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

Mass Effect
BioWare shared some of the first concrete details about Mass Effect 4 — and reiterated once again the “Mass Effect 4” is NOT the title — during its panel at 2014’s Comic Con International in San Diego. The big takeaway from producer Mike Gamble is that the game is focused specifically on exploration and, to that end, the first Mass Effect‘s Mako rover makes a return.

Note that all details shared here come from a NeoGAF post that compiles tweets from The Escapist’s Andrea Rene, NerdAppropriate, and author Elizabeth Briggs. Take note before you read further that all of this amounts to secondhand information culled from multiple sources. Certain details may be inaccurate.

The Mako, which you can see in early prototype form alongside other previz looks at armor and environments in the video below, is said to be a speedier vehicle than its much-maligned predecessor from the first game. It’s also a pure conveyance, with no cannon or other armaments for defending itself. As for the exploration component, Gamble’s explanation brings to mind Star Trek‘s “five-year mission” of charting deep space.

There’s some suggestion that the game’s story is set during the lifetime of the original trilogy’s protagonist, Commander Shepard, though that wasn’t explicitly stated. Some panel attendees also seemed to gather that the next Mass Effect game is set in a completely different galaxy. Gamble did confirm that the new protagonist is human, but didn’t discuss any other races.

This is pure speculation from the perspective of someone who didn’t attend the panel, but given the way Mass Effect 3 ended — the post-credits scene specifically — it’s possible (light spoilers ahead) that the game picks up well after the events of the original trilogy. We already know from the events of ME3 that Shepard’s story carries forward through the ages, so that character could still be a readily referenced name in a story set well after his or her time.

The coming game’s exploration focus also makes sense if you follow this line of thinking, since the events of ME3 effectively leave humanity cut off from the galaxy it had once so thoroughly explored. If the new Mass Effect picks up in the post-Shepard era at a time when humanity has once again figured out how to venture beyond the known solar system, the voyage of discovery makes sense. (end spoiler talk)

Blame the hazy details on the fact that this game is still “years” away from being ready. Gamble didn’t share any other concrete details, though it does sound like cooperative play will return in some form after its Mass Effect 3 debut as the Galaxy At War wave-based survival mode.

Here’s a video from The Escapist showing off some snippets of what was revealed during the panel.

Movies & TV

Disney reveals epic first picture from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction

The Millennium Falcon is fueled up and ready to embark on its Smuggler's Run at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the new theme park attraction set to open in 2019 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Mobile

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Gaming

Have a spooky dance party at an abandoned mansion with Fortnite's new challenges

The Fortnite season 7, week 2 challenges have arrived in Battle Royale. From searching for chests to dancing off at an abandoned mansion, here's how to do them and the rewards you get for completing them.
Deals

The Super NES Classic is the perfect holiday gift for Nintendo lovers

Whether you're a long-time Nintendo fan looking to relive the 16-bit glory days or just doing some holiday shopping, the SNES Classic -- now in stock at multiple retailers for $80 -- might just be the perfect Christmas gift for gamers of…
Gaming

Sega Genesis classics now playable on Amazon Fire TV, no retro console required

Sega released the SEGA Classics app for Amazon Fire TV devices, allowing gamers to play Sega Genesis classics without having to buy a retro console. The $15 app contains 25 games, including three remastered Sonic titles.
Computing

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.
Gaming

Nintendo pulls the plug on making more SNES Classic, NES Classic systems

Nintendo extended production of the NES Classic and SNES Classic into 2018, but once the current supply of consoles is gone, the company won't be making more. Instead, you'll have to use Nintendo Switch Online.
Gaming

Fancy ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ PlayStation 4 Pro launches alongside game in January

A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle for Kingdom Hearts III will launch alongside the game in January. The system included has a special design on the side, as does the controller.
Gaming

Want to share your Xbox One games? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ removes the Infinity Blade weapon after player backlash

Following player backlash over the Infinity Blade weapon's inclusion in Fortnite's battle royale mode, Epic Games decided to remove the weapon from the game completely. It was not limited to a special mode.
Gaming

Want every suit in 'Marvel's Spider-Man' for PS4? Here's how to get them all

Marvel's Spider-Man features a whopping 33 different suits for Peter Parker to wear as he swings across New York City knocking out baddies. Here are all the suits and how to unlock them.