No, BioWare hasn’t teased a return for Shepard in the next Mass Effect


BioWare quickly shut down internet speculation that it had inadvertently teased a return of franchise hero Commander Shepard in the upcoming Mass Effect.

Yesterday, fan gossip was sparked by a poster description on the BioWare store. The poster is a print of the teaser image BioWare released last November for its in-development Mass Effect game, and was described as: “As Shepard and the survivors must pick up the pieces, fans wonder what is the next step.”

This description (which was later corrected to remove Shepard’s name) was enough to trigger YouTube videos, as well as articles from various blogs and websites. And, of course, the fire was only fueled by BioWare’s later fix.

“Yeah, that was a mistake,” said Mass Effect project director and franchise veteran Michael Gamble. wrote on Twitter, as articles began to appear. “Fixed.”

play later added: “The original thing was written by the people who run the store and don’t know the game :)”

The suggestion that Shepard might reappear in the next Mass Effect game seemed unlikely. Regardless of how your Mass Effect trilogy ends, depending on the decisions you’ve made, it’s clear that the next game will take place a significant period of time later.

In the first trailer for the new game, returning character Liara T’soni is shown to be significantly older – and as a long-lived asari, that implies a time jump of hundreds of years.

The same teaser also hinted at a story encompassing the two galaxies visited by the franchise – the Milky Way and Andromeda. It should be remembered that the events of Mass Effect Andromeda did not occur until at least 600 years after Mass Effect 3.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, having Shepard back would be a very bad idea. The only way to make this work would be to define a “canon” ending to the original Mass Effect trilogy, rather than one that respects player choices. It’s also fair to say that Shepard’s story now feels very well done and dusted off.

The next Mass Effect is still a few years away – further than BioWare’s next in-development Dragon Age, which we don’t expect in the near future. When he does arrive, though, don’t expect Shepard to return.

For clues as to what’s inside, we’ve analyzed the same poster image released last year to uncover all of BioWare’s (real) clues to Mass Effect’s next story.

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