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Happy belated N7 day readers. Yesterday was an exciting day for Mass Effect fans. 24 hours ago, Bioware ran a stream on Twitch live from chilly Edmonton and bright eyed Montreal. A few exciting tidbits about the upcoming Mass Effect game were revealed, though Bioware are still keeping pretty tight lips on it.

The stream opened up with a few minutes of a brand new rendition of the Mass Effect Theme. Mass Effect Them was the tune off the original soundtrack that became known as Commander Shepard’s theme. A variation of it called Spectre Induction plays during her Induction into the leagues of the Special Tactics and Recon unit, as well as after her triumphant fight against Saren and Sovereign’s Husk.

Mike Gamble, Edmonton Producer then opened the livestream before wishing everyone a happy N7 day. He then began introducing some members of the new Mass Effect team. Mac Walters, the lead writer of both Mass Effect 2 and Mass effect 3 was introduced, now as Creative Director for the new Mass Effect game. Fabrice Condominas, Bioware Montreal’s Producer was then introduced, followed by Chris Wynn, Senior Development Director for the new Mass Effect title. Finally Studio Director for Bioware Montreal, Roy Yanick complimented the ensemble of Bioware devs for the livestream.

Could this be the Citadel 3.0, hundreds of years after Shepard's demise?

Could this be the Citadel 3.0, hundreds of years after Shepard’s demise?

Mike Gamble then spoke a little about his background, reassuring Mass Effect fans that his job was mainly to make sure the new title felt like a Mass Effect game. Mac Walters expressed great honour at being a crucial member of helping to shape the world of Mass Effect as a whole in his capacity as writer for the last games in the series. Gamble mentioned bringing the franchise forward, focusing on not just doing “Mass Effect 4” but to introduce a lot of new concepts. One of the main focuses is exploration, as well as story and characters, like the previous Mass Effects. Some concept art as show above and below was then shown, portraying the return of the Mako tank as revealed back in July. We have already known about this aspect for a while but the new concept art looks amazing. Mike then started talking about the planets in the new Mass Effect games, saying there will be new alien planets to explore.

A new alien race's home. Very environmental feeling. warm and welcoming, culturally.

A new alien race’s home. Very environmental feeling. warm and welcoming, culturally.

Hopefully this is confirmation that we won’t just be exploring the Milky Way Galaxy in the new Mass Effect. There will be far more diversity on the planets this time around. The team mentioned how they have learned from the First Mass Effect. There will be much more variety when exploring planets. Chris Wynn then piped up, talking about how much fun he has had driving the new Mako, mentioning being lost for hours just driving around, enjoying the scenery and the handling of the new Mako. A new concept screen was shown with what appeared to be a city living area with lush green gardens and a simulated sky. It’s possible this might be the evolution of the Citadel. It’s likely the new Mass Effect game is set hundreds of years after Shepard’s demise. There will be new technology and the feeling this particular image gives off is similar to the Citadel. There are going to be new species of alien races, and they really want to push this aspect. A new image of one of the new race was then shown with very environment driven. Very round architecture was shown. It was said this would be a large part of their culture. Chris Wynn said that so far over a thousand pieces of concept art have been done for the new Mass Effect game. Hopefully most of it will get used.

This could possibly be the planet where the new antagonist race lives.

This could possibly be the planet where the new antagonist race lives.

Yanick Roy then said this time round the role playing aspect has taken a leaf out of old Dungeons and Dragons in the amount of possibilities and the paths one can choose to take in the story. They want to allow players to play their way. There’s plenty of areas to explore that are optional for those that like that sort of thing. A new concept image was then shown which gave off a hostile feel, evoking imagery of the Reapers,  with a lot of mechanical hard edges. Mechanical pyramids somewhat stretching wide across the structure. It looks cold and unfeeling, like old archaeological technology.

Concept of the Player surveying the nearby area for resources.

Concept of the Player surveying the nearby area for resources.

They want to allow players to explore and research. A new concept image showed what is clearly a human astronaut holding a device. The device is displaying a map and surveying the planet. This is an idea they want to push forward. Mike Gamble started explaining that for the explorers who play the new Mass Effect game, they wanted to allow them to really research the planet and survey it in an in depth way, as opposed to the basic method in Mass effect 2.  The main character this time round is not a hero. While Shepard was already a legend in her own right before the start of Mass Effect, this person is going to be more like Hawke from Dragon Age II. They will slowly over time build themselves up to be a hero, rather than already being well-known.

They want to keep the player’s experience grounded and in the world. Immersion is a big part of exploration going into this new Mass effect title it seems. Mike Gamble commented to this effect talking about the important of not cluttering the screen with too many user interface, menus as well as not having incredibly lengthy cutscenes that detract from the gameplay so much. They want the different worlds to be the star of the show, say to speak and not break the immersion with a whole lot of dialogue everywhere. There will be lots of small stories on each world. Chris Wynn then stated that to Bioware Montreal, they are wanting to make the best Mass Effect game yet, focusing on exploration, but not gimping combat and learning from previous games. They want the new game to be fun, creating events that players want to do, rather than what they have to do, according to Fabrice.

The exterior of a possible antagonist's ship as your tiny crew heads toward it?

The exterior of a possible antagonist’s ship as your tiny crew heads toward it?

Mike Gamble then showed a new concept, discussing the idea of space exploration itself. The art shows a ship heading towards a far larger ship, with similar architecture to the above cold mechanical piece. Possibly this is the exterior of the mechanical evil looking artwork. Gamble and Condominas then discussed how essential friendships and relationships will be with your crew in terms of staying alive during combat in both large spaces (perhaps space itself?) as well as small spaces. The stream then ended with them all wishing everyone a happy N7 day, and mentioning Dragon Age Inquisition being out soon.

Pictured Above: Ian Frazier.

Pictured Above: Ian Frazier.

Despite the stream having ended, more Mass Effect related news has reached the gaming community. Bioware released on their official blog, some of the lineup for the new Mass Effect team lead developers. Among all the developers on the livestream were also Ian Frazier as Lead Designer, best known for his work on Dawn of War: Soulstorm as well as the very successful Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. He is a welcome addition to the team and his arrival can only be overshadowed by this next announcement. Chris Schierf, former writer for 343 Studios and Lead writer for the wildly successful Halo 4 has had trouble keeping his mouth shut regarding his next project. He has officially been announced as the Lead Writer for the upcoming Mass Effect game since November 2013. Like a kid in a candy shop, he is overjoyed to be working with the likes of Mac Walters and Mike Gamble, two of Mass Effect’s alumni on this new installment. This News comes as a welcome boon, and fans seem to be salivating at Chris’s involvement with the project. We at TechRaptor have no doubt that he will treat the Mass Effect franchise with the respect it deserves, hopefully for years to come.

Happy belated N7 day everyone! We tried to get this out on the day but time wasn’t on our side.

Picture Above: Chris Schierf

Picture Above: Chris Schierf

 

 

 

 


Tabitha Dickerson

Tabitha has been playing games since she was 4. The first console she ever received from her parents was a SEGA MegaDrive. She has joined the website to gain further experience in an industry that she absolutely adores.



  • Jake Martinez

    Yeah, so they can fuck right off with this. The butchered the last game, why would I want more crap?

  • Zombie Kitten

    Cool! I can’t wait to play it. I enjoyed the Mass Effect series a lot (even the controversial endings, although I’ve only played it with the extended cut, not the original one). Maybe they will come back to the idea they’ve had about dark energy, I think it was really interesting.

  • Damn, I can’t wait for this game.

  • TeLin特林

    so glad the mako is coming back….loved using it to roam across barren planets…hoping there will be more to do this time around.

  • Tabitha Dickerson

    May I ask exactly how they butchered the last game?

  • Jon Snow

    They did exactly what they said they wouldn’t do, have endings A, B, and C. If felt like all the choices you had made up to that point really didn’t matter, and it was an unsatisfactory conclusion to what was an otherwise epic story.

  • Tabitha Dickerson

    But they didn’t. All three endings had far reaching implications that were always in line with what the series set up. Did you not get to go on the Flotilla, did you not reunite the Quarians on Rannoch? Did you not cure the Genophage? Did you not stop the Reapers from wiping out mankind? The series has always explored the sanctity of life whether if be flesh or mechanical. It’s always been about whether or not silicon-based life should be considered just as sacred as carbon based, and in that I felt they did a marvelous job portraying.

  • AeluronLightsong

    Well we’ll see what they offer this time. Hopefully they learned whatever bad things they did in ME3.(Still don’t see it but mk)

  • Jon Snow

    I’m glad you felt they did, but I personally did not. The ending was intentionally ambiguous as to what all those decisions actually meant and what repercussions they had. Instead of seeing how our choices affected the future in an epilogue they just left it open for interpretation. What did curing the genophage do? Did the Krogan explode in numbers again and struggle for planets again?

    Even all that wouldn’t be too large of an issue if it would be addressed later, but I don’t see bioware interested in doing that and instead opting for a ‘fresh start’

  • Zombie Kitten

    It’s been a while since I’ve played it, but I remember that the Extended Cut endings were quite detailed about what happened to all those people and places you’ve affected during the game. There definitely was stuff about the Krogans.

  • Jon Snow

    The EC is indeed better on that aspect although still not up to what I would have preferred. Not everyone played the EC though as it game out many months after the game was released.