BioWare Confirms Mako Returning to New Mass Effect (UPDATE)

Update!We’ve added more images from the panel showing off the new (human) character models — or rather, the new N7 armor characters will wear. Check out the gallery at the bottom of the post.

BioWare revealed precious few details about its upcoming return to the Mass Effect universe at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, but it did confirm one big detail: the return of the Mako vehicle.

Mass Effect Producer Mike Gamble showed the new Mako during the “Charting a Course: Developing the New Mass Effect” panel, which included a prototype model of the vehicle, as well as a very early video of the Mako in motion. As compared the Mako that last appeared in the original Mass Effect title, the new version is sleeker and faster, but doesn’t include a cannon.

“We’ve learned a thing or two about vehicle frustration,” Gamble said, relating that BioWare was focusing on making the vehicle easier and more intuitive to drive. The game’s big focus is exploration, he said, and so players will need a vehicle with which to explore.

Gamble said other details about the vehicle are still in flux — in fact, the entire presentation showed only “conceptual prototypes,” and Gamble said BioWare was “years” away from final decisions. Whether the vehicle will have the jump thrusters seen in the first game, for example, isn’t something that has been nailed down yet.

Other details were few and far between from the panel. Armor models showed off a male and female human character models but didn’t give any details other than what the actual armor will look like. It was stamped with the N7 logo, however, and Gamble confirmed that the player character will have “something to do with N7.”

Whether players will be able to choose from alien races for their protagonists, as well as a male or female variant, Gamble wouldn’t confirm. He did say aliens players are familiar with will appear in the game, as well new species players haven’t seen before.

“The theme is new experiences for the player, but with elements of what you know and love,” Gamble said..

Special thanks to The Escapist’s Andrea Rene for panel images.

SDCC 2014 Mass Effect Panel - Player Character Models

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14 Comments on BioWare Confirms Mako Returning to New Mass Effect (UPDATE)

fethski

On July 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm

So the big thing from the panel was that the Mako is returning and is going to be easier to drive?

Ares

On July 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Cool. I actually liked driving the Mako. Think there only one world where getting to anything involved some serious vertical climbing.

AxΣtwin

On July 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

What many people never stopped to consider was it wasn’t the Mako that was the problem. It drove exactly the way you would expect an APC to drive. The problem was with the areas that were designed to use the Mako in. It was the planets that were terribly designed.

Aedelric

On July 26, 2014 at 11:13 pm

I loved exploring planets in my Mako from Mass Effect, the removal of that aspect for 2 & 3 was a bad move. All they have to do is include the Mako vehicle and exploration from ME1 with interesting planets from ME2. Also they shouldn’t take any inspiration from ME3 for anything, obviously.

Unfortunately I am still not going to buy ME4 or DA3, being a fan of both original games I am still interested in the news. The way I see it Bioware needs punished for their last releases, so even if they turn out to be decent games, my money stays in my pocket.

fethski

On July 27, 2014 at 12:06 am

My issue isn’t with the Mako. I was indifferent to that part of ME1. To me the panel sounds like EA’s E3 presentation where you have people talking about the game and showing some concept work, but really there was nothing substantial to get excited over other than the fact they’re working on the game.

Butt

On July 27, 2014 at 4:06 am

Great, some superficial technical detail that hasn’t been relevant to the series since the first game. Won’t improve the writing or general reason for the game’s existence. It’s still a lost cause.

Phil Hornshaw

On July 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

@fethski

Basically. There were very, very few details. Mike Gamble said things are very much in conceptual prototype phases and said that just about everything is still very much subject to change.

SweetPea

On July 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

@fethski
They also supposedly said that it’s going to take place during Shepard’s time and that there might be returning characters. And there will be cooperative multiplayer, like in ME3.

Phil Hornshaw

On July 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm

@SweetPea

Not quite — Gamble wouldn’t commit to literally any details. He said that Shepard is “not central” to the story, so it seems like the game won’t be taking place during the Reaper war. But he didn’t dismiss that it’s possible characters we know — a person had asked about Aria T’Loak and mentioned lengthy Asari lifespans — might show up in the game, potentially. But no commitment to any details at all, as mentioned.

As for cooperative multiplayer, Gamble also didn’t commit to that. What he DID say is that BioWare has learned a lot from Mass Effect 3, and that what BioWare liked about the multiplayer was that it was cooperative rather than completely competitive. Again, though, Gamble committed to NOTHING. I wouldn’t consider anything that was mentioned at the panel to be the reality of what the new Mass Effect will be, and everything is conceptual prototypes and massively subject to change. We’re still a long way out from this one, it sounds like.

SweetPea

On July 27, 2014 at 1:48 pm

@Phil
All right, thanks for the clarification. It seems like the site I got that info from took everything Gamble said for a fact.

Phil Hornshaw

On July 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm

@SweetPea

No prob. It was really hard to glean real information from the panel and I can see where the confusion might arise. Gamble did a lot of verbal gymnastics to get out of saying anything concrete — mostly because they’re not read to reveal anything concrete, I would imagine — but if all the things you mentioned actually did wind up to be in the game, I wouldn’t be surprised. It may well be Shepard’s time, but I think the idea that Shepard’s “not central” is hard to do when Shepard’s literally saving the universe, like, over there on the other side of the galaxy.

Given that the game’s about exploration, though, seems like BioWare is leaving leeway to maybe venture off into other corners, maybe beyond the Milky Way, while all that was going on. I feel like it’d be a stretch based on what we know so far, but it’s definitely not impossible. In short: we still have no idea. But hey, Mako’s back, so that’s something.

DcDan

On July 28, 2014 at 2:36 am

@Aedelric
”Unfortunately I am still not going to buy ME4 or DA3, being a fan of both original games I am still interested in the news. The way I see it Bioware needs punished for their last releases, so even if they turn out to be decent games, my money stays in my pocket.”

Even if the two games turn out to be masterpiece? Thats nonsense. I dont care about some of the BEEP in DA2 and ME3. If ME4 and DA3 are goods and gamefront give them positive reviews i’l get them both for sure!

Tommy B Rude

On July 28, 2014 at 3:25 am

@DcDan
Fornmenits not about punishing Bioware, its that I simply don’t have faith in them as a company. It’s not ME4 I’m worried about, its Mass Effect 6 that worries me.
Whenever you buy anything you’re taking a risk. “Is this franchise going to be worth my time and money?” When you have faith in the company, that risk isn’t a factor. But bioware’s last two major releases demonstrated laziness, complacency, and an overall shift to a much lower standard of game design. As a consumer, I do not trust bioware to make any investment, time or money, worthwhile. Maybe the ME3 backlash spooked them, maybe they’ll put more effort into ME4. But then what? They’ve proven that quality isn’t a priority to them, so once the complacency sets in then what? I wasted over 100 hours on the first mass effect trilogy. I refuse to take a chance on bioware again. They haven’t earned it. Or rather, it is my unwavering distrust that they’ve earned.

Vaughn

On September 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Too bad Mass Effect 3′s ending is still ing broken and that Casey Hudson sold out his whole ing team AND his original fan-base just to make some money from EA.

you.