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Explore the fresh alien vistas of the next Mass Effect with this new batch of concept art

BioWare shared some concept art for Mass Effect 4 while some of the creative leads spoke a bit about what the game will entail, part of the studio’s annual (since 2012) “N7 Day” tradition. In addition to falling on November 7, N7 refers to the elite forces in the series’ Systems Alliance military.

Exploration was the main buzzword of the presentation. The studio’s aim is to create the largest Mass Effect game yet, with a more diverse range of locations for you to explore than has been previously available.

To that end, the first game’s hated Mako rover is making a big return, featuring improved handling and a wider array of features and functions. The BioWare guys waxed nostalgic about the hours they have lost so far to aimlessly exploring alien vistas in the new Mako. They aim to make freeform exploration for its own sake an enticing alternative to simply following the story or particular side quests.

Related: Mass Effect 4 focuses on exploring the stars (but don’t call it that)

They also hinted at a new race that will be present in the game. One of the concepts showed dwellings nestled into a cliff, close to waterfalls. The environmental integration of the structures pictured hint at a peaceful nature, according to BioWare, projecting “an aura of welcomeness.”

The only hint given about story was that the main character would become a hero over the course of the game, rather than starting out with a reputation like the prior trilogy’s Commander Shepard.

BioWare concluded the stream with a firm “when it’s ready” release window, so don’t lose sleep waiting for Mass Effect 4… which might not even be its actual name. Fortunately, Dragon Age: Inquisition is just around the corner to scratch that roleplaying itch until then.