BioWare released a new trailer during The Game Awards 2020 which announced that a brand new Mass Effect game was in production.
Although little information has been released regarding this new Mass Effect game, early signs point to the possibility of this game being a sequel to Mass Effect 3, rather than another kind of spin-off like Mass Effect: Andromeda.
The original Mass Effect trilogy has been a contentious series in its own right, but was overall one of the best examples of science-fiction in gaming.
Where could this new Mass Effect take place?
During the Mass Effect trailer viewers were shown a lone Asari who discovered armor implied to belong to Commander Shepard. The trailer doesn’t state whether this event takes place immediately following the events of Mass Effect 3 or whether it instead takes place following a prolonged time skip.
Another thing which some fans have pointed out is that given Mass Effect 3’s multiple endings, this game may retroactively declare one of those endings to be canon, ultimately taking the story in whatever direction it needs to.
Lastly, some other fans have also pointed out that early in the trailer viewers are shown two spiral galaxies, implying that this new game may somehow connect the original trilogy with Mass Effect: Andromeda.
How Mass Effect explored new possibilities in gaming
The first Mass Effect explored new ground for gaming. It pioneered the use of multi-layered conversations, complete with some of the best animated expressions possible in games at the time.
It used these new methods of player engagement to tell a deeply personal story that involved the player spending hours getting to know their crewmates and developing a real connection to them.
Following the success of the first Mass Effect, BioWare was acquired by EA, during which they released Mass Effect 2. Mass Effect 2 removed a lot of the complexity and role-playing aspects of the first game in order to streamline the experience and reduce a lot of the clunkiness of the original game’s combat.
Shortly after Mass Effect 2’s success, BioWare released the end of the trilogy. Unfortunately, the quality of Mass Effect 3’s gameplay was mired by its controversial endings, none of which seemed to offer players the sense of closure they were hoping for in the series, which, by then, had taken 5 years to complete.
In an effort to make up for this, BioWare released an Extended Cut which expanded on the endings of the game.
Since then, Mass Effect: Andromeda has been the only game in the series to be released, a game which was bogged down with awkward bugs and glitches and a significant downgrade in its animation quality.
Following this, EA restructured BioWare and nothing new had been heard from them until their reveals at The Game Awards 2020.
It will be interesting to see if a new Mass Effect can hold up to fan expectations after so long.