entirely different game? Like….Last of Us in space?

  8. The third installment was graphically inferior to the second and contained so many glitches the title could be easily labeled as the worst of the series. Yes, I still play all three and find new ways to keep the game fresh and interesting to play. So when Bioware states the new title has a “fresh” perspective and is designed for newcomers, I cannot see the new title being anything but a big disappointment.

  9. I hope the multiplayer is also fresh, but recognizable. MP was a blast. I’d love for more game modes, like L4D.

  10. I want to be excited, but I’m not. BW is just hyping up the game without admitting to previous mistakes and issues. Calling the game “fresh but recognizable” does jack all to quell fears. Is it recognizable to ME 1 or ME 3? If the former, great! If the latter, keep moving. Keeping people in the dark and ignoring their concerns isn’t going to fix people’s trust in you. I smell broader appeal.

  11. “It’s already in a playable state.”

    Why do I get the feeling that’s when ME 3 was released. When it JUST reached a playable state. Bioware keep working on it. Never rush a game ever again and maybe, just maybe you will be able to gain your title back.

  12. I feel sorta bad for everyone out there that still finds the need to severely hate on ME3. It has been done and over with for a long time now. Whether the next is like it or not nobody but the people working on it have any clue as of yet so there is truly no reason to be bringing them in or comparing them to each other.

    Praise the Sun

  13. I can’t wait for Mass Effect 4! I’ve been waiting for an RPG on the next gen consoles ( I don’t count AC4 as a RPG) and Mass Effect was one of my favorites on 360! Cant wait!!

  14. just i hope from bioware to release Mass Effect on xbox360 version not just next gen ,as long i keep my belovely mass effect series on my xbox360

    new dragon age is availabe on last gen so it should mass effect 4 be avlaible on last gen xbox360\ps3 too ,since too games from the same company bioware and team of development

    sorry i dont own next gen console yet.its expensive double price in my country

    praise the God :)

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