Fans of BioWare’s Mass Effect may still be waiting for the next chapter in their interstellar journey, but their wait may have just been made easier.
As reported by Tech Times, the Great America theme park in Santa Clara, California, has announced that a ride based on the video game is set to open in May. Mass Effect: New Earth is being produced as a collaborative project between the theme park and the video game developers, much to the delight of roller coaster and video game fans alike.
The first Mass Effect game was released in 2007 for the Xbox 360. Often referred to as a “space opera,” Mass Effect is a third person shooter that takes place in 2183. The main character is Commander Shepard, who captains the SSV Normandy. The game garnered a large fan base, releasing sequels in 2010 and 2012, as well as a plethora of supplemental stories and material. Though originally intended to be a trilogy, EA games has since announced a fourth installment to be released in 2017, according to PC Advisor.
EA Games stated, “When we wrapped up the original Mass Effect trilogy with Mass Effect 3: Citadel in early 2013, planning and design on Mass Effect: Andromeda was already well underway. We knew we wanted to start with a foundation composed of the best parts of any Mass Effect game: exciting new worlds to discover, great characters, and intense action. At the same time, we clearly wanted to expand the definition of what you should expect from a Mass Effect game.”
In the meantime, Great America and EA Games hope to both tap into the excitement among existing fans and introduce new people to the franchise with their ride, slated to open May 18. The headquarters for EA games is mere miles down the road from the park, and according to Fortune, BioWare developers have been part of every step of this collaborative project, engaging in weekly calls covering concept, art, animation, and more.
Christian Dieckmann, corporate vice-president for development at the park’s parent company, Cedar Fair Entertainment said, “It’s very important that we create an attraction that fits seamlessly in the world of Mass Effect, while including the elements we know are critical to making a good amusement park experience. We want to ensure that dedicated fans and park-goers being introduced to the franchise alike walk away thrilled and excited.”
According to Comic Book Resources, the ride takes place around the same time as 2012’s Mass Effect 3. Riders are travelling alongside the Normandy, and arrive on Terra Nova, where they encounter a nefarious surprise. The ride is a technological masterpiece, a 4D, four-and-a-half minute thrill designed to appeal to all senses. The seats are equipped with devices that produce hot and cold gusts of air, as well of splashes of water. Guests can expect to be twisted, turned, poked, and even tickled during the 300 second Mass Effect adventure. Under each seat are large speakers, designed to provide tactile vibrations. The seats are also capable of haptic feedback, replicating the sense of touch through vibrations, motion, and force to the riders. Surrounding thrill-seekers is an 80 channel atmospheric sound system. To top it all off, the ride features the world’s largest LED screen, maxing out at a whopping 30 feet. The screen will serve as a backdrop for an actor, playing the captain of the ship, who will perform in front of the screen, interacting with ride and riders alike.
Mass Effect: New Earth is not the only video game and amusement park ride crossover planned for Great America. The park also plans to open an interactive amusement based on the popular video game Plants Vs. Zombies later in the year.
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