A survey participant might have just leaked a ton of new Mass Effect 4 info, including the game’s setting, storyline, crew members, in-game activities and more.
A user on Reddit claims he took an in-depth survey on BioWare’s next Mass Effect game, and has disclosed a ton of details to fellow Redditors.
Obviously we should keep our saltshakers at the ready here, as everything might be completely unfounded fanciful fabrications. Nonetheless we’ve probed through the reports and have broken down the user’s claims, and if anything else the rumors will spark your interest in the new interstellar adventure.
- Mass Effect 4 takes places on the Helius Cluster. Set in the Andromeda Galaxy, the Helius Cluster is a new area comprised of hundreds of solar systems that are teeming exotic alien life, flora and fauna.
- The new game is “far removed” from Commander Shepard’s story arc in the original trilogy.
- Players take the role of a Pathfinder. Instead of being a Spectre operative, gamers take on the role of a Pathfinder, who lead the charge as explorers who roam the Helius Cluster in search of a new home for mankind.
- Humans might be refugees. We’re not sure just how far away the new game is from the Citadel or the Systems Alliance colonies, but humanity might be beleaguered refugees somewhat like the Quarians.
- The Helius Cluster is 4x the size entirety of Mass Effect 3. Players will scour planets and systems for resources and to establish colonies, all the while clashing with aliens and bandits along the way.
- You can build your own ship, hire crew members, fortify colonies and form alliances. The new Mass Effect game apparently will feature a dynamic growth system that lets players strengthen and build their own forces in a variety of ways. Upgrading weapons, leveling up your crew members and fostering alliances with alien governments are among these additions.
- The “Remnants” are the Protheans of the Helius Cluster. Much like the Protheans in the Mass Effect trilogy, the Helius Cluster has an extinct alien race called the Remnants, whose ancient technology still dominates the cluster. In an effort to uncover the keys to Remnant tech to aid in rebuilding, humanity is plunged into an intergalactic war that would wipe out the entire cluster.
- Explore planets to collect resources. Players will be able to planet-hop across the Helius Cluster’s huge array of systems and worlds, collecting valuable resources and tech blueprints along the way. Raw materials will fuel weapon and equipment upgrades, including armor additions like jetpacks and cryo-beam attachments for laser cannons. Your ship, the Tempest, can also be modified and strengthened to explore the furthest reaches of the Cluster.
- You can recruit seven crew members, each with their own personas and abilities. Crew members have their own distinct specialties and roles. Strategic abilities include Cora’s biotic bubble shield, which protects everyone inside the perimeter while still allowing allies to fire out of it. Crew members will level up in the traditional way and benefit from upgraded weapons and gear, all of which can be customized by players.
- A living, breathing universe. The Helius Cluster will react to your choices, showing the dynamism we’ve come to expect from the Mass Effect series. Players will pursue and form alliances and rivalries as they explore and interact with the variety of races. Conversation options can open up new branching questlines and strengthen these alliances and rivalries, and crew members will have also specific loyalty missions to unlock new skill trees.
- Establish colonies and maintain them with AI controlled teams. Mass Effect 4 will let players unlock and build new colonies across the Helius Cluster. To maintain these colonies the game might utilize a sort of War Table-esque approach from Dragon Age: Inquisition called “Deployable Strike Team Missions”. These missions feature AI-controlled teams that tackle random time-sensitive missions. These missions can range from salvaging Remnant artifacts to defending colonies against attackers, delivering resources and new items upon completion.
- You can also tackle these missions yourself or with online friends. On the other hand, players can also jump in and take on these missions themselves in “Active Strike Team Missions”. These missions include singleplayer as well as online multiplayer, and up to three friends can join you. The more players that join you the greater the difficulty, but you’ll also receive greater rewards which range from singleplayer and multiplayer unlockables.
- Test your survival skills with online friends in the “Horde” multiplayer mode. With the new Horde mode, Mass Effect 4 apparently has its own Firefight-esque gametype. In true survival fashion, players can team up with online friends to take on increasingly difficult waves of enemies across an assortment of maps. Rather than just being team deathmatch style games, Horde mode has various objectives including disabling planted bombs near colonies or assassinating a specific target. Play across this mode and Active Strike will earn you XP, gear, weapons/mods as well as APEX funds, which act as the in-game currency (hopefully this doesn’t translate to microtransactions).
- Seamless transitions between orbit and on-planet exploration. After you scan a nearby planet for precious resources, you’ll be able to land your ship, Tempest, on its surface and go exploring in the Mako cruiser. Different planets have a wide variety of treasures including new alien races, technology, items, mineral deposits, and if all the criteria lines up, you can establish a colony or outpost on the planet.
- Search ancient Remnant ruins for powerful artifacts. The Remnants have tons of hidden secrets waiting to be discovered, and players can unlock “Remnant vaults” which are the sort of ruins that Indiana Jones frequents. These vaults are laden with traps and killer AI, so you’ll have to fight your way out once you snag the treasure–which ranges from powerful gear, crafting resources, or Star Keys which can be used to unlock massive orbital facilities that grant stat bonuses.
- Conquer Khet outposts to build your alliances and standing. Some planets will be strewn with outposts manned by the Khet, a rival alien race that has a reach across the entire Cluster. Players can topple these outposts for extra EXP and improve their presence and standing, which may or may not constitute a sort of dynamic military power shift that fuels gameplay.
- Upgrade and drive the Mako. The Mako returns as your primary recon land vehicle used to explore planets and regions, and you’ll be able to deck it out with various upgrades including turbo boosters, shield generators and radar boosts among others.
— shinobi602 (@shinobi602) April 18, 2015
Interestingly enough, renown gaming insider Shinobi602 fully corroborates these claims, which showed up on a NeoGAF thread. Shinobi’s intel has proven to be right on many occasions: he’s predicted Halo 5‘s title, the release date for The Order: 1886 and even the existence of the Homefront sequel.
So there might be some truth to these claims after all, and I have to admit that some of these mechanics seem authentic. While I’m not too sure about the War Table-esque AI stuff, I do like everything else, and it’ll be interesting to see if Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) spills the beans during E3 2015 in June.