Mass Effect 4 Will Not Feature Shepard or "Shepard 2"

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Mass Effect 4 Will Not Feature Shepard or "Shepard 2"

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A BioWare producer says that Shepard's successor for the next Mass Effect game will be very different.

With the Mass Effect trilogy completed, BioWare producer Fabrice Condominas has told VG24/7 that the studio will certainly continue with Mass Effect, but that Commander Shepard will no longer be a feature of the series. Calling Shepard's departure as protagonist the "starting point" of their production process, Condominas went on to describe that the studio is still in the planning phase for a fourth game. Additionally, Condominas says that the studio wants to avoid making the protagonist of the new game a "Shepard 2." He confirms that the game will be in a "very, very different context" from previous Mass Effect titles.

The decision to make the new protagonist not even "a soldier in the universe" is an interesting one, given the military focus of the Mass Effect trilogy. Judging by Condominas' comments, the game could be a sequel or a prequel to the original trilogy. He said that "we don't even know what kind of time frame we're going to be in." It's truly hard to judge what's in store for lovers of Mass Effect, because as Condominas points out, "the Mass Effect universe is vast and very, very rich."

The departure of Shepard will mark a shift in tone for the series, which has made its name on the adventures of the special operations soldier. The game is known for its branching storylines where player choice is emphasized, and while fans will disagree on whose Shepard is the best, they'll all agree that Shepard's story is the core of Mass Effect. It will certainly be a challenge to find a strikingly different protagonist who still makes the world feel like Mass Effect. In the end, a less militarily inclined protagonist will surely lead to a very different space opera, and could signal a shift in tone from conflict to exploration - or at least a broadened scope.

Source: VG24/7

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But who would buy it at this point, after so much fail on 3?

Wow, this just might make me interested in Mass Effect again. Shepard was fine and all, for an undeveloped blank slate character, but I really didn't care for the switch from Shepard being important because they stumbled into the path of the Prothean beacon in ME1, to space-Jesus who kicks the most ass in ME2. For me, the setting was the real draw of Mass Effect. It'd be nice if we could explore that setting in different ways, maybe without having to look over an iron sight.

No Shepard 2?

Goddammit Bioware, you've already ruined ME4!!

BaronIveagh:
But who would buy it at this point, after so much fail on 3?

My thoughts as well - after the way 3 ended, how many people are going to be willing to trust Bioware on another series of Mass Effect games?

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice..."

Not even a soldier? Even after sacrificing so many of the decent story elements in order to make Mass Effect 3 a great third person shooter?

We always knew it wouldn't be Shepard though. They said before ME3 even came out that it'd be the last game based around them. Obviously Bioware are not particularly well known right now for saying things and sticking to them, but it's not that surprising that they have ended Shepards story.

Sweet. Looking forward to more info.

You know what will happen.

We will play as Eagle, a commoner who managed to escape from earth during the Reaper invasion. With the help of Aria T'loak, he manages to help his family escape to Omega, losing his sister/brother/cousin/puppy in the process depending on what class he/she is.

Then starts his rise to glory on Omega, where he earns respect for his actions in the promenade, Aria's club, and the basement. Then, an anti biotic group and a pro biotic group start a civil war, and he gets thrown into the middle of it, even if he isn't a biotic.

Will feature cameos by Neil Patrick Harris, and John Barrowman.

Not content with having to press a button to make something awesome happen, the game will feature a streamlined approach to gameplay in order to fix bugs from Mass Effect 3. Once you put the disk in the machine, you won't need to press anything else to make awesome stuff happen. The game will do it for you!

Soviet Heavy:
You know what will happen.

We will play as Eagle, a commoner who managed to escape from earth during the Reaper invasion. With the help of Aria T'loak, he manages to help his family escape to Omega, losing his sister/brother/cousin/puppy in the process depending on what class he/she is.

Then starts his rise to glory on Omega, where he earns respect for his actions in the promenade, Aria's club, and the basement. Then, an anti biotic group and a pro biotic group start a civil war, and he gets thrown into the middle of it, even if he isn't a biotic.

Will feature cameos by Neil Patrick Harris, and John Barrowman.

Oh you crafty devil, I see what you did there. After all, if they copied Dragon Age 2's plot into Dragon Age 3 it'd cause issues, but to switch series would be pure genius.

This seems like a good decision to me. I always felt a bit constrained by the soldier thing and branching out in a new direction is a nice artistic choice which suggests that maybe ME4 isn't completely publisher controlled

Well I'm sure it will be a Far Cry from the success of the original series.

DVS BSTrD:
So it's going to be Kirkwall in space?

Not Kirkwall, Omega. That way they can recycle assets.

ok. so are we to expect a story every line Bioware releases of info on Mass Effect francise. you know I would really like a completely contextual story instead of having to piece mill it together over several weeks. this is a criticism of the PR addled industry, and the journalists that cover it.

As I've said before. They need to go for a smaller, more personal story, otherwise they wont beat ME 2 and 3 (1 was pretty small scale if you look at it)

They'll bring Shepard back in some way. She won't be the main character, and she probably won't be in the game itself for very long, but they'll find a way to give her a cameo.

My question is this: Assuming they set the game after Mass Effect 3, how are they going to do it? While each ending in 3 is pretty much the same, there are some HUGE differences between them. Is BioWare just going to pick one of the three endings and decide, "Yep, that's what happened," or are they going to make it so the game can read our save files?

Sniper Team 4:
They'll bring Shepard back in some way. She won't be the main character, and she probably won't be in the game itself for very long, but they'll find a way to give her a cameo.

My question is this: Assuming they set the game after Mass Effect 3, how are they going to do it? While each ending in 3 is pretty much the same, there are some HUGE differences between them. Is BioWare just going to pick one of the three endings and decide, "Yep, that's what happened," or are they going to make it so the game can read our save files?

The only difference I could see for that is if you see a Reaper flying around in the background, or if everything has a green glow in the game.

If ME4 is ME4 and not, ME:Subtitle then it'll be facing an uphill battle. Since it sounds like it'll be a departure from the Shepard story though I'm going to assume and hope it is ME-Subtitle instead of an outright ME4. I'm also going to hope that you get to play as a non-human race although, this hope may be crushed since I remember an article a while back about Bioware wanting to get away from making RPGs. Come on Space Combat sim!

Legion:

Soviet Heavy:
You know what will happen.

We will play as Eagle, a commoner who managed to escape from earth during the Reaper invasion. With the help of Aria T'loak, he manages to help his family escape to Omega, losing his sister/brother/cousin/puppy in the process depending on what class he/she is.

Then starts his rise to glory on Omega, where he earns respect for his actions in the promenade, Aria's club, and the basement. Then, an anti biotic group and a pro biotic group start a civil war, and he gets thrown into the middle of it, even if he isn't a biotic.

Will feature cameos by Neil Patrick Harris, and John Barrowman.

Oh you crafty devil, I see what you did there. After all, if they copied Dragon Age 2's plot into Dragon Age 3 it'd cause issues, but to switch series would be pure genius.

Oh good lord, is this what you would call the Video Games' version of inbreed?

At this point however, I really would not put it past Bioware or... well the company named Bioware, not sure how many of the original staff still remains, if any at all :P

Perhaps they will make the main character a choice; start off as an Asari Stripper, a Silurian Scientist, a miss-programmed Keeper, etc. Only being able to choose human was one of the drawbacks of the original trilogy.

Soviet Heavy:
You know what will happen.

We will play as Eagle, a commoner who managed to escape from earth during the Reaper invasion. With the help of Aria T'loak, he manages to help his family escape to Omega, losing his sister/brother/cousin/puppy in the process depending on what class he/she is.

Then starts his rise to glory on Omega, where he earns respect for his actions in the promenade, Aria's club, and the basement. Then, an anti biotic group and a pro biotic group start a civil war, and he gets thrown into the middle of it, even if he isn't a biotic.

Will feature cameos by Neil Patrick Harris, and John Barrowman.

Not content with having to press a button to make something awesome happen, the game will feature a streamlined approach to gameplay in order to fix bugs from Mass Effect 3. Once you put the disk in the machine, you won't need to press anything else to make awesome stuff happen. The game will do it for you!

I see what you did there.

If this is ME4's fate kill me now! DX

BaronIveagh:
But who would buy it at this point, after so much fail on 3?

I will as will many others. The third game was great, children need to stop complaining about the damned ending.

Might be a little CDO but it's not ME4 then. Sequels are suppose to follow-on from the last one (I'm looking at you Lion King 3). Anyway it'll be the fifth of the series counting Infiltrator.

To be honest they've actually got all the makings of an MMO. Plenty of classes, species and careers they could have but the burning question will be: can they make it work with us knowing Shepard's story, both how it begins and ends?

Soviet Heavy:
The only difference I could see for that is if you see a Reaper flying around in the background, or if everything has a green glow in the game.

I disagree: Synthesis is the most transformative (especially if you take the Extended Cut into consideration - Tuchanka, for example, looks completely different), Destroy takes the geth out of the equation, and Control means the Reapers and their armies are still around. Not an easy thing to do.

Personally, if they're going for a prequel (Rachni Wars/Krogan Rebellions/First Contact War), I'd like to see an Origins-esque scenario where you can choose a specific character (ie: asari scientist, salarian STG operative, krogan warrior), play their unique origin story, and eventually form a team with the other characters you didn't choose.

Sniper Team 4:
They'll bring Shepard back in some way. She won't be the main character, and she probably won't be in the game itself for very long, but they'll find a way to give her a cameo.

My question is this: Assuming they set the game after Mass Effect 3, how are they going to do it? While each ending in 3 is pretty much the same, there are some HUGE differences between them. Is BioWare just going to pick one of the three endings and decide, "Yep, that's what happened," or are they going to make it so the game can read our save files?

They might do what they did in Dragon Age II. Giving you a choice between those three endings and making it very "General", not going into much of the details. Either that or it might not actually be set after the reapers at all and instead could be alongside them or a prequel.

For everyone asking what implications regarding the Reapers will have on ME4, consider this: The Collector Base's impact on ME3.

Am I the only one who would want the star to be an alien? Unless they're dead set on making a hard canon exist for the story, I don't see why there couldn't be race selection like there was in Dragon Age: Origins (you know, the one good game in the series).

I'm curious now, what could they possibly do to write themselves out of the corner that was ME3's ending. Not only was the ending bad, but it changed everything. I think their just going to go "destruction" as canon ending and pretend the me3 ending didn't happen. (at least one can hope)

This pleases me greatly. As much as I loved the adventures of Alexander Shepherd, they came to an end with the conclusion of Mass Effect 3. I love the universe though and definitely anticipate going back to it at some point from a different perspective. Personally, I hope they don't do a prequel but instead jump forward into a slightly future time period.. the only question being which ME ending will they would take as canon given how drastically changed each version left the universe.

I want to see how they get burned, so bad.
How are they going to make all three endings work for one new story?
Because as we saw with 2 and 3, your choices did not matter!

BaronIveagh:
But who would buy it at this point, after so much fail on 3?

So much fail? Up to retaking Earth, most people seemed to be having fun, and they fixed the endings, though many people still weren't pleased for not getting their perfect ending.

I'll probably be careful about buying it - I'll read reviews and wait for a significant price drop.

OT: It'll probably be a prequel or happen in the same time as the ME trilogy. Otherwise, they'll have to make one ending canon, or not choose one and try to be vague about which one Shepard chose.
I hope they'll allow the player to choose a race and maybe origin stories. But I won't hold my breath.

Doom972:

BaronIveagh:
But who would buy it at this point, after so much fail on 3?

So much fail? Up to retaking Earth, most people seemed to be having fun, and they fixed the endings, though many people still weren't pleased for not getting their perfect ending.

I'll probably be careful about buying it - I'll read reviews and wait for a significant price drop.

OT: It'll probably be a prequel or happen in the same time as the ME trilogy. Otherwise, they'll have to make one ending canon, or not choose one and try to be vague about which one Shepard chose.
I hope they'll allow the player to choose a race and maybe origin stories. But I won't hold my breath.

Being able to choose a race would be nice, but I would be happy enough with a story focussed on the life of a member of a race that isn't human. I think I've had my share of human protagonists in the last million games I played.

for me, Mass Effect was more of a setting then a story, but then for Me, only Mass Effect 1's Story made sense, 2 was utter garbage and 3 was trying to pull up 2's dead weight.

it is why I have said a Mass Effect movie/tv show should leave the games behind. this is most certainly a step in the right direction.

Honestly, I can't wait to see the story for ME4. I loved ME3, especially after they fixed the endings. I'm also interested with how they'll deal with creating a new character. So many possibilities can be done. They can still keep the same sort of atmosphere, even. If they do it right.

I think a galactic civil war might be cool as a sequel to the plots. As a prequel, I could imagine the discovery of the Reaper tech and their run-in with the turians, and the short war that followed, and any other major battles of that time period.

So much can happen! I can't wait. :3

BaronIveagh:
But who would buy it at this point, after so much fail on 3?

All of us who liked 3's ending, like me, or those of us who didn't care about the 10 less-than-good minutes at the end of a 3-game series. You guys are all whinier than Star Wars fans. Good grief.

Anyway, I have no idea where they're going to go with this. I call it "Epic Creep" -- when the story has to keep ratcheting the epic levels up until they get absurd. We've just saved the galaxy from a generally undefeatable race of super-monsters...what *now*?

Doom972:

OT: It'll probably be a prequel or happen in the same time as the ME trilogy. Otherwise, they'll have to make one ending canon, or not choose one and try to be vague about which one Shepard chose.
I hope they'll allow the player to choose a race and maybe origin stories. But I won't hold my breath.

I doubt they can be vague with the three endings, one had everyone becoming a synthetic organic hybrid, another has a giant army of space cthulhus running around and the last one has an entire race wiped off the map.

Honestly they can't really be vague, the second you see everyone does or doesn't have glowing eyes you can rule out at least one ending

OT: I am iffy on sequels since the endings will either be ignored or one will be chosen and then that shit storm will happen

a prequel would be great especially from another races point of view like the Morning War or something. No fear of a human main char unless Bioware wants to bend story canon over the table

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