Earlier this year, gamers saw the epic storyline of one of the game's industry's most beloved franchises draw to a close. Mass Effect 3 finally brought the curtain down on Commander Shepherd and his (or her, depending on your preference) battle with a race of sentient spaceships known as the Reavers, who were intent on wiping out all life in the known universe. Over three games, which managed to weave players' individual choices seamlessly into a winding narrative, Mass Effect established itself as one of the best series of RPG videogames on this generation of consoles.
That having been said, the ending of Mass Effect 3 wasn't to everyone's liking. To be blunt, there was a large section of the Mass Effect faithful who absolutely loathed how Shepherd's quest ended. Some of them even voiced their anger by starting an online petition demanding that BioWare change it. The Montreal-based developer eventually capitulated and released an extended cut, which attempted to explain some loose end, but there remained a segment of the Mass Effect audience who were dissatisfied.
While Mass Effect 3 may be done and dusted, both BioWare and EA show no signs of putting the series on hiatus. In fact, news of a sequel, Mass Effect 4 has started making the rounds.
Mass Effect 4: Plot & Characters
At this stage, BioWare is being very sketchy about Mass Effect 4, although they have certainly confirmed that a new game in the series will be going into production. However, one thing is certain: the new Mass effect game will not feature Commander Shepherd.
BioWare Montreal producer Fabrice Condominas confirmed in an interview with VG247 that any new story in the series will not involve Mass Effect's iconic hero.
“There is one thing we are absolutely sure of," said Condominas "there will be no more Shepard, and the trilogy is over.”
“This is really our starting point. Now the Mass Effect universe is vast, and very, very rich. So at this point in time, we don’t even know what kind of time frame we’re going to be in. All we’re doing is more gathering ideas from the teams, gathering feedback to see several things.”
“So first, we don’t want to make ‘Shepard 2′, or Mass Effect 4 with like, ‘oh there’s no more Shepard but you’re a soldier in the universe’. So this will be a very, very different context for sure, and nothing has been decided on the rest.”
So no Shepherd. It may also be worth - given the shenanigans with Mass Effect 3 - if BioWare take some audience feedback to heart, too!
Watch this space for more news, rumours and media as we get it.