A reddit user, now deleted, claims to have taken a survey revealing some information about the upcoming Mass Effect. The full post features a wealth of possible information, ranging from basic gameplay to details about crew, story, and customization. Series creator Bioware hasn’t commented on the content, but it’s long been known that they are working on a fourth installment of the series, said to feature a fresh cast of characters and set sometime after the conclusion of the third game.
Take the following with a big pinch of salt then, but it isn’t unknown for developers to gauge response to new features and story details in this way – Ubisoft regularly asks fans what they’d like to see in future Assassin’s Creed titles, for example.
Some of the highlights alleged have been floated include:
- New area – Set to take place in the Helius Cluster, a large group of stars over four times as large as the game map for Mass Effect 3, players will have a massive string of planets to explore and colonize, including the return of a galactic map and the Mako for planetary missions.
- Build colonies – The player’s task is to explore and colonize the Helius Cluster. Along with the familiar need of collecting resources, players are also building up colonies in this uncharted expanse of space. Colony construction is a part of the player’s mission, and they will have time-sensitive missions that can be run by players and mercenary strike teams in order to help colonies and recover artifacts. The colonies will also have an effect on the galactic map, revealing more missions or have passive benefits like mining upgrading resources.
- New story – The player’s mission, in addition to exploration of the Helius Cluster, is to find clues of an unknown alien race called the Remnant. The player will have a crew of seven, all of which have available loyalty missions, which unlock new skill trees once the crew member has become loyal.
- Multiplayer Mode – Horde mode in which a group of players survive waves of enemies as a group of mercenaries, who gain in-game currency and experience for completed missions. Missions will also provide a different in-game currency that can be spent on the single-player portion of the campaign, in order to buy or upgrade items and gear.
- Customization – Exploration can reveal hidden alien artifacts or new technologies that players can use to alter the appearance of their ship, Tempest, or the Mako, or the player model itself. Photos taken by the player can also be used in the ship as decoration.
- Vault Raids – Remnant vaults can be found throughout the cluster, and will activate a wide array of defenses against the player once the vault’s treasure has been taken. Players will have to fight their way back out, but will be rewarded with resources, rare items, stat bonuses, rewards, and “narrative acclaim” on successful missions.
It’s worth noting that the original post clarifies that these are all lifted from a survey gauging potential player interest, so it’s perfectly possible that any of these game modes or mechanics can be cut, altered, modified, or are entirely speculative – and the fact that the poster has since had his account deleted certainly raises a few questions.
In addition to that, there is very little that makes any of this information verifiable. The reddit user claimed the information came from a survey, but little is known about the origin of the text. It could be entirely speculative on the poster’s part, or it may very well have come from an interest survey. Taken at face value, the text appears plausible enough – and the Mako has already been confirmed to make a return – but it’s also perfectly likely that this is just player speculation framed well; in the absence of confirmation from the developer, which is unlikely, we’ll just have to wait and see whether any of the information here turns out be true.
Opinion: Some of the game modes, such as multiplayer, are quite familiar, and seem plausible. The grand scope of the map and interlocking parts seem a little bit wishful thinking, especially given how much is on-going at once in the game mode, but many of the elements seem combined from Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition, which simultaneously grants license to both the theory that it’s merely fan speculation, and that these options are plausible. Assuming even half of the above turns out to be accurate and included, the new Mass Effect looks like the kind of game that should get fans of the series excited, after so many were disappointed by Mass Effect 3.
We’re likely to discover more about Mass Effect at E3 in June, when EA takes the stage to reveal its big-hitters for the year ahead.