Apparently Bioware really does not want people to call it Mass Effect 4 right now, kinda weird since it has no name and bioware is being pretty tight lipped on the bigger details.
original info here: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=862537
I’ll put the major points here: (straight copy and paste)
- The Mako is back, they showed video of it, and there are images of it below. It’s apparently quite fast now.
- “Building a game about exploring places, so you need a vehicle for that ”
- “We learned some things about vehicle frustration"
- They showed off armor renders, viewable below
- "Sounds like the timeline of #MassEffect will be during Shepard’s lifetime but won’t involve Shepard…hard to tell @GambleMike being cagey!” [Note: Two other tweeters said it sounds like it takes place in another galaxy, though that’s not necessarily mutually exclusive with this.]
- “Team reiterates that it is not Shepard’s story and that this story one is brand new.”
- “no timeline was announced at the panel. Some hints were made but I have to re-listen to the audio.”
- “You will see a bit of old with the new (old characters MAY appear) ”
- “Competition is critical but cooperation is bigger for us” @GambleMike speaking on multiplayer in #MassEffect / “cooperative MP is bigger for us (than competitive)"
- "Spiritual successor” vibe for the next
- “It’s ingrained in us to give players as much choice as possible” – @GambleMike #MassEffect
- “The animation team is now doing stuff we couldn’t even dream about before” speaking on Frostbite 3 for #MassEffect
- “it’s not called ME 4 damn it! ” [I’m going to keep calling it that until they give it a name.]
- No announcements on player race choice of composers when asked
- The internet kept dying for the people livetweeting so there are more details that aren’t here
- “I got video of the new #MassEffect Mako in action”
Read it all? Okay, treat it as hearsay until its officially said. Why? because this is all from people relaying the info from other people. So things have got to be changed and muddied or slanted by bias or just plain not communicated well.
Alright now, with that out of the way, I see some problems. They had a legit panel and discussion with Mass Effect/Bioware Fans and the result is more questions and concerns rather than answers and confidence.
The time and setting from the game is said to be during Shepard’s lifetime plus a different galaxy. I’m sure there must have been plan b to Shepard in the ME trilogy but it seems like this is really close to being side story rather than being something on its own. It goes without saying that Bioware put themselves into an awkward position with the Endings. Its a problem for them because they have no idea on how to approach it other than by handwaving and saying oh its during Shepard’s life but in a different galaxy. So that is the big problem I see so far.
The info is conflicted and confusing here though so its prudent to give Bioware some leeway here. I hope its just the unexplored part of the galaxy and right at the end of Shepard’s story. There is room for this interpretation because the codex in the game states that less than 1% of galaxy has been explored at the time of the reaper invasion.
The other big detail released is the Mako is back, without the cannon but better handling. Its odd to see such a focus on vehicles here because exploring with the mako in mass effect was just a small part of the first game. I enjoyed driving around in the mako a lot more than the planet scanning and constantly having to buy fuel for the Normandy though.
So to have such a focus and reassurance on the new mako seems odd here, I think its due to the game being so early in development this is all they have to show off.
According to a recruiting tweet, Bioware Montreal was looking for a lead gameplay developer so they don’t have any combat or other non combat gameplay to show off. So that could be why there is only the new mako being shown off here.
The other problem I see in the game is the fandom that demands to see how their Shepard and crew saved the galaxy referenced in the new game. This is a problem because bioware is bad at over arching choices from previous games. An example of this is the the Rachni Queen, in the first game you either save or destroy her, saving her leads to a pretty lame scene in me2 with an Asari who is assisting the Rachni Queen rebuild and delivers a promise to assist Shepard in dealing with the reaper threat. In ME3, the Rachni Queen’s assistance is really her being kidnapped and forced to produce shock troops for the reapers, to which you have to sacrifice Aralakh Company and Grunt to free her. Now before I get angry responses, Grunt can survive the encounter if you did his loyalty mission in ME2 and you get a net bonus in war assets with this choice. It felt like a wash to me and I was better off just killing her instead, as I did not want to sacrifice a current ally to pull an older ally out of the fire. The thing that exemplifies the problem is that even if you destroy the Rachni in the first game, the reapers just space-magically bring them back.
However, this is still up in the air and many things can change but their Comic Con panel really did hurt interest rather than add to it. People left confused and many questions were met with non-committal answers.
I’m a bit more open minded about this than I was a few months before, the cynical me from then would be just reciting the same old shit about the endings and no faith or hope in Bioware or that I wouldn’t be buying it at release.
The me of right now still is bitter about the endings and possibly still not buy it at release but I am a lot more willing to give Bioware a chance to impress me.
I still will probably avoid buying any DLC (because none of the Bioware DLC ever goes on sale and still requires Bioware points which also still never goes on sale) and definitely not pre-ordering anything.
However, this Comic Con panel seemed to be mistake to put up and caused more trouble than it was worth. All I have from it is more doubts and concerns.
With all that said, Bioware has plenty of time to show me something to impress and build interest, like they did with Dragon Age: Inquisition, because the release date is being vaguely hinted at being next year some time. My advice would be to take their time to craft something big to explore and stick to their roots of telling a decent story with compelling characters, romance, and good voice acting. As well as not focusing too hard on making some kind of revolution in coop multiplayer or graphics or gimmicks (like vehicles.)