Bioware details Mass Effect's next adventure

While Bioware at large and EA may be focused on Dragon Age Inquisition in the near future, the teams at Bioware Edmonton and Bioware Montreal have another future release chomping at the bit for public announcement - and they chose to show a little bit of the as-yet untitled next entry in the Mass Effect series today at the San Diego Comic Convention.

The hour-long panel took a look at a number of aspects of the upcoming title, confirming some things and teasing at others. Based off twitter reports live from the event, mostly from Nerd Appropriate and and Andrea Rene (thanks guys!), here's the cliff notes:

  • The Frostbite engine, which comes from DICE, the creators of Battlefield, has allowed the team to do a lot more visually than previously, from graphics to animations.
  • Gender selection is in for the next game - it is considered an important part of the ME franchise.
  • Non-final renders were shown, however, of a Male & Female player character wearing a new version of the iconic red-and-black N7 armor - indciating human characters are a cert.
  • Love it or hate it vehicle the Mako makes a return with an all-new design! The team on-stage described the game as being about exploration - and a vehicle is needed for that. "Lessons have been learned" about frustration with previous ME vehicles. The Mako was briefly demonstrated in action, and is described as speedy from reports!
  • It's too early to talk about who'll be behind the game's score yet.
  • It's again stressed that this new game is not Shepard's story and is not Mass Effect 4. It is something all-new in the same universe. It's suggested that the vibe the team is aiming for is more that of a spiritual successor than a direct sequel.
  • However, the team teased that some of the old will be seen in with all the new - and said that familiar characters may make appearances.
  • Multiplayer was born out of the idea of playing as the non-human races ME has - but the team also refused to confirm if that meant there would be no race selection for the player character in the next game.
  • Multiplayer will return, but "co-operative is bigger than competitive" for the Mass Effect team, suggesting that the hoard mode style humans-versus-AI multiplayer design will remain.
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