Everything we know about the next Mass Effect: Setting, plot details, trailers, more

Mass Effect 5 trailerBioware

A brand new entry in the Mass Effect franchise is now in development at Bioware and while details are scarce, here’s a full rundown on everything we know about the upcoming title.

Five years since the last Mass Effect game launched and a full decade since Commander Shepard’s trilogy came to an end, Bioware has confirmed a new entry in the renowned RPG series is on the way.

But where will this new game take us? Which characters can we expect to see along the way? Will our decisions in the original storyline matter? Although it’s still early days yet, with development only being in its early stages, we already have plenty of clues to go off to answer some of those questions.

Below, we’ve compiled everything we know about the next entry in the series, gathering every tease and snippet of information direct from BioWare.


N7 in the snowbioware
Could this be a tease of Commander Shepard’s return?

Is there a release date for the next Mass Effect yet?

The next Mass Effect title does not currently have a release date, nor has a year even been roughly outlined yet. However, a February 2022 blog post outlined how the game is still in its “prototyping” phase.

This means active development is yet to truly begin as a full concept is yet to be ironed out. As a result, it’d be wise for Mass Effect fans not to hold their breath. We could very easily be waiting until 2024 or 2025 at the earliest for the next Mass Effect.

BioWare also confirmed the upcoming title will be a “next-gen” launch, implying the next Mass Effect will be available across PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S hardware.

Mass Effect sequel latest news

BioWare producer Brenon Holmes has shared a tweet noting that the team is looking for programmers with Unreal Engine 4 and 5 experience.

The significance of this is that it suggests the franchise will move away from Frostbite, EA’s own engine. The franchise had been running on Unreal Engine before switching over to Frostbite with the ill-fated Mass Effect Andromeda.

One way in which the new Mass Effect sequel could dramatically improve on Andromeda is in the narrative department as not only has legendary Narrative Director Mary DeMarle joined BioWare, as reported by VGC, but she will be working on the new Mass Effect game.

The new game’s director Michael Gamble had this to say about her recruitment: “Oh, hey! I’m really excited to let you know that Mary DeMarle will be joining the Mass Effect team as Senior Narrative Director. You’ve seen her work in Guardians of the Galaxy & Deus Ex (to name a few!). She’s amazing.”

Mass Effect sequel trailer

BioWare announced the next Mass Effect title with a teaser trailer on December 11, 2020.

The trailer spans across multiple galaxies before zooming down into one in particular, past a star and vast alien structures, before following a small ship while it descends onto an icy planet.

While this happens, various voices can be heard depicting crucial moments from human history. These include space travel, first contact with alien life, as well as some kind of disaster. This could be the Reaper crisis from the original Mass Effect trilogy or one of mankind’s early wars with aliens.

Finally, the trailer features a member of the Ansari race climbing a mountain in the snow, before retrieving something burned from the ground. The female Ansari clears off the snow to reveal the item is a piece of N7 armor, before smiling down at her discovery.

The N7 armor of course could be a reference to Commander Shepard, Ryder from Mass Effect Andromeda, or someone entirely new, depending on the game’s setting. Some fans have speculated that the female Ansari could be Liara T’Soni. However, this is unlikely if Mass Effect 4 is a sequel to Andromeda, with that game being set 600 years after Mass Effect 3 and an entire galaxy away.

Mass Effect sequel poster

A poster released by BioWare in November 2021, offered more clues for the next Mass Effect title. It accompanied an update from BioWare posted to the company’s blog on N7 day which read:

“We are, of course, hard at work on the next adventure in the Mass Effect universe. Until then, please accept our most humble thanks to you for accompanying us on this journey. We know we couldn’t do it without you — on N7 Day, or any other day.”

The accompanying poster features a ship with its crew walking out onto an alien planet. Eagle-eyed fans have zoomed into the poster and have reported it shows the landing party approaching a crater and what looks like the damaged body of a Geth.

The Geth were our primary cannon fodder in the early Mass Effect games. They are a race of robots that share a hivemind and were used by the Reapers as troops in Mass Effect 1 and 2. However, the Geth turned against their puppet masters in Mass Effect 3, joining the fight against the Reapers. At least, this is if the player makes it so.

The landing party also seems to be comprised of four characters, each resembling one of Mass Effect’s key races. The character on the left is almost certainly a member of the Krogan race. A human and an Asari are also relatively clear.

Mass Effect sequel setting and plot

Promotional material for the next Mass Effect seems to be leaning closer to the original games than the more recent Andromeda. The fourth game in the series wasn’t as popular as the original three and was infamously derided for its character models at launch.

BioWare may choose to abandon the Andromeda experiment in the next entry and return to the more fertile ground of the Milky Way. This is all speculation of course, as the new Mass Effect entry may well continue the adventures of the Ryder twins with BioWare learning from mistakes made during the previous installment.

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