BioWare has announced that it is currently working on the next Mass Effect game (which we'll henceforth refer to as Mass Effect 5 until its official name is revealed). The upcoming RPG looks to feature a storyline that may act as a direct sequel to the plotlines in both Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Presumably, Mass Effect 5 is the next game coming from BioWare though seeing as we know very little about Dragon Age Dreadwolf, but we don't know all that much about the next Mass Effect either. Below, we've compiled that which we do know.
BioWare hasn't yet announced a release date for Mass Effect 5. In February 2022, BioWare GM Gary McKay said Mass Effect 5 is now in the prototyping phase, with developers experimenting with "ideas and experiences" for what the game will be, implying the game is coming but still not close to being finished. This sentiment was echoed in April 2022, with BioWare posting a blog post stating Mass Effect 5 is still in "early" development. In November 2022, for N7 Day, BioWare posted new concept art for Mass Effect 5, as well as a message that the game is still in pre-production and that this stage of development is "proceeding very well."
For N7 day in 2023, BioWare showed a short and cryptic teaser of the next Mass Effect, which leads us to think the game still isn't in a state quite ready to be showcased yet. According to a report by Giant Bomb's Jeff Grubb, Mass Effect 5 will have a similar development timeline to Dreadwolf, which would mean we may not get the next Mass Effect until 2028 or 2029. If you're hoping to play a new Mass Effect in 2024, you may want to temper your expectations.
What we know
We know very little about Mass Effect 5--most of our knowledge comes from the game's announcement trailer. The trailer showcases two different galaxies, promoting the theory that Mass Effect 5 may be a sequel to both Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda, telling a story that spans the two separate galaxies.
At the very least, the game looks to be a proper sequel to Mass Effect 3, as you can see dead Reapers and an older Liara T'Soni in the trailer. Liara is 109 in Mass Effect 3 and her species, the asari, can live close to 1000 years, so Mass Effect 5 could take place up to 900 years after the events of the original trilogy.
BioWare producer Brenon Holmes has confirmed that Mass Effect 5 will also utilize Unreal Engine via a job posting, asking for programmers with Unreal Engine 4 and Unreal Engine 5 experience to work on the new Mass Effect.
Deus Ex and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy writer Mary DeMarle has joined BioWare as the senior narrative director for Mass Effect 5 as well.
The launch platforms for this new Mass Effect haven't been revealed yet, though we're assuming it will be released for the current generation of consoles, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, as well as PC since it appears to still be a few years out. We doubt it will be released for Switch or Microsoft and Sony's past generation hardware (Xbox One and PS4), but nothing has been officially ruled out.
PC system specs
Again, this game hasn't been confirmed for any hardware yet, and that includes PC. We don't yet know what this Mass Effect's minimum and recommended PC specs will be, nor whether the game will even be released for PC. Like, it's 99% likely that it will be, but there's no way to know for sure until BioWare or EA confirms as much.
So far, we have one trailer for the new Mass Effect--its announcement cinematic trailer.
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BioWare has not shared whether the new Mass Effect will have multiplayer. Hopefully, it does, as Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda featured a very fun online Horde mode multiplayer that emphasized teamwork and strategy.
There's no word from BioWare or publisher EA on whether the new Mass Effect will support DLC or microtransactions. Both Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda featured microtransactions in their respective multiplayer modes, and the original trilogy featured paid DLC expansions that added additional squadmates, story-driven side quests, and extra weapons and armor. To this day, both Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 have some of the best post-launch DLCs of any RPG in their Lair of the Shadow Broker and Citadel expansions, so we wouldn't mind paying for DLC for Mass Effect 5 if BioWare manages to achieve that caliber of storytelling again.
Mass Effect 5 is not yet available for preorder.