Bioware’s acclaimed Mass Effect series has proven far too profitable for publisher/videogame Galactus EA to simply allow it to end at three games, so it’s to no one’s surprise that a fourth Mass Effect is in the works.
Two days ago, a Reddit user, whose account has since been deleted, wrote that he had taken an online survey allegedly titled “The Next Mass Effect Context”. The survey asked the user to rate several ideas that are being pitched for the next game.
According to the survey, it sounds like Mass Effect 4 will follow a similar path laid down by Dragon Age Inquisition, in which the player is tasked with managing a full-blown military operation, rather than simply leading a squad of adventurers around the place. The premise, as described by the user, is as follows:
The next Mass Effect game takes place in the Helius Cluster (a cluster of 100s of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy), far removed by time and space from Commander Shepard’s heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy. You are a pathfinder, a combat trained but un-tested explorer leading an expedition into the Helius cluster to establish a new home for humanity. As you explore this sprawling series of solar systems (over 4x the size of Mass Effect 3), collecting resources and building colonies, you will encounter the savagery of untamed lands in the form of cut-throat outlaws and warring alien races. To survive and colonize the wild reaches of space, you will need to grow your arsenal, your ship, your crew and make strategic (and often uneasy) alliances to fight against increasingly menacing foes. Along the way, you will encounter the remains of a once powerful and mysterious alien race, the Remnant, whose forgotten technology holds the key to gaining power in this region of the galaxy. As you uncover who the Remnant were, and the mysteries their ruins contain, you are drawn into a violent race to find the source of their forgotten technology that will determine the fate of humanity.
To that end, the game will allegedly have a resource management system in which the player has to collect funds and resources to establish settlement around the Helius Cluster. The player can choose to focus their colonies’ objectives towards specific goals, such as mining, which grants the player periodic supplies of materials, or reconnaissance, which clears the fog of war around the world map quicker.
The player will also have a number of strike missions to engage in. These are randomly generated optional sidequests that range from artifact recovery or defending a settlement that reap rewards if undertaken. The player can send in a strike team, which will automatically complete the mission after a set amount of time, or go in himself with either his AI squadmates or human teammates. These missions will take place in the context of a multiplayer horde mode similar to Mass Effect 3.
The Reddit user also said there would be seven squad members that can be recruited, such as Cora, a biotic who can generate a protective shield around the entire squad, and Drack, a Krogan. Like previous Mass Effect games, the player can build (or lose) rapport with these characters and their loyalty can be earned by taking on their personal quests.
Granted, this is an unconfirmed leak, but the information certainly sounds like ideas that Bioware would actually be tinkering with.
In all honestly, if these details are anything to go by, then Mass Effect 4 is not sounding too impressive. It simply sounds like Bioware have copied and pasted Dragon Age Inquisition and bits of the Mass Effect games together into something that is expansive and full of content, but severely lacking in new ideas. We’ll have to wait and see until game has its official reveal, whenever that may be.