Mass Effect 4 won't feature Shepard's companions, doesn't relate to ME1-3 plot events

#1
I'm guessing this takes place in a different time window.

Note: They've previously mentioned "many alien races, a huge galaxy to explore", so presumably it isn't the First Contact War.

Complex said:
Complex: So with Commander Shepard gone, are you starting anew, or are you going to continue any of that story?

Mac Walter: Well, I can’t get into details, but the idea is that we have agreed to tell a story that doesn’t relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all, whatsoever. Beyond that, that’s what we’ve been deciding for awhile. But throughout it all, one of the key things is that it has to be Mass Effect. It can’t just feel like a spin-off. It has to feel like a Mass Effect game at its heart, at its core. Just without the Shepard character or the Shepard specific companions.
Source: http://www.complex.com/video-games/...ew-mac-walter-mass-effect-walter-white-moment
 
#3
Fine by me as long as it's in the future, reference a character or two based on save files(or dragon age keep?) and I'll be happy.

edit: what the hell is mac walters doing on next gen mass effect?!
 
#6
Well, they did say that Mass Effect 3 was supposed to be the ending of Shepard's story.

Even though the ending wasn't great, I wonder what they're going to do about the grandpa and the kid when they left it off at the cliffhanger where the kid says that he wishes to hear one more story about Commander Shepard and the grandpa says one more story which leads to this game.
 
#8
That's a bummer, because as you can probably tell by my avatar, Jack is one of my favorite characters of all time. On the other hand, it was a pretty crowded field of awesome characters in the Mass Effect games, so I'm not uncertain that they can't do even better in the future.
 
#10
Hmmm.... if there's no companions, unless they're doing a MAJOR timejump, they'll have to deal with fans questioning where Liara, Wrex and Grunt are. Because those three should still be alive for at least another 1000 years.
 
#11
I'm really curious how they are going to play this.

If they don't make references to the events from Mass Effect, the whole epic feel of the trilogy is going to waste. You can't just neglect the impact Shepard and his team had on the Universe.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
#13
Not the first time they've spoken about this, and certainly won't be the last. At more or less every opportunity they have to speak about the setting/story, without being able to actually talk about the setting story, they make it abundantly clear that everything Shepard trilogy is done and dusted. The Citadel really beat you over the head with this point too, as a finality to companions, Normandy, Shepard, and the status of the universe. Montreal has said it, Edmonton has said it; they're all saying it.

And really, it's partially why I'm optimistic for Mass Effect 4's setting/narrative. I'm glad they not only don't feel the need to pander to the Shepard trilogy, but are actively avoiding it. Or so they say. The cleaner the slate, the better.
 
#17
I wonder if they are going to create a whole new universe for the game, or if they are gonna keep it in the same universe where the whole Reaper thing happened.
 
#18
I also wonder if this game will be a prequel or a sequel because if it's a sequel as in it's after Shepard's endeavor in ME3, then will it load the save from ME3 such that the ending we chose would be in effect?

So if you picked the control ending, would we see actual reapers?

I really don't think that they would plan that much ahead, but it would be interesting to see what they make out of this.
 
#19
Hmmm.... if there's no companions, unless they're doing a MAJOR timejump, they'll have to deal with fans questioning where Liara, Wrex and Grunt are. Because those three should still be alive for at least another 1000 years.
You meet most of the past cast in ME2 and ME3 by "casually" running into them. They'd be alive still but the ME universe is so large you can easily have an entire trilogy without them appearing in it.

They may still reference them through codex/newspaper clips.
 
#20
The galaxy is a pretty big place.
Which is why I specify the fans questioning. I agree that it would be super easy to do a game where no known characters show up simply due to the galaxy's size, it's just that they have to prepare for fans crying for at least a cameo of their favorite characters if it's possible.

And Bioware has shown that it tends to bow to fan demands.

You meet most of the past cast in ME2 and ME3 by "casually" running into them. They'd be alive still but the ME universe is so large you can easily have an entire trilogy without them appearing in it.

They may still reference them through codex/newspaper clips.
Yeah, it depends on what they mean by "without". I never expected for any of the existing companions to be anything more than cameos in the new game, but if they define without as no reference whatsoever, they may have issues.
 
#21
Not the first time they've spoken about this, and certainly won't be the last. At more or less every opportunity they have to speak about the setting/story, without being able to actually talk about the setting story, they make it abundantly clear that everything Shepard trilogy is done and dusted. The Citadel really beat you over the head with this point too, as a finality to companions, Normandy, Shepard, and the status of the universe. Montreal has said it, Edmonton has said it; they're all saying it.

And really, it's partially why I'm optimistic for Mass Effect 4's setting/narrative. I'm glad they not only don't feel the need to pander to the Shepard trilogy, but are actively avoiding it. Or so they say. The cleaner the slate, the better.
They're going to have a very fine line to walk between doing so without having the justifications for such a disconnect feeling very contrived. Saying that it doesn't tie in at all makes me think prequel...
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
#22
And to post again, here is what Yanick Roy (studio director of BioWare Montreal, and thus the team behind Mass Effect 4) said about the setting/plot when it was first announced.

Hi guys,

It’s my first time posting on the forums, so I hope I’m going to do it right!

What Chris is saying is that thinking of the next Mass Effect game as Mass Effect 4 would imply a certain linearity, a straight evolution of the gameplay and story of the first three games. But because we are switching to a new engine and need to rebuild a bunch of game systems, we have an opportunity to rethink how we want these systems to be going forward instead of just inheriting them from the previous games. Story-wise, the arc of the first trilogy has also been concluded, and what we will do is tell a new story set in the Mass Effect universe. That doesn’t mean that events of the first three games and the choices you made won’t get recognized, but they likely won’t be what this new story will focus on.

In other words, because the game takes place before of after the first trilogy does not mean it necessarily is a straight prequel or sequel.

I’m not a big fan of analogies because the images you use always mean something different to different people, so they are inherently flawed. But let me use one anyway. smilie

If you had three games centered around a group of key soldiers in the US army during World War I and then decided to make a game about another group of people during the second World War, the games could have many points in common and feel true to one another, and you likely would have to recognize how the events of the first war influenced the ones of the second, but you would not necessarily think of it as a sequel. Again, the analogy is
not great, but what I’m trying to say is that the ME universe is so rich that we are not limited to a single track when coming up with a new story.

I apologize for being cryptic right now, but it’s early enough in development that we don’t have much to share – things still fluctuate quite a bit. As I have posted on Twitter though, the overall feeling of what you are discussing and asking for is very much aligned with what the team intends on delivering, and that makes me feel very good about where we’re heading!

I hope this helps clarify why we’re not thinking of the next ME game as ME4 internally!
 
#23
I also wonder if this game will be a prequel or a sequel because if it's a sequel as in it's after Shepard's endeavor in ME3, then will it load the save from ME3 such that the ending we chose would be in effect?

So if you picked the control ending, would we see actual reapers?

I really don't think that they would plan that much ahead, but it would be interesting to see what they make out of this.
For the love of God I hope not.

Save importing and direct continuity between these games is a cancer.
 
#25
Good Shephard was driven well into the ground already, time to bury someone else. I'm all in for dat Frostbite whatever they do.

Have they expanded on if there's different playable races? If they are doing it with DA:I I'd like to see the same here.
 
#27
I also wonder if this game will be a prequel or a sequel because if it's a sequel as in it's after Shepard's endeavor in ME3, then will it load the save from ME3 such that the ending we chose would be in effect?

So if you picked the control ending, would we see actual reapers?


I really don't think that they would plan that much ahead, but it would be interesting to see what they make out of this.

I really doubt they do that, would be cool though. I am expecting them to just have a fresh start here. It would be hard to make a prequel with Shepard because the stakes were already as high as possible in the original trilogy. I don't really want a prequel at all to be honest.
 
#28
For the love of God I hope not.

Save importing and direct continuity between these games is a cancer.
Exactly, so I was wondering how would this game even correlate to the 3rd game or even the Mass effect series at all.

If you picked the destroy ending, there would be no more geth and reapers so I would also wonder what in the world the next conflict would even be
 
#31
I will continue to agitate for Bioware having its cake and eating it too: Simply make the Destroy ending be the canon ending, but have it so that the Geth and EDI were not destroyed in the process. So basically just wipe the Reapers and Shepard off the table, jump forward like 100-200 years, and go from there.

No save importing, as well. It's time for a fresh start.
 
#34
I really doubt they do that, would be cool though. I am expecting them to just have a fresh start here. It would be hard to make a prequel with Shepard because the stakes were already as high as possible in the original trilogy. I don't really want a prequel at all to be honest.
I really do doubt that they would make a prequel but at the same time, the sequel would have to follow the story that we created unless Bioware is gonna just make the story without any relation so that would mean in my opinion, that the game shouldn't even be called Mass Effect for there is no correlation to the first 3 games.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
#35
Trilogy ending importing, assuming ME4 is set post trilogy, is just so unthinkably impossible to me. I don't see how it could be done convincingly, realistically, and within the logistical limitations of video game development resources, time, and economy. And any attempts to do it would be littered with inconsequential outcomes to major decisions, retcons, and half arsed white washing of major events. So...about on par for the series.

But yes, I can't imagine ending importing being anything less of a disaster. Either pick a canon, make a new one, or set it so far in the future that ending choice is made irrelevant.
 
#36
The possibilities of a good Mass Effect on next gen hardware is intoxicating. I'll remain cynical, but hopefully if they're doing a trilogy they'll map out the plot from the start to stop it feeling so oddly disjointed.

Really, there's plenty outside the story of Shepard that would make a game a "Mass Effect" game to me.
 
#37
I really do doubt that they would make a prequel but at the same time, the sequel would have to follow the story that we created unless Bioware is gonna just make the story without any relation so that would mean in my opinion, that the game shouldn't even be called Mass Effect for there is no correlation to the first 3 games.
It's the same universe, with the same races and some of the same politics. It'd still be Mass Effect.

If they kept doing save importing, it leads to the problem where there are simply too many potential outcomes and they have neither the time, manpower, or resources to properly compensate for all the permutations.

They need to just pick one starting point for everybody and go from there.
 
#39
Please let this be set before ME1. By far the most compelling world-building in the entire series is the exploration on the Citadel in ME1, before you become Space Jesus.

Just... no more saviors. Just let us live in that awesome, awesome universe.
 
#40
I'm actually GLAD/happy about this.

One of the weakness I find in MANY franchises is the fact that the creators have an interesting world but seem totally reluctant to deviate from the core cast.

Shepard's story is DONE. Let's play around with the rest of the world that Shepard inhabited.
 
#41
Trilogy ending importing, assuming ME4 is set post trilogy, is just so unthinkably impossible to me. I don't see how it could be done convincingly, realistically, and within the logistical limitations of video game development resources, time, and economy. And any attempts to do it would be littered with inconsequential outcomes to major decisions, retcons, and half arsed white washing of major events. So...about on par for the series.

But yes, I can't imagine ending importing being anything less of a disaster. Either pick a canon, make a new one, or set it so far in the future that ending choice is made irrelevant.
Exactly. If they don't do the save import, I'm wondering why they're even calling it Mass Effect 4 at all. If it's not a sequel, then it either took place before Shepard or during Shepard before the war as a different person, but I don't see how they will relate as to the Mass effect series.
 
#43
Please let this be set before ME1. By far the most compelling world-building in the entire series is the exploration on the Citadel in ME1, before you become Space Jesus.

Just... no more saviors. Just let us live in that awesome, awesome universe.
I'm all set for it being a prequel, so long as it isn't a prequel in the Star Wars 1-3 sense. More like KotoR "prequel". No First Contact War game I beg.
 
#45
Hmmm.... if there's no companions, unless they're doing a MAJOR timejump, they'll have to deal with fans questioning where Liara, Wrex and Grunt are. Because those three should still be alive for at least another 1000 years.
Not really. God forbid we should have a giant interstellar universe where we don't keep running into the same fifteen people everywhere we go, even though we're playing a different protagonist.
 
#48
And really, it's partially why I'm optimistic for Mass Effect 4's setting/narrative. I'm glad they not only don't feel the need to pander to the Shepard trilogy, but are actively avoiding it. Or so they say. The cleaner the slate, the better.
Agree completely. The more I hear about how this game distances itself wholly from 1-3's story and setting, the more interested in it I become.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
#50
Exactly. If they don't do the save import, I'm wondering why they're even calling it Mass Effect 4 at all. If it's not a sequel, then it either took place before Shepard or during Shepard before the war as a different person, but I don't see how they will relate as to the Mass effect series.
Well, they're not calling it Mass Effect 4. They've gone out of their way to say they don't see it as Mass Effect 4, for the reasons that it implies a direct continuation of the Shepard trilogy. It can be set pre, during, or post trilogy, but whatever it is it will be a new narrative.