Thoughts on the first look at Mass Effect 4

How can anyone manage to go two minutes without saying anything of substance? Easy. Watch this video for yourself.

Let me try to make something clear from the get-go. I have no doubt in my mind that BioWare is pulling out all the stops with Mass Effect 4. Yes, the things they showed with the game looks nothing short of amazing. But really? Should that be a surprise to any of us? This is the 8th generation of console games. Gamers should expect phenomenal graphics with their games. This isn’t a selling point anymore. This is standard.

Equally, I am positive the gameplay for Mass Effect 4 will be equally amazing. One of BioWare’s strengths is their ability to refine gameplay, making everything play smoothly. I doubt anyone would deny that every Mass Effect tended to play better than the previous one. It’s with this in mind that I can say, with confidence, that Mass Effect 4 will be a lot of fun to play, regardless of the story. The combat will probably be intuitive and the interface will as well!

However…..

Watch that video again.

Galaxy-Map

They told us pretty much nothing about the game. We are told that there will be new worlds to explore. There’s always new worlds to explore in Mass Effect. That’s part of the game. All three Mass Effects had new planets with its own mysteries. Now before you jump to their defense, hear me out. They didn’t explain anything about how those worlds would be explored.¬†They talked about how one of the worlds would be huge. But they didn’t show this. They only said it. Does this mean that the map itself that can be explored is huge? If so, will this give a lot more possibilities to explore? Or does that mean there will be an interactive environment for the player to enjoy if they wanted a break from the plot? How will this add to the overarching experience? What does this mean with how the game will be played?

They told us that new parts of the galaxy will be explored. Just like every other Mass Effect, eh?

The video presents general ideas for Mass Effect 4, which is perfectly fine for a general YouTube video for the fans. I’m willing to bet people were hoping to get something of more substance. A straight answer on something to do with the game. And considering that BioWare has been playtesting the game since December 2013, it is a safe bet they have made decisions on the story of the game and how the gameplay will work.

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Before I finish up, I have to point something out. Take a close look at the slide show just above. What we have is stark contrasts between light and dark, creating an introspective vibe. It gives the sense of depth without really needing to give details to demonstrate depth. BioWare tends to do this in their videos. It works, since their goal is to position BioWare as a company that puts lots of thought and effort into their games. So naturally they would want to show themselves in this sort of light.

And say what you want about Casey Hudson. That guy could be a model.

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6 comments on “Thoughts on the first look at Mass Effect 4

  1. I am sorry, but after the way the fans were treated, after the last game and being called entitled for simply taking BioWare up on their offer of “Choices mattering” “all of your decisions playing out” and not getting a typical ABC ending only to get exactly that. A clearly rushed ending with not a lot of thought. You made those claims we simply tried to hold you to them! But hey! I am a jerk for simply taking you up on your offer.

    Then to sit and hide behind artistic integrity and having IGN give RAVE reviews when Jessica Chobot a person in the game is saying how awesome it is when she hasn’t even finished it.

    I am done with BioWare, it isn’t even about he ending at all anymore its about how the fans were treated and the RIDICULOUS PR NONSENSE we got after it all. 90% of people hated the ending in polls and the PR said it was a minority of fans. Never again!

    • It’s fine. Plenty of people would agree with you that BioWare went too far with the defense of their product.

      I can’t blame you for being done with BioWare. Plenty of others are equally done as well.

    • Joel, no amount of words can say that you’re not alone in this. There’s not a day that goes by when I can’t even of viewing BioWare under any type of positive light whatsoever. Mike said it best, no one can blame us for feeling this way.

  2. Though I hold Bioware on a short leash nowadays I am more excited for Dragon Age Inquisition than ME4. They have shown us nothing of note. as you say, pretty graphics are standard today. And stating exploration and new worlds is standardRPG jargon especially from Bioware so what did they say really? Biowares word means nothing to me. And I definitely will not preorder ANY of their games. Lastly I am a straight male so maybe I don’t see it but Casey Hudson, a model? A model what? Salarian maybe?

  3. Have to admit Michael, I like the video. Granted, would I have preferred an actual trailer? Yes. However, I compare it to Star Wars. There was about a full year and a half where Disney refused to reveal any details about Star Wars Episode VII, because they were waiting until they were fully ready and at a position to reveal cool stuff, which we are now starting to get. Similar thing with Mass Effect, we’ve got this video in which we see some of the new concepts they’re working on, they describe what they want to do, but really they’re not revealing anything substantial because they’re saving themselves for a point where they can do an awesome reveal that best suits the purposes of the game. That’s how I see it.
    An interesting thing I found during BioWare’s part of the conference was that while showing Dragon Age: Inquisition, they described it as “the beginning of the new era of BioWare games, with the epic storytelling of their previous games now set in expansive open worlds”. And then in the Mass Effect video, Casey Hudson describes an interesting aspect of the new game, “Pick a planet at the other side of the galaxy, fly there and see what you’ll discover”. This really gives me the impression that they’re going for an open world galaxy, which could be extraordinary if pulled off right.
    I’m excited for the game of course, I love all of Bioware’s games, and I can’t wait to see more.

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