The Mass Effect trilogy was one of the most well-loved game series of the last generation. Fans fell in love with the series' impressive interactive storytelling – aside from a prickly reception to Mass Effect 3's ending – and strong characters. So of course, there is plenty of excitement buzzing around the upcoming Mass Effect 4. Developer BioWare will be hoping it can bring back the universe of the Citadel with the same level of quality that saw the original trilogy become one of its strongest IPs.
There are plenty of changes in store for Mass Effect 4, however. Although information has been scarce so far, with BioWare announcing that the title is still "years away" from completion, there have been a few reveals that have suggested Mass Effect 4 may be a bit of a different beast to the earlier titles. For one thing, BioWare has stated that Commander Shepard's story is not involved, but that the game is still set within Commander Shepard's era. Could the Mass Effect 4 story run alongside the original trilogy?
Behind the scenes at EA and BioWare there have also been a number of shake-ups. Casey Hudson, who was Mass Effect's Director, left BioWare after 16 years at the developer. Meanwhile, Chris Wynn, Senior Producer for the Gears of War series, moved from Epic to BioWare to help specifically with Mass Effect 4. Now, another change has been released. Chris Schlerf, the writer of Halo 4, has been announced as Mass Effect 4's Lead Writer.
The news was revealed in a post at BioWare's blog, stating that Schlerf has been with the team as Lead Writer since November 2013. The blog notes that keeping his involvement quiet was no easy task, and the writer is finally able to admit his excitement for joining the Mass Effect universe:
"Every day is a revelation and every day I get to play in a new corner of the universe. To be able to look three steps ahead to, ‘Where does this take us and how does it add to the way we look at the Mass Effect trilogy?’ You couldn’t ask for a better playground."
"As a writer, I write for characters. To me, it’s always about what makes my characters tick and what stories I can tell through those characters that will actually engage people about their own lives. It provides a mirror to that player’s experience [so that they are] not just sitting back in an armchair."
Although Mass Effect 4 is still far from the finish line, there might be something else in store for Mass Effect fans. It looks as though BioWare is edging closer to creating a remastered version of the original Mass Effect trilogy. We already knew that the developer had "discussed" the notion, but the plans look a little more likely now after General Manager Aaryn Flynn polled fans on NeoGAF with what they would want to see from a remastered trilogy.
Let's hope for a concrete announcement soon. Meanwhile, check out this brand new Mass Effect 4 concept art.
Mass Effect 4 is currently without an official release date.