By now the secret is very much out, Mass Effect 4 is on its way and will likely be officially announced by BioWare at E3 (June 16-18). A trickle of leaks has turned into a torrent of information about the fourth instalment of the ground-breaking RPG come actioner. We decided to sift through the rumors to decide what we can expect from Mass Effect 4.
Mass Effect was a dividing trilogy, most will agree that it was a triumph of gaming, but many also conclude that it was capable of frustrating lows as well as heavenly highs. Of course, it was the highs that elevated the series to the pantheon of the great video games of any generation, and it is never a surprise to see at least one of the Mass Effect games on a top 10 list.
With Mass Effect 4 we are hoping to get more Mass Effect or Mass Effect 3 (sans the ending) instead of more Mass Effect 2. It’s a tough line for BioWare to walk, but the company has made plenty of noises about the upcoming game, firstly confirming that Mass Effect 4 will not be an exclusive to one console.
“No crying necessary, it is not an exclusive”
That was the simple tweet sent out by Mass Effect 4’s Senior Development Director, Chris Wynn, meaning that the game will be launched on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The developer has been in giving mood as Wynn also took to twitter to say that the title will be neither sequel nor prequel, leading to the obvious conclusion that it will be a separate story set within the same timeframe as Shepard’s escapades.
Combat has been a sticking point in the Mass Effect series, too undercooked in the first game but too focal in the second, Mass Effect 3 probably struck the best balance. We certainly don’t want the game to feel like an all-out action title and combat focused, but of course we want to be challenged and enjoy the firefights we do get into. Mass Effect4 level designer, Jos Hendriks, said that the combat in the game is challenging, describing it as “no joke”. Hendriks added that “combat certainly works”.
That’s the official stuff out of the way, so what about the speculation? An online survey from EA (Mass Effect publisher) was leaked to Reddit and apparently revealed plot details, such as the fact you play as a new character called a “Pathfinder” searching for a new home for humanity. As for the scope of Mass Effect 4, the game map is said to be three times bigger than Mass Effect 3 and lets the player explore hundreds of solar systems.
A possibly refreshing addition to the series gameplay will be the ability to settle and inhabit uncharted worlds, and hopefully that gets a dynamic that is more than a tacked on side mission like the ore mining in the first Mass Effect.