Next Mass Effect game's development "somewhere in the middle" stages

BioWare boss Yanick Roy gives some indication of where the studio is at with the fourth Mass Effect.

by

Development on the next Mass Effect game is in neither the early stages nor the late stages, prompting BioWare studio director Yanick Roy to describe its development status as being "somewhere in the middle."

Roy said as much in response to a question on Twitter (spotted by IGN) asking him to clarify conflicting reports about the status of the next Mass Effect game. He has been hesitant to reveal much more than that on Twitter. Early last month, he tweeted, "I apologize for not having any new info on the next Mass Effect for you. It's because our focus is on doing it right over doing it fast!" More recently, he was asked whether the game would have a presence at this year's E3, to which he expressed his hesitation "to start announcing announcements."

Little is known about the next Mass Effect game--sometimes referred to as Mass Effect 4, despite no title having been announced--beyond the fact that it leaves the story of Commander Shepard and the first three games behind. BioWare began teasing images from the new game in November (one of which you can see above), and shortly thereafter we learned it is already playable and "fresh but recognizable."

A release window for the next Mass Effect has yet to be announced. While we could very well begin seeing official announcements made at any time, based on Roy's tweet, it doesn't sound as if you should expect any announcements regarding a release in 2014.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

222 comments
Maj_Wood
Maj_Wood

I'd say that'd address the me3 ending in this and I think its pretty clear that shep was being indoctrinated very heavly at the end to that could mean the control area for the station in ME3 was not the same as in ME1 (the council area)

Tarant0ula
Tarant0ula

A game is nice to have a story and, in this case, some mystery and twists too. But since ME3 is the end of the trilogy, devs ought to give a solid one. Leave questions for the future? Fine. But leave questions during game and for the structure of the game story, is poor. I see people arguing about what happened. Some want "indoctrination", some other an "is-all-explained" and goes on. I don't know and really don't care which one is true. After 5 years and lot's of installments (=money), i see no reason leaving intentionally "plot holes" so the gamers start "conspiracy theories". This is not a historical event, is A SCI-FI GAME, and it ended. So, imho, Bioware just failed (intentionally or not), to deliver a decent end to the plot.

emperiox
emperiox

if only they were past the middle stages of the Mass Effect 3 ending!!!

4love10
4love10

mass effect 3 was good thanks for the DC dlc,lest me play Dragon age Inquisition first and then we will talk about Mass Effect 4

freedomzealot
freedomzealot

Is the ending going to be a fucking joke in ME4? ME3=shit so this game will be shit.

Chaos_1990
Chaos_1990

I'm replaying ME3 for the 3rd time. For those still replaying it, I'd advise you to check out the indoctrination theory of the original ending of ME3 (if you still haven't)
Explains a lot of stuff, and also makes sense, Shepard was a human after all and Reapers tried to indoctrinate him in the last battle. It's just Bioware that delivered this one a bit poorly, and people did not clearly understand it. Also explains the cutscene after choosing the Red/Destruction ending, where Shepard seems to be alive.

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

It would be cool if the next mass effect was like Battlestar Galactica.Many thousands of years since ME3,the last survivors of the human race go on a journey to find earth because their planet was destroyed :D

SpLiTMaN
SpLiTMaN

Me i hope your going back to your roots back to the hardass rpg first action later i have yet to finish ME1 on insane 2 and 3 were too easy but keep that same multiplayr god do i love that freacking multiplayer!!!!!for the rest plz impress me again....

m_dorian
m_dorian

They are probably testing color palette now.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

Once again, it goes to show that many here really do not get Mass Effect 3's ending...it shows.

If you were paying attention to the entire series, the ending touches upon the themes build up all throughout the series. the foreshadowing was there, the themes were there.....its the Sopranos all over again.

zpanski
zpanski

I think I'll miss the Normandy more than I'll miss Shepard.



adub424
adub424

Really excited to see what they do with the next Mass Effect game. The first three are all on my top ten of all times for games. I hope they continue to let past decisions carry on to sequels in the new series. While I am glad to see the first trilogy come to an end, I want that same drive to go back and play a previous( still part of the new series) installment all over to see how it changed the world. Similar gameplay but completely new saga sounds great to me Bioware are by far the best story tellers in games.

nighterrorx
nighterrorx

should probably finish up Mass Effect 3....at some point....

Ranma_X_basic
Ranma_X_basic

Wonder if Bioware will ever make a sequel to Jade Empire or for that matter i'd like to see Shattered Steel or even a new MDK game?!

tommynj
tommynj

My guess is how could it not be at E3 this year.

Ferric24
Ferric24

My enthusiasm for the new mass effect game is going to strongly correlate with how well DA:I turns out. If Bioware messes that game up then the company is dead to me as a fan boy. 

Chr0noid
Chr0noid

Can't wait to not buy this game. 

Pewbert
Pewbert

I reckon the new game will be based around the human-turian war.

dragonkantus4
dragonkantus4

now they just need to add all the dlcs in disc then BANG it is finished

freedomzealot
freedomzealot

ME1 was the only good one the other 2 had all the RPG elements taken out of them turning it into a mediocre TPS  with a ton of dialogue which is not interesting or even relevant and tacked on side quest that dont really add anything to the story, ME2&3 is overrated garbage. I dont expect ME4 will be any better, EA has pretty much killed off any talent Bioware had so I no longer purchase their games.

VakarianGirl
VakarianGirl

@Chaos_1990  "Shepard was a human after all and Reapers tried to indoctrinate him* in the last battle. "


*her


Sorry.......couldn't resist.

;-)

bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

@nighterrorx It's actually worth playing if you're invovled in the story/characters at all. There were a lot of complaints at first, but the improved ending is pretty satisfactory.

dani_i89
dani_i89

@Ferric24 It really shouldn't. Dragon Age sucked, yet Mass Effect was amazing. I'm expecting this same pattern for the new games.

dragonkantus4
dragonkantus4

@Pewbert  well i hope not looks boring... i want to know what happens after the ending 

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

@freedomzealot  While Mass Effect 2 and 3 were much better games than 1, but i agree completely, the 1st game was more of an RPG than the next 2.

dani_i89
dani_i89

@freedomzealot *sigh* I don't get people like you. ME2 and 3 improved on number 1 in every single way possible. What did u expect from a sequel to a story driven game? More crappy combat and a messier levelling up and inventory system?

I love ME1, but it doesn't really hold a candle to 2 and 3.

Ferric24
Ferric24

@freedomzealot  Mass effect 2 was a modern masterpiece. Mass effect 1 had it's problem and was the weakest in the series. This is coming from a guy that loves the original Baldur's Gate series and all manner of classic rpg's.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@freedomzealot  you're speaking of RPG as of Mecca of gaming. A modern game can do good without nerdy stuff. 

BTW, what RPG elements were taken out? quests? skill points?

magnetite2
magnetite2

@Shantmaster_K 

Why don't you decide for yourself? Make a decision. Don't let Bioware make your decisions for you. 

magnetite2
magnetite2

@Chaos_1990

Sure does. The amount of information in the game regarding it is overwhelming. Not just a few hints here or there. It does not come out of nowhere like many claimed.

magnetite2
magnetite2

@96augment  

Play the game and find out. The answers are there, you just have to look. 

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

@96augment @texasgoldrush

Thessia where Vendetta says that the Reapers are servants of the pattern, but not its master. Shepard even asks "Who is the master?"

This question would actually be out of place if Leviathan is completed before Thessia, because Shepard would have known of an Intellgence. therefore there was foreshadowing in the original game.

Also the Reapers motives were foreshadowed by the Reaper on Rannoch.

freedomzealot
freedomzealot

@dani_i89

If you consider dumbing down an improvement sure. How was the inventory system messy? I liked hunting for different armor and weapons and the leveling up had more customization. These are things I would call good.

freedomzealot
freedomzealot

@Ferric24

Mass Effect 2 was 90% dialouge. Guess Im the only one who got a kick out of exploring the planets in ME1.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@mr_nee @freedomzealotDudes, really, gamers arguing about levels of nerdy amongst themselves is like sumo wrestlers arguing about who is more obese. 

freedomzealot
freedomzealot

@mr_nee

Exploration, skill points, interactive story, quest that take longer than 5-10 minutes to complete. What do you mean by "nerdy stuff?" I guess you are the sort that prefers dumbed down games.

Chaos_1990
Chaos_1990

@magnetite2 That is right, this theory fits perfect in the original endings of ME3, not the extended cut.
It seems to me that Bioware wanted us to find out what was happening in the end. That is why they never officially rejected or accepted the Indoctrination theory.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ythY_GkEBck

leonardoskylar
leonardoskylar

@magnetite2 @leonardoskylar  You're actually wrong. BioWare has crafted the idea before that the game is yours to choose. By giving you The Story/Combat/Role Playing option if you don't import your game. Google what game devs think of the mass effect 3 ending. You'll find plenty of them saying what I'm saying. If BioWare has crafted from the beginning Fantasy, Forced ending, Fans would have been okay with that. But they haven't. The Destroy/Control/Synthesis is actually a very good variety of ending the story. It just ended something better than Spacemagic goddamn starchild to present it. And who said we're buying ME4? If BioWare gets their reputation of respecting their fans back, We'll buy their products. Unless then, Pirating is a good choice. Most of the Anti-Ending are looking for a happy ending and that's not their fault, BioWare has let everyone down by that ending, Spacemagic instead of Sci-Fi and lack of good choice. So everyone now wants to end it their own way. I'm personally currently working on an ending myself, But my ending is nothing but an Avatar of the Sci-Fi material given before. And that Keeper thing i mentioned is a part of it.

magnetite2
magnetite2

@leonardoskylar

Why didn't Bioware give the player the option to make their ending their own? Well this isn't hard to understand. It's their story not yours. Much like a bank might say "this is your bank" (National Bank of Canada). Marketing BS, and people fell for it.

People expect them to craft an ending for every single person who might want to buy this game? Like I said, Mass Effect games are built around Illusion of Choice. So if the game sold millions, and you expect there to be an option for everyone, well, I don't know what to say. Just for those who wanted conventional victory, you would have to redo the entire story, because the whole game is based around not being able to defeat the Reapers conventionally.

The ending made sense for those who actually follow the story. If people think the Reapers are here to "organics who create synthetics who then destroy organics" well, they didn't pay attention to what was being said. Reaper motives are similar to something Harbinger said in the second game. They are not complex or confusing at all.

Harbinger: We (Reapers) are your genetic destiny. You cannot escape your destiny Shepard.

Harbinger: We will bring your species into harmony with our own (Synthesis). 

So...What is Shepard's destiny?

Control=Become a Reaper.

Synthesis=Merge your DNA with Reapers (check Final Hours app to verify this).

Destroy low EMS=Reapers harvest everyone.

Destroy high EMS=Shepard wins, Reapers die. 

Look up in the codex "Reapers: Harvesting" in the secondary codex, that will explain what exactly Reaper harvesting is. You guys want explanations, and they are there. Just, they aren't explained using dialogue in the game. 

As for the whole EA thing, they are a business to make money. They are not in business to ruin franchises. See, this is why I can't take any anti-ending talk seriously. It's mostly rage fueled with irrational thinking.

Bottom line, if people are still mad about the ending, EA, or whatever, do not buy the next game. Do not buy any future Bioware products. Even if you don't buy any games, buying a N7 hoodie or mug still counts toward giving them money. 


No amount of convincing will get them to change the situation. It is done.

leonardoskylar
leonardoskylar

@magnetite2 @leonardoskylar  Paradox.
You speak as it isn't a RPG, And then speak of participation in the story.
Why have an open-ending when you can choose your bloody-ending?
Mass Effect since the first one was revolved around your choices and the Dev team wanted it to be this way from the start. Then EA bought BioWare and Mass Effect 2 came out with the plotholes about The Human Reaper. Drew Karpyshyn, The original lead writer of Mass Effect and a writer of Mass Effect 2, Had put another ending about Dark Energy with almost the same choices. While you didn't get to choose your true path as in Mass Effect 1, It actually made a lot of sense that the reapers harvest because of Dark Energy. It was Mass Effect's job to explain, But with the changes made in the Dev team while EA was buying BioWare, It changed a lot of the original perspective. Which why i consider this ending a betrayal, Though i did like the EC's Synthesis Ending very much.

magnetite2
magnetite2

@leonardoskylar

Oh, you got to choose how to end Shepard's story. Maybe not in a way that you would like. Choice was an illusion in this game. You did have a choice though. If you still think there isn't enough choice variation after EC, then that's not their problem. You swallowed the hype on the whole "this is your story" marketing they pulled. It was never your story. It was their story, and everything that happens in the game is predetermined by them before the game ships. .

So many unanswered questions. Just because it is unexplained doesn't make it a plot hole. There are no plot holes in the ending. Most of the unanswered questions can be solved using common sense. Unfortunately, the instant the game requires you to think, people start a damn witch hunt claiming the game is unfinished. 

Hey, they didn't explain how your crew got from the beam to the Normandy flying away at the end. I'd say, there was 20 minutes that have passed. They did not need to show every little detail, because they assumed people could fill in the blanks. Part of participating in a story it is that you do some of the work too. 

Gaming, unlike watching a movie, is a form of active participation. You actually have to pay attention and participate in the story a bit. If you expected the writers to spoon feed you all the answers, fill in all the blanks, and you do barely any work, then I'd suggest finding a new hobby, because gaming is not for you. 

leonardoskylar
leonardoskylar

@magnetite2 @96augmentOh yeah? Like why in the bloody hell does he look human? Who built the bloody Crucible? And why they'd move the citadel to eaerth specifically? And why in the bloody hell build a beam that transports humans into the citadel? The last question was adressed, But slightly. Major plotholes with major setbacks. The dev team even admitted that they gave the players too much space to choose their own path and then they gave the fans an ending that doesn't even get you to choose your own path.

magnetite2
magnetite2

@leonardoskylar

It would be full of plot holes if they had someone like Garrus or Tali saying the stuff that the kid said. However, it refers to itself whenever you talk to it as "we" or "us". Same as Harbinger or Sovereign did. You were talking to a Reaper the whole time. The idea of an antagonist taking the form of something familiar to you is not new to science fiction. If people were put off by this concept, then you don't watch much sci-fi.

The EC made that perfectly clear. If people still think it doesn't make sense, then I'm sorry, there's nothing anyone can say to help you. You're on your own at this point.

leonardoskylar
leonardoskylar

@texasgoldrush  You're right. But for me, I don't disagree on the mechanic of the story. I disagree with the contents of the story. Starchild's story was full of plotholes. They could have done better with another content. For example, Maybe the first keeper is controlling the reapers instead of that child.

bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

@dani_i89 @freedomzealot The equipment system in ME1 was definitely clunky. It was annoying having to swap around party members to remove weapon mods just so you could unequip & re-equip them to the characters you wanted to take with you for a different mission. ME2 stripped it back a little too far & ME3 more or less got it right, I feel.

ME1 was definitely a lower budget & less polished game. It was good, but felt pretty clunky after having played a more recent game in the series.

The important thing is that they found a pretty good system by the end of the trilogy & hopefully they will take the lessons they learned to the upcoming game.

dani_i89
dani_i89

@freedomzealot Better graphics, better, non-clunky combat, more interesting, lengthy dialogue, planets with actual detail as opposed to endless corridor-like environments and empty spaces. The characters are more interesting, and the story is just as great. The weapons are cool and actually feel different. Better inventory system, and while the levelling up is a little dumbed down, the levelling up in number 1 was not very deep...the skills didn't feel powerful and further made the combat feel very dull. Feels like I'm missing quite a few more points, but you get where I'm coming from.

You're welcome.

bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

@freedomzealot Playing ME2 on PS3 was good enough that it got me into playing the whole trilogy on PC. ME2 was definitely a story (character) focussed game, but I liked that. The scanning of planets was definitelt much less visceral than roving around with the buggy, but I liked that different games in the series tried different things.