BioWare is potentially getting back to its roots in Mass Effect 4, dropping open-world gameplay and returning to linear levels.
The news comes from Jez Corden of Windows Central who discussed hearing that BioWare is looking to “ditch open-world and go back to classic format.” Corden made the comments during his podcast, The Xbox Two Podcast. He talked about studios sticking to what makes their games special instead of taking risks with trendy formulas.
Mass Effect was effectively killed after the trilogy concluded with a highly controversial set of endings and a spin-off title in Mass Effect: Andromeda flopped critically. Despite those troubles, Mass Effect still boasts a huge fan following with Mass Effect 2 in particular being rated among the best games of its generation.
Will Mass Effect 4 be open world?
Reports state that Mass Effect 4 will not be open-world and will instead return to having linear levels like the original trilogy.
“I’ve heard that Mass Effect is ditching open world and going back to its classic format. I don’t know if that’s accurate, 100%, but it’s an industry rumor,” Corden said.
Corden acknowledges that this is a rumor and there is no official announcement on the gameplay from either Mass Effect developer BioWare or publisher Electronic Arts. Fans excited about the prospect of a classic Mass Effect should reel in their expectations to some degree. However, a move away from this style of level design makes sense after open-world games Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem struggled with fans and critics.
This nugget of information was shared when Corden was discussing Starfield and how it reuses many Bethesda Games Studios gameplay staples. Corden then focused on Mass Effect and reflected how despite having great success with the initial trilogy, the studio fumbled with Mass Effect: Andromeda.
When is Mass Effect 4 coming?
There is no official release date or estimated release window for Mass Effect 4. Officially, the game is not titled “Mass Effect 4” but will be another installment in the series. Bioware officially confirmed its intent to develop a new Mass Effect in 2020 and confirmed that the game was in pre-production in November 2022.
“Since we last spoke about the next Mass Effect game, pre-production development has been proceeding very well. The game is actively under development but BioWare is not ready to share more details,” Bioware said on its official site.
The blog post also contained a mysterious teaser video for the next Mass Effect. The video reveals an audio message when decoded, seemingly from recurring ally Liara T’soni.
“The Council will be furious. Although, they should know by now not to underestimate human defiance.” said the audio, hinting on what’s to come.
Mass Effect: Andromeda was released in 2017 and didn’t enjoy a good reception from critics and gamers alike. The open-world levels of the game frustrated fans with “busywork” resource gathering that didn’t advance the player.
Gamers seeking a space-based RPG can indulge in Starfield while waiting for Mass Effect to return. The N7 2023 is fast approaching, so BioWare might have more to say.