BioWare hosted a panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 where it revealed significant new details about the next Mass Effect title for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This includes the return of the Mako from the original and preliminary video of it in action.
The SDCC panel was titled “Charting a Course: Developing the Next Mass Effect” and panelists from BioWare’s Montreal and Edmonton studios including Boulay (lead animator), Fabrice Condominas (producer), Mike Gamble (producer), Noel Lukasewich (senior artist), and Jessica Merizan (community manager). NerdAppropriate and the Escapist’s Andrea Rene were on hand to Tweet out the details.
First, BioWare emphasized that this is not Mass Effect 4 since that implies a continuation of the original Mass Effect trilogy. The next Mass Effect will feature all new characters and an all new story that doesn’t revolved around Commander Shepard. It’s more of a spiritual successor, but there was no hint at where the new game fits in the Mass Effect universe timeline. However, BioWare’s Gamble dropped hints that it may take place during Shepard’s lifetime. This is supported by a comment that old characters may appear as well.
The new Mass Effect will have a heavy emphasis on exploring uncharted areas. To help players explore planets, BioWare is bringing back the Mako from the original Mass Effect. The canon is gone but it described as more agile. BioWare even used the words “Your Mako” along with later slides about “Your Hero” suggesting a degree of customization.
The original Mako was criticized for its handling, but it was the actual planet exploring and other activities that were the problem. BioWare dropped the vehicle for the second Mass Effect in favore of planet scanning before bring it back as part of a DLC mission.
Concept art for the playable characters was shown with the “Your Hero” tag on both male and female characters wearing N7 Armor. Again, this suggests a degree of customization and a connection to the original Mass Effect trilogy. Whether players will be able to choose a race other than human to play as is still up in the air.
The next Mass Effect is being built with the Frostbite 3 engine just like all of Electronic Arts’ non-sports titles such as Dragon Age: Inquisition and Battlefield: Hardline. Judging by the Twitter comments from those that sat in on the panel, it is still a couple of years away from being released.
What do you think of the return of the Mako? Will BioWare make exploring in the next Mass Effect fun?
[Images via @AndreaRene]