BioWare: Next Mass Effect Isn't Mass Effect 4

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It would have to be set in a different universe entirely, just based on the perspective of story. The stakes pretty much can't be risen anymore than "save the galaxy from being completely wiped out by hyper-advanced synthetic lifeforms who are roughly the size of space ships."

It's kind of hard to take a step back after that. However, put it all in an entirely new universe and you can build up to whatever kind of story you want. If it's clear that this story does not take place in Shepard's universe, you won't be expecting anything, and the new threat can be slowly unveiled until the end of the over arcing plot. If it's set in the same universe, it's kind of hard to pull out a villain that's just as powerful, threatening, and equally built up to as the Reapers, who can also be somehow fit into the existing canon.

Looking forward to getting more information as it arrives!

I'll admit, if they can pull it off, and make it fell as epic as the first trilogy, I'll be impressed.

Sheo_Dagana:
It would have to be set in a different universe entirely, just based on the perspective of story. The stakes pretty much can't be risen anymore than "save the galaxy from being completely wiped out by hyper-advanced synthetic lifeforms who are roughly the size of space ships."

It's kind of hard to take a step back after that. However, put it all in an entirely new universe and you can build up to whatever kind of story you want. If it's clear that this story does not take place in Shepard's universe, you won't be expecting anything, and the new threat can be slowly unveiled until the end of the over arcing plot. If it's set in the same universe, it's kind of hard to pull out a villain that's just as powerful, threatening, and equally built up to as the Reapers, who can also be somehow fit into the existing canon.

Looking forward to getting more information as it arrives!

The stakes don't have to rise. The villain doesn't have to be as bad or worse as the previous ones. There is nothing wrong with the story having a smaller scope than the previous games.

I'm pretty sure they have been saying ME4 would not be a part of Shepards story since before ME3 even came out.

Sheo_Dagana:
It would have to be set in a different universe entirely, just based on the perspective of story. The stakes pretty much can't be risen anymore than "save the galaxy from being completely wiped out by hyper-advanced synthetic lifeforms who are roughly the size of space ships."

It's kind of hard to take a step back after that. However, put it all in an entirely new universe and you can build up to whatever kind of story you want. If it's clear that this story does not take place in Shepard's universe, you won't be expecting anything, and the new threat can be slowly unveiled until the end of the over arcing plot. If it's set in the same universe, it's kind of hard to pull out a villain that's just as powerful, threatening, and equally built up to as the Reapers, who can also be somehow fit into the existing canon.

Looking forward to getting more information as it arrives!

That doesn't matter, you don't need to have a bigger threat every single time especially when your not even using the same character. Not everything needs to about saving the whole universe and the Reapers existence dose not invalidate every other problem.

It should be obvious, but you can see how many dumb people can assume "direct sequel" upon hearing "Mass Effect 4". The rest of it is them saying in a roundabout way that they haven't decided what the next game is going to be, which is fine as far as I'm concerned, the longer they think about it, the better. But any tiny thing from Bioware is going to be shredded and pure hatred and vitriol will be spewed towards them. It might be a little bit deserved, but at the same time we can't condemn every future Bioware game because people weren't satisfied with the last 10 minutes of an otherwise pretty good ME3.

Mike Richards:

Headbiter:
An EA-executive and a Bioware-representative in a meeting.

"So Chris, buddy, what do you plan next? C'mon, you guys are a cash cow, people will buy anything you put out,no matter what you do and daddy needs a new condo."

"Well, actually we have some nifty ideas, considering a new setting, some new gameplay ideas and we finally wrote another script, so we don't have to recycle the Kotor-story for the 20th time."

"Uuuh, Chris, Chris, Chris, what did we say about the n-word? C'mooooon guys, you know how this works: I ask what your next game is and you put a number behind a title I already know. What about.... *scuffles through a little folder* ...this Mass Effect-stuff? I mean that's a safe shot, right? Most controversial response I ever saw about one of your games and the bloody masses still bought it like the little sheep they are supposed to be."

"Well...I guess you're right but...we kinda concluded the story, you know? We made a pretty big deal out of it being the end of the trilogy? And our rep DID suffer some serious blows and I don't think the dust settled on this one yet."

"Hm, I see where you're coming from. How about that: It's Mass Effect....but not the Mass Effect they know?"

"What, you mean like a reboot?"

"Uuuuh no. No. Nonono. Evil word, very unpopular. People HATE that word. No reboot."

"So...you WANT a sequel?"

"No sequel, no. You just said it, you concluded the..erm..what's the word again?" -"Story?" -"Yeh, that's it, story. No, you need to rework the existing story."

"But... if we use the Mass Effect name and set pieces...but cancel out everything we established about it before...that's a reboot, right?"

"....Okay, Chris, love your work so far but...here...we have a seminar, over at our place...come there next friday, 3 a.m., we have an amazing guy, he'll teach you everything about how to describe that rework-thing without using that nasty "Reboot"-word, alright? Alright!"

"Okay, I guess...but what should we name this re...work then?"

"Why, Mass Effect 4 of course. It is the fourth game in the series, isn't it?"

"....I'll see you at the seminar."

A Mass Effect fan and anti-fan meeting on a forum.

"Hey guys, look, Bioware is talking about taking ME in some new directions. It'll be interesting to see what they're talking about and judge whether or not it looks like a good idea once we actually know anything about it and can form a more informed opinion."

"No, they're just milking a dead franchise because EA told them to! EA! EA! EA! EEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

"But... the world was clearly created to be larger than just one storyline. There's a lot of room for other things to explore, and it's clearly a universe they have a lot of love for. And take Star Trek as an example, it's gone off in a lot of other directions that reference previous stories but don't-"

"No, they're clearly doing a reboot because it doesn't involve the old story but they can't call it a reboot because they know everyone hates reboots. Bioware is dead! EA! EA! EEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

"Ok, so, you want them to do something new and different then? New setting, new characters, new gameplay, all that? Even though they've already done that three times in the past ten years, which is something of an impressive achievement for a major company in the current market, and every time it seems like people complain that they were too different from the things they used to make."

"No, no, no. Don't you know how this works yet? They announce anything and everyone says they don't care anymore because reasons. Something about endings and hamburgers and how awesome Balder's Gate used to be. That's just how it works I'm afraid. Either they're not innovating enough or have strayed too far from that one thing that everyone liked. Either they're phoning it in or they're doing what they want instead of giving us exactly what we want without challenging us at all. Either they're a hollowed out shell of evil people intent on draining every last cent from their fanbase or they're a hollowed out shell of sympathetic people being manipulated by evil people into draining every last cent from their fanbase. Take your pick, no one can seem to come to a concise agreement on why we don't like them anymore, except things are different and we don't like different. And EA! EA! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, you have expressed my exact thoughts on Biowares relationship with it's fans. I am quite happy to count myself among those interested in what Bioware will be doing next.

I really hope they go with the everyman hero route in the next installment instead of the galactic hero theme in 1,2 & 3. Something smaller with the characters dealing with events and problems that dont have the universe hanging in the balance. Just like in the movies you can get a lot of enjoyment out of stories that are small and personal.

I'd love to see a ME game where your actually on the other side of the law, maybe working for a small smuggling or criminal outfit then based on your decisions either you steer the outfit to be outright evil or more of a robin hood setup.

Mike Richards:
-snip-

a) Don't do this kind of thing, you lack any of the subtlety necessary for a sketch dialogue.
b) You missed the point so bad...mainly because I didn't say anything of what you..erm...try to parodize there. But I guess with critical texts of anykind, you're always being torn apart to the most basic level of idiocy. Because you know, criticism bad.

daibakuha:

You hit the nail squarely on the head with this one. I see no reason to judge a game harshly when you literally know nothing about it. We haven't even seen a single screenshot or been told what it's going to play like.

Actually, he missed the board....of an entirely different structure.
I particulary don't care much about the ME-franchise. Not so much because I think it's bad but rather...well...it never got me all that interested in it. Maybe I got pretty tired of the standard formular, maybe I thought Shepard was bland...whatever it was I never got into the franchise.

And you know what? You're right, there is no reason to judge the game yet. And the attentive reader, few in number as they are, will notice that I didn't do that. The thing I'm taking issue with - and by god, that is a thing that so smells of standard marketing-decision - is that what Chris Priestly describes there is, in fact, a reboot. Is that a bad thing? Obviously I don't know. But as you said, there aren't even screenshots out for the game and already this guy sounds like a sleazy phone salesman who suffers from flopsweat due to nervousness.
Why not simply say "Hey, it's a reboot with different characters!"

As to why I'm concerned with this...well, I have this thing called pattern recognition. And sorry, but given the long-term history of EA and the short-term history of EA-Bioware, one really has to shut off all sensory functions to not feel a bit iffy with a project that starts with such a weasely statement.

I hope it's an RTS.

As long as they do not take the same path as Halo 4 then I will be happy. And if they decide to step away from the very platform that made the franchise what it is today (The PC) like everyone else is doing then I will be REALLY pissed off as I will be unable to throw money at BiowEAr

Dead Space 3 is Mass Effect 4.

Seriously, my Origin account has ME3 on it and I got a bonus N7 suit thanks to that. Been playing with it on ever since.

I honestly can't tell which franchise I'm playing, mostly just wandering where the Quarians are, there's some prime salvage.

hentropy:
But any tiny thing from Bioware is going to be shredded and pure hatred and vitriol will be spewed towards them.
...

we can't condemn every future Bioware game because people weren't satisfied with the last 10 minutes of an otherwise pretty good ME3.

Thing is, Dragon Age 2 had exactly the same end-game problem, except that they were overshadowed by far deeper problems that people paid more attention to. ToR also had major writing issues that were sadly consistent with recent BioWare games.

I'm not condemning future BioWare games on ME3 alone, I've just seen enough of my favorite writers leave the studio and BW's current writing standards have been consistently sloppy for a good 4 years.

Headbiter:
And the attentive reader, few in number as they are, will notice that I didn't do that. The thing I'm taking issue with - and by god, that is a thing that so smells of standard marketing-decision - is that what Chris Priestly describes there is, in fact, a reboot. Is that a bad thing? Obviously I don't know. But as you said, there aren't even screenshots out for the game and already this guy sounds like a sleazy phone salesman who suffers from flopsweat due to nervousness.
Why not simply say "Hey, it's a reboot with different characters!"

No dude, what Chris Priestly describes there is a spin-off.

The last Star Trek was a reboot, because it took the same characters used in the original series but had them played by different actors, on different sets with swankier visuals and paid only lip service to previously told stories. The recent Colin Farrell film 'Total Recall' was a reboot of the original Total Recall because it featured the same characters and largely the same plot, only played by different actors on different sets with swankier visuals and in complete isolation of the original plot. The Amazing Spiderman was a reboot of Raimi's Spiderman because it featured, yeah you guessed it, the same characters and essentially the same origin plot, only played by different actors on different sets with ever so slightly swankier visuals and a mild tonal shift, while largely ignoring previously told stories.

By stating pretty categorically that this new game will not feature Shepard, and is therefore not retreading the exact same story as the existing trilogy, Chris Priestly has pretty succinctly described a spin-off; an addition to the existing universe, not a rewrite of it.

By your bizarre interpretation, the X-Wing series was a 'reboot' of Star Wars. Vice City is a 'reboot' of GTA III. US Marshalls is a 'reboot' of The Fugitive. And that ain't right, son.

Spin-off =/= 'reboot'. Stop trying to be edgy and cynical.

Edit: Just to be clear which side of the coin I'm coming down on here, @Mike_Richards - you're on the money.

UrinalDook:

No dude, what Chris Priestly describes there is a spin-off.

For starters, I don't think you know what the words "edgy" or "bizarre" mean. Same goes for the appropriate usage of "son".

Second, the assessment above is interesting, since he didn't just say that Sheppard wouldn't be there, he basically called 'everything' into question. In the first paragraph of the article no less. Again, attentive readership. And considering your self-made definition, Star Trek would actually be a Spin-Off, with Leonard Nimoy playing 'the' Spock and so on.

And last but not least: It doesn't matter (at least not to my statement) wether it's a spin-off, a reboot, a sequel or a bloody "reimagining". The point, again, is that this is nothing but a sodding marketing stunt, where ultimately a lot of space is used to make no statement at all. And such an approach is, according to my experience, rarely a good sign, particulary considering who is making that statement.
Again, this is not about "taking away your pwecious Mass Effect", it was simply poking fun at a - for me at least - blatantly transparent marketing practice and the ridiculousness of avoiding the simple statement "Well, it will have nothing to do with the old Mass Effect, really, but we stick with the title since established franchises are dandy."

Notsomuch:
I hope it's an RTS.

I dont, because then EA would be even more fucktards and slap a bunch of mod teams making some awesome mods (better than EA could do even with a full game, just look at CnC4) with cease and desist orders.

"I see people saying 'well, they'll have to pick a canon ending'," he wrote. "No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda. Wherever, whenever, whoever, etc will all be revealed years down the road when we actually start talking about it."

So the next Mass Effect game likely won't be a sequel (yay!). A prequel is also looking unlikely. I doubt we'll be making a midquel either. In fact, I doubt any character you're familiar with will return in the next game. Now NO MORE SPECULATING FROM ANYONE! We don't want you hyping yourselves up for a new game, that's our marketing department's job!

OK, in all seriousness, aside from the "we're not ready to tell you anything about this game" line that I mocked above, I like this. It means they're looking at ME like a writer looks at Star Trek or Star Wars - a vast universe with lots of potential stories that aren't directly related to Shepard. Let's hope they don't botch this.

Unless this game is taking place in another -Galaxy-, everything this guy is saying is Bull.
If it is going to take place at any point in time after the conclusion of the trilogy, they'll have to pick a canon ending to Shepard's story. Since they're shying away from that, it'll obviously be a game set either concurrently to Shepard's story or at some point in time before it.
My vote is for the first contact war and Humanity's entry into the galactic stage, they touched on it in the novels but there's plenty of material there for combat and politics, my two favorite things in games.

I want to look forward to this, I have been a Bioware fan for a long time, but... I now view their titles with trepidation. DA2 and ME3 have taught me to no longer buy anything Bioware write on the first day. Let it sit a month and see what the general reaction is. I have no desire to waste more money, especially at the bullshit Australian prices.

There's a word for a non-sequel/prequel: Companion piece.

For those who aren't clear on what that is, here is another set of companions pieces within one universe.
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Enterprise

I would definitely like to see a Mass Effect game built as a companion piece. I'd certainly be interested if they made one based in the First Contact War.

I'm sorry, but this isn't really breaking news. It's been going around that the 4th Mass Effect game would have nothing to do with Shepard since the 2nd game. It's nice that there's some confirmation, but it shouldn't be some new groundbreaking statement. I think it's more time to speculate on what it's going to be about.

I, for one, would definitely love some sort of game about the First Contact War. That would just make my year.

If anyone weants me, I'll be digging two graves. One for Bioware, once EA has 'finished' with them. The other will be for the games that people actually want from Bioware.

*Walks out grumbling something about Spirit Monks, while draggin a shovel*

Headbiter:

UrinalDook:

No dude, what Chris Priestly describes there is a spin-off.

For starters, I don't think you know what the words "edgy" or "bizarre" mean. Same goes for the appropriate usage of "son".

Second, the assessment above is interesting, since he didn't just say that Sheppard wouldn't be there, he basically called 'everything' into question. In the first paragraph of the article no less. Again, attentive readership. And considering your self-made definition, Star Trek would actually be a Spin-Off, with Leonard Nimoy playing 'the' Spock and so on.

And last but not least: It doesn't matter (at least not to my statement) wether it's a spin-off, a reboot, a sequel or a bloody "reimagining". The point, again, is that this is nothing but a sodding marketing stunt, where ultimately a lot of space is used to make no statement at all. And such an approach is, according to my experience, rarely a good sign, particulary considering who is making that statement.
Again, this is not about "taking away your pwecious Mass Effect", it was simply poking fun at a - for me at least - blatantly transparent marketing practice and the ridiculousness of avoiding the simple statement "Well, it will have nothing to do with the old Mass Effect, really, but we stick with the title since established franchises are dandy."

Actually, Star Trek can't be a reboot as the ORIGINAL continuity had to exist because of the fundamental changes. It is new history. Because (original) Spock was involved in the original timeline and the new one, any "It's a reboot" arguements are illogical.

Bioware's people have difficulty communicating with the public...? That's not exactly news.

It would be lovely to see a story in the ME universe that doesn't require saving it, but I genuinely wonder if Bioware is capable of such a feat right now. I get the impression they've gotten very mixed messages out of the reception for Dragon Age 2.

Am I the only one around here actually excited about this?

Headbiter:

UrinalDook:

No dude, what Chris Priestly describes there is a spin-off.

For starters, I don't think you know what the words "edgy" or "bizarre" mean. Same goes for the appropriate usage of "son".

Second, the assessment above is interesting, since he didn't just say that Sheppard wouldn't be there, he basically called 'everything' into question. In the first paragraph of the article no less. Again, attentive readership. And considering your self-made definition, Star Trek would actually be a Spin-Off, with Leonard Nimoy playing 'the' Spock and so on.

And last but not least: It doesn't matter (at least not to my statement) whether it's a spin-off, a reboot, a sequel or a bloody "re-imagining". The point, again, is that this is nothing but a sodding marketing stunt, where ultimately a lot of space is used to make no statement at all. And such an approach is, according to my experience, rarely a good sign, particularly considering who is making that statement.
Again, this is not about "taking away your pwecious Mass Effect", it was simply poking fun at a - for me at least - blatantly transparent marketing practice and the ridiculousness of avoiding the simple statement "Well, it will have nothing to do with the old Mass Effect, really, but we stick with the title since established franchises are dandy."

They've been saying for months, if not years, that Shepard's story is done with Mass Effect 3 and that he will not be returning to the franchise. So the fact that you even bring up the possibility makes me question your ability to read and understand the news.

and if anyone is turning this into a marketing stunt it's the fucking news sites that want to cover this non-news story as news. On the "rarely a good sign" bit, there you go again judging the game before we even know anything about it.

Tell me, how do you get away with insulting every person who calls you out on bullshit without incurring moderator wrath?

Maybe they will show the events leading after shepard's choice, and the inherent problems that lay within each choice and you will be a new character who has the chance to deal with those problems with at best a passing nod to our dear commander.

Or maybe they will think they need another gold plated airplane and give us Shepard May Cry: The Younger Years.

Apologies for the double post.

I hate admitting it, but I'm still bitter over the ending. That was what...11 months ago?

I just can't convince myself to replay it. I know how much fun the first 85% of the game was, but it just...

Sorry, EA. Can't do it. Direct sequel or in the ME universe, not gonna get me. I feel the same way about Dragon Age 2, so maybe I'm just turning into a bitter old man (the old part is true).

AnarchistFish:

Andy Chalk:
"I see people saying 'well, they'll have to pick a canon ending'," he wrote. "No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda. Wherever, whenever, whoever, etc will all be revealed years down the road when we actually start talking about it."

Brilliant.

This is exactly what I said they should do if they made another game, if they wanted to make it work.

This is reassuring news.

Can't wait

I love your optimism, truly.

As for me, I'm in the "wait and see" camp.

well im excited about it well ok excited is a bit too far more like mildly interested i have managed to block the story of 3 out ...mostly i still get nightmares about plot holes coming to eat me.... anyway still gonna wait a few weeks after relese to see what the clowns at bioware will do with this one

You know what I think I'll do for this game?

Not go anywhere near people talking about it.

I think this time I'll just sit back and let myself enjoy it without the EA hatewagon screaming in the background.

And it will be glorious.

EDIT: I'd actually suggest that to all you people out there. It's amazing how much less you hate things when you're not going out of your way to hate things.

How does calling ME4 "ME4" not do it any service when even Chris doesn't even know what it really is yet?

So yeah, here's to hoping that this Rebo-Ohshit..Uhm..okay let's try this again:

Let's hope that this Shmeboot goes well, lord knows Bioware could use the pick-me-up.

daibakuha:

They've been saying for months, if not years, that Shepard's story is done with Mass Effect 3 and that he will not be returning to the franchise. So the fact that you even bring up the possibility makes me question your ability to read and understand the news.

So they wasted a bit of time and space to say nothing new. That's um...a rather ordinary thing to do in PR and advertising and nothing to get one's knickers in a twist over, that I agree with.

Well; all I have to say at this point is that I shall be keeping a keen and vigilant eye on this (I'll need it back later, mind), but that I do have some trust issues with BW/EA, so I'm a bit lukewarm about the whole thing.

Is it wrong that I sort of hope it's a tiny-iny bit like Dragon Age: Origins? Just so I can create and play as a Krogan.

I'm not so much in the wait-and-see camp, but more in the wait-and-rent camp. I've decided I'm not going to pre-order or buy Bioware games at launch anymore but rent and see if it's worth buying. After the last few burns thats where I'm at.

Vegosiux:

daibakuha:

They've been saying for months, if not years, that Shepard's story is done with Mass Effect 3 and that he will not be returning to the franchise. So the fact that you even bring up the possibility makes me question your ability to read and understand the news.

So they wasted a bit of time and space to say nothing new. That's um...a rather ordinary thing to do in PR and advertising and nothing to get one's knickers in a twist over, that I agree with.

Well; all I have to say at this point is that I shall be keeping a keen and vigilant eye on this (I'll need it back later, mind), but that I do have some trust issues with BW/EA, so I'm a bit lukewarm about the whole thing.

Blame the Escapist, they're the ones covering this like it's news.

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