Mass Effect 4 has gone beyond revealing its plot through a Reddit leak by finally granting us its title, Mass Effect: Andromeda. However, I was pretty disappointed by its presence at E3. I probably had expectations that were far too high leading up to EA's conference - I mean gameplay is out of the question. But the CGI trailer that we received didn't do much to generate further excitement for Bioware's return to the Mass Effect universe.
However, that's not to say that it didn't conceal some interesting evolutions that the series could be undergoing. The Reddit leak seems to be completely accurate, in that we'll be taking charge of a pathfinder in a whole new galaxy, searching for a new home for mankind. But is this all taking place during Shepard's adventures or are we much further into the future in Mass Effect: Andromeda?
What Does the Mako Tell Us About Mass Effect 4: Andromeda & Shepard?
For those of us who've engaged with the Mass Effect trilogy, there are two pieces of information that I find quite disconcerting. One: EA has no current intention to make a Remastered Mass Effect trilogy for XBOX One and PS4. Damn. Two: Our saves will have no impact on events in Mass Effect: Andromeda. In order to ensure a whole new generation of fans get involved with Mass Effect, the trilogy won't have a big effect on Bioware's next instalment.
This sucks for those of us who'd love to see our choices affect the future of the galaxy, though Bioware may implement some kind of system akin to Dragon's Keep which we saw for Dragon Age: Inquisition. But Shepard and all of our friends won't be returning for Mass Effect 4. This way it can feel fresh and inviting for a new generation. However, there has to be some correlation between the trilogy and Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Perhaps Mass Effect 4 will take place at the same time as Shepard's final assault on the Reapers. The only reason the Citadel would have sent off alien races to claim new homeworlds would have been to ensure the survival of their races should the Reapers win. Perhaps Mass Effect: Andromeda could start at this point and then jump years into the future. After all, we want loads of cool gadgets and tons of civilisations to visit. This will take years!
But one Redditor, Benelioto, made a fantastic observation concerning the Mako in the new trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda. He says that the model in the trailer is the M40. In the Mass Effect trilogy, we drove the M35 and before that existed the M29, which was the standard model for around 20 years. Therefore, can we assume that Mass Effect 4 takes place 20 years into the future, or has some form of cryogenic freezing taken place?
This has implications for when ME: Andromeda could be set - around a generation or two in the future, in terms of technological development. If the Milky Way races left on an ark, progress would "freeze" just like its inhabitants until the journey to Andromeda is complete. Either the races left for Andromeda before the end of ME3 (perhaps bringing prototypical plans for the M40 Mako with them), or they left a generation or two after the end of the Reaper War (less likely, with the issues of the ending).
He makes an excellent observation here and I concur with the idea that these pathfinders were sent to other planets prior to Shepard's final onslaught with the Reapers. But what do you think Mass Effect fans? Mass Effect 4 will take a long time to get to us, so did the E3 trailer satisfy you? Let us know in the comments below!