Comic-Con 2014: New Mass Effect Brings Back the Mako Vehicle

Love it or hate it, the Mako vehicle from the first Mass Effect is coming back.

Image credit: NeoGAF user Nirolak

Developer BioWare’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 mostly reiterated what it said when it gave us our first look at Mass Effect at E3 2014, but it did reveal that the game will see the return of the Mako vehicle from the first game in the series.

The all terrain vehicle looks a little different this time, and is apparently much faster than it used to be. BioWare said that the new Mass Effect will have an emphasis on exploration, and that the Mako will allow you to travel faster on alien planets. BioWare said that since you’ll spend a significant of time in the vehicle, it’s also considering allowing players to customize how it looks.

Repeating its statements at E3, BioWare said that the next Mass Effect will feature a human protagonist who is not Commander Shepard, the hero of the previous games. It did not say where or when the story will take place in the Mass Effect universe. We still don’t know if we’ll see returning characters, but BioWare did say that we’ll definitely see returning alien races.

The new Mass Effect does not yet have a release date, nor has publisher Electronic Arts indicated what systems it will be released for.

The Mako was a divisive feature in the first game. A lot of players thought that it was a chore driving it around huge, barren landscapes, and that it controlled poorly, mostly because of some silly, low gravity physics. I happen to like it a lot, and missed it in the sequels. It wasn’t a fully realized feature, and often pretty broken, but Mass Effect never felt as big as when you were free to land on a planet and drive around as you please. For a game that’s all about exploring a vast universe, the Mass Effect sequels felt a little confined without it.

What do you think about the Mako and its return to the next Mass Effect? Let us know in the comments below.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

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Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

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Discussion

156 comments
MadCat221
MadCat221

If it didn't have jelly for shock absorbers and had an off switch for the mass effect generator that made it so low-weight, the Mako would have been so much better.

Conversely, the Hammerhead was a mess.  You look at it cross-eyed and it blows up.  It was too zippy, had a nonsensical weapon (unlimited missiles from what looks to be a cannon?), had nonsensical UI with the lights on the back, and had an annoying VI voice. What it needs is to not exist. Unreal Tournament called, they want their Manta back. 

kurtis168
kurtis168

I didn't hate the Mako missions but thought it controlled poorly. I certainly enjoyed playing those side missions more than scanning planets. A hybrid of the first Mass Effect's Mako missions and the third's M-44 Hammerhead DLC would be fine to me.

Bumblebee1138
Bumblebee1138

Why is there so much hate for Mako? Sure it's hard to handle at first but after getting used to it, it's really fun! My favourite moves were dodging incoming missiles by jumping over them and going to highest peeks of planets and falling. Damn it was fun.


For me it wasn't a military vehicle; but a joy ride....with cannons! :D

Necrotron
Necrotron

Going to have to side with loving it.  The sense of wonder and exploration in the original Mass Effect was wonderful.  While I agree that many of the streamlined improvements to gameplay towards Mass Effect 3 were excellent, I'd readily welcome back the Mako and the ability to simply drive around these exotic worlds like we had in Mass Effect 1.

silversix_
silversix_

If there's mako that means there's exploration, which means it isn't gonna be joke linear like ME3, which means there's hope for the franchise, which means my D is fully erect, which means im buying it day. I r excite

lilhurk1985187
lilhurk1985187

Im done with Mass Effect. Nice that the mako is coming back but very STUPID that your once again stuck as human instead of having a choice.If i were going to get it i would wait until the GOTY edition (if it can even win  it that is but i doubt it) comes out and buy it used which isw hat i plan on doing with all EAWare  games from now on. Before i do consider getting it used i will be looking out to see how good (i use that term loosly) or crappy the ending is.

anvilone
anvilone moderator

"...you’ll spend a significant of time in the vehicle..."

Noooooooooooo!

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

To those who hated the return of Mako, search youtube for "New Mass Effect Mako Animation and First Details", you will be amazed about the handling of the new Mako. That thing can put the Batmobile in Arkham Knight to shame.

suppaphly42
suppaphly42

the mako was awesome, there was nothing so fun as driving off the top of a mountain and hitting the thrusters at the right time to see if you pull off a 360, 720 or more spin and stick the landing that and the whole exploring looking from stuff part that was cool too.  

Lucky-B
Lucky-B

If this decision is a sign of things to come this might be a game to pass up.  Having played ME1-3 I can say that by the end of the trilogy I did miss elements of ME1.  Things like the loot system and, you know, a satisfying ending to the story.  I definitely did not miss the Mako.  It was a completely broken vehicle, designed for environments completely different from the ones you were using it in.  The Hammerhead, while not perfect, was a vast improvement.  If you're going to bring stuff back, bring back stuff that worked.  

LoganDaDestroya
LoganDaDestroya

Yes, I loved exploring planets while eating dinner in the first game and was deeply saddened we couldn't do that anymore.


I can actually see a place for both the Mako and Hammerhead in exploration, take the heavy and powerful, yet fairly slow Mako, or the quick, agile, but weak Hammerhead. Hell for those who don't like either they can just opt to have a shuttle drop them at the most important place or something.

robertcain
robertcain

Well as long as the exploration quests aren't so cut and paste, I'm game for it. Exploration could have been really fun in the first Mass Effect but for me it was just so tedious driving around the samey environments and going inside the same abandoned warehouses.

di98pho
di98pho

I loved the Mako and the exploration of the first game. Made me feel like a true space explorer. This is sweet music to my ears. 

darktruth007
darktruth007

I just hope there is more to do this time around than mine minerals and hunt for artifacts.


Also for the love of god give the pc version controller support - mako with mouse and keyboard was about as much fun as watching the grass grow.

LOKIIGODX41
LOKIIGODX41

I really enjoyed the mako bits. I think the reason most people disliked the mako was for certain aspects of the whole which are:


- the first is the terrain in which you were tooling around on was either a barren, flat, and uninteresting landscape with a few, or just one copy pasted bunker type building to clear of enemies or a godawful mess of impassable mountainous terrain.


- The second is the mako bounced around like it was riding on a freakin balloon and it was painfully slow and lacked a booster mounted on the back as well as the undercarriage which would have made things much more enjoyable.


I hope they NEVER use the HORRIBLE and Mandatory planet scanning minigame again, that was the most frustratingly dull and painful experiences in ME2


I absolutely LOVE the Mass Effect series - The third game was great! (except of course for the last like 20 minutes or so) and the XtendedCut was not enough IMHO it was good but not quite enough and it was also NOT what anyone asked for.


I am also NOT optimistic for this new game either especially since most of the core of the original team including the 2 Docs - Muzyka and Zeschuk are now gone 


I am still interested to see what they do BUT, -  I am unfortunately not optimistic, they have alot to prove to EVERYONE who bought and was disappointed with the result.

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

i don't really understand that insistance in saying that "it will have returning alien races".  Was it really an option to make a new ME game with different protagonists, heroes, and on top of that all completely new races??
Mass Effect is that universe, with those races, and those events.
It's not a concept of game, or a concept of combat.

streamline
streamline

So this is like the horse in DA Inquisition?

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

Man, I was hoping we'd get to choose our race. It's kinda disappointing that the protagonist will just be human again.

nirzor07
nirzor07

Human protagonist? Oh come on :/

rezaghasem
rezaghasem

macho was great!!i dont what these peaple are talking about??macho was something !!when you were driving it  -----lonely vista of those uncharted planets ----it was great i am glad that macho is here  i want to drive it one last time!!

Acillatem1993
Acillatem1993

Thats what I have been waiting for all these years!!!!

jemoedr
jemoedr

Sooooo, looks like it happens after humanity found the mass relay. Now i wonder, will it be before or after the events of ME1-3.


And i hope the planets aren't so much the same as in ME1 -> A baren wasteland or one heap of mountains...

Now i think of it, you only saw trees on the citadel in ME1...

berserker66666
berserker66666

lol "...new Mass Effect will have an emphasis on exploration". Looks at No Man's Sky. (Which is btw, is being made by four guys)

gehwesij
gehwesij

they need to do a combenation of the mako, that flying hover craft that could make jump's, and planet scan's, (and maybe the ability to fly a shuttle) with each being able to find, or get to a few thing's that the other 2 can't get, like resource's, side quest's, and/or side story, but have main story line being able to be done with all 3. maybe have a multiplayer feature that has more of an impact on the main storyline than a low impact on the ending.

mr_nee
mr_nee

So I suppose the events are not more than a 100 years away from reaper events

BuyaPC
BuyaPC

Even though the games were relitively linear as far as each level or planet it still felt like I was exploring seeing the different environments of each location. That's why I loved the series so much especially 1 and 2 so I hope they expand on the exploration somehow without having meaningless exploring just for the sake of it. Mass effect 1 was for sure the game that got me back into gaming in 2008 cause it showed me just how exciting and amazing gaming experiences could be. In a way you could say I've been chasing the dragon ever since looking for that same experience as I got in my first playthrough of me1 which most games havnt been able to match. I'm not saying me1 is the best game ever but for me at that specific time it was quite possibly the best gaming experience I had ever had with how vast the ME universe and lore seemed.

yoda101280
yoda101280

Very glad to see the Mako making a return, i always liked it though as the author here says it did feel like an idea they just never really got around to fully implementing.  Sounds like this time around we might actually have some large and diverse areas to explore and not just vast areas of nothing with a single base to clear like in the first game.


While I'm glad they're bring the Mako back I do think they need to take that above iteration back to the drawing board, the original Mako looks much better than that thing to me.

DrowNoble
DrowNoble

It looks like they are trying to do everything they can to make ME fans happy.  The mako was disliked by some so they removed it come ME2.  Then people kinda missed the planet exploration, so we got a hammerhead hover-tank to use in a few DLC's.


Unfortunately, this still does not forgive Bioware from what happened with ME3.  The series started great with the first game then nosedived.  The culmination was Bioware intentionally misleading people about ME3's features:  16 endings, choices affect endings, previous choices have impact... all false statements.  This PR bungling probably is what contributed to swtor's sudden decline only a month later, angry Bioware fans lashing out.


Personally, unless DAI is an awesome 10/10 Five Star game, I'm done with Bioware.  EA has (probably) ruined another great dev company.

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

As long as not every planet is a freaking mountainous terrain with those annoying, overly loud thresher maws popping out the ground, the Mako will be fine. I'm glad they're keeping the new protagonist a human. 

I hope Mass Effect 4 is a complete game like Mass Effect 2 where you at least know how everything wraps up according to the choices you made. The cliffhanger endings are lame.

TruthSerum808
TruthSerum808

LOOOVED Mass Effect 3 and I never played ME1 but I know that I'm not a fan of driving around huge landscapes looking for something to do. 


RAGE tried it and it was a great action game except for the boring driving parts. 

SpLiTMaN
SpLiTMaN

make the true rpg sequel to ME 1 plz...except for the ME3 multy player they were forgetable gameplay wize...the first was just so perfect ....it only needed polishing...alot of it ok but still the core was done and perfect....ill go bounce around with a mako now...

homelessgamer
homelessgamer

I remember the first mass effect, then the series went all backwards.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@robertcain Yeah that was the main reason it took ages before i finally decided to get a complete safegame in which i finished ALL quests.. All these dungeon's and planets where copy/paste work :/

ChunkyDrawers
ChunkyDrawers

@di98pho Ya that was the best part of it. I loved been able to get out of the mako and experiencing that giant sense of awe of distance or whatever

jemoedr
jemoedr

@LOKIIGODX41 "I hope they NEVER use the HORRIBLE and Mandatory planet scanning minigame again, that was the most frustratingly dull and painful experiences in ME2"


The good thing about this was that it took way less time then driving around in the mako :P

jemoedr
jemoedr

@TigusVidiks It's a possibility if the story would play long after the reaper invasion, or during the time of the Proteans.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@nirzor07 They said it before. Although i agree, it would be nice to play an alien protagonist.

thesilverape
thesilverape

@DrowNoble Nosedived after the first game? Did you even play ME2? Only bad thing about it is no Inventory and the Citatdel, other than that it is an improvement from ME1. ME3 was a kick to the balls though, I finished the game only once, as opposed to 3 times the 1st and too many times the 2nd. Btw, the Bioware we knew no longer exists the doctors(Muzyka, Zeschuk) are gone, it's just another soulless EA Dev Team using the name for marketing.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@TruthSerum808 it wasn't like that. Most of the time you know exactly where to go unless you're scavanging for minerals and other collectibles.

robertcain
robertcain

@jemoedr @robertcain At least they fixed them all in the sequels!!! I want exploration but in a similar vein to ME2 where every planet and mission feels unique. Only this time you can explore in the Mako and uncover multiple side objectives.

Pro-Aktivity
Pro-Aktivity

@thesilverape I wouldn't call it a nosedive, but I would agree that with exception of the shooting mechanics I got far more enjoyment out of ME1. It just felt like Bioware design philosophy with ME2 was, "If you didn't like it in ME1, we're gonna remove it instead of improve it.". Also screw global cooldown in that game.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@thesilverape I largely agree, though i think ME3 was a great game. The kick in the balls only arrived at the end ;)

jemoedr
jemoedr

@robertcain @jemoedr Exactly! I wonder how they are going to do it. And when the story is set, before or after the reaper events...

jemoedr
jemoedr

@ChunkyDrawers @jemoedr @LOKIIGODX41 It's not about liking or not liking space. I love space, but not if it's all the same.


All planets where virtually the same. All quests where the same. All dungeons where the same, with just some junk on a different place. Unless it was a main quest...