Image: BioWare

BioWare had already teased the return of Commander Shepard in the first official teaser for its next Mass Effect game back in 2020, and now, a new listing on the BioWare Gear shop is adding to the theory that the customizable protagonist will return in some capacity for the next installment of the hit sci-fi RPG franchise. Although it’s now been altered, the listing for a new “Mysteries from the Future” lithograph featuring artwork from the upcoming title had included a synopsis that seemingly confirms Shepard had canonically survived his final battle against the Reapers at the end of Mass Effect 3. BioWare is yet to confirm who the protagonist of Mass Effect 4 (or 5, assuming Andromeda is considered a mainline title) will be, but Shepard is apparently alive and well, along with other survivors, who must now “pick up the pieces” following the destructive events of the third game.

Shepard’s final quest may have ended the threat of the Reapers but at great cost including Earth itself. While Shepard and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces, fans are left wondering what’s next.

Mass Effect will continue. And with the sneak peek poster we got from the BioWare team as part of the N7 Day 2021, there is a lot to unpack. From countless theories regarding the setting of the next game to the bewilderment on whether Geth would make a comeback, eagle-eyed fans have a lot to make of this Mass Effect Mysteries from the Future Lithograph.

Source: BioWare Gear (via MrHulthen)

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5 comments

  1. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw a return of Shepard. BioWare mistakenly believes the failure of Andromeda had something to do with the change in protagonist. That was true, but not because it wasn't Shepard. It was because both the Ryder siblings are generic and bland. You get five dialog choices most of the time and there are almost no differences between any of them. At best, you can choose the sarcastic options and come off like a discount Ryan Reynolds.

    The game gets a lot more **** than it deserves, but a huge reason for its failure came down to the early access for the pre-order and what they gave to reviewers was an older build of the game. Most of the memes were generated off that rather than the actual retail build of the game. The retail game wasn't up to scratch either but I have little sympathy for BioWare on that because they had over 5 years to develop it and mismanaged the project for most of that time.

    All the Asari having the same exact face was a big clue that the game wasn't finished. It's also a shame that the company didn't believe in the game enough to put the work into fixing it. While it did handle most of the technical issues, things like the cloned Asari were never addressed. ME5 won't do well either even if Shepard is in it and properly written. My fear is that they'll water Shepard down with wokeness and the character won't be the same one fans have invested hundreds of hours (or more) in.
  2. Holy effing crap... if they bring sheppard back AGAIN they better release the next game with the previous three bundled into it so we can go through it all gain... I've been through how many effing rebuilds since this?
  3. Holy effing crap... if they bring sheppard back AGAIN they better release the next game with the previous three bundled into it so we can go through it all gain... I've been through how many effing rebuilds since this?
    Just buy the Legendary Edition. It's all three of the games with Shepard as a protagonist.
  4. Typical knee-jerk reaction of a panicking company with no leadership and creativity.

    ME Andromeda failed due to a PR department blunder. Pre-releasing an alpha version of the game to "influencers" 1 week before wide release was a big mistake. A ton of idiots who didn't even know anything about mass effect who weren't familiar with the universe got to have their way with it while actual customers were waiting. They presented a completely false image of what the game actually is. The meme videos were cut together of deliberately caused glitches. It was all portrayed in a way as if that was representative of the whole game and not some freak occurrences.

    Sure ME:A wasn't bug free, and the facial animation issues were real. But everyone seemed to get total amnesia about the trilogy's similar issues. Should we have dismissed those games outright too because of animation glitches? I clearly remember my Shepard's head turning around 180 degrees in ME2 when the game first came out. And who could forget the running animation in ME3?

    When you got into it ME: Andromeda was a good game, better than Bioware's previous attempt with Dragon Age Inquisition, and not even comparable to Anthem. The shooting and actual gameplay was leaps beyond the trilogy's clunky gunplay and power usage. The story was pretty good too, some of the level/planet designs were outright great. My main issues with it were with the pacing, and the proto-woke elements, like making the asari ugly, and cucking the protagonist. You were everybody's floormat, and didn't have a witty or forceful response to assert yourself even to the last janitor NPC. Still I gave the game a 7/10 which is huge, as I only gave 6/10 to ME3 when that came out with the original ending.


    But I digress. Bringing back Shepard as a protagonist doesn't make me excited at all it causes me dread.
  5. Typical knee-jerk reaction of a panicking company with no leadership and creativity.

    ME Andromeda failed due to a PR department blunder. Pre-releasing an alpha version of the game to "influencers" 1 week before wide release was a big mistake. A ton of idiots who didn't even know anything about mass effect who weren't familiar with the universe got to have their way with it while actual customers were waiting. They presented a completely false image of what the game actually is. The meme videos were cut together of deliberately caused glitches. It was all portrayed in a way as if that was representative of the whole game and not some freak occurrences.

    Sure ME:A wasn't bug free, and the facial animation issues were real. But everyone seemed to get total amnesia about the trilogy's similar issues. Should we have dismissed those games outright too because of animation glitches? I clearly remember my Shepard's head turning around 180 degrees in ME2 when the game first came out. And who could forget the running animation in ME3?

    When you got into it ME: Andromeda was a good game, better than Bioware's previous attempt with Dragon Age Inquisition, and not even comparable to Anthem. The shooting and actual gameplay was leaps beyond the trilogy's clunky gunplay and power usage. The story was pretty good too, some of the level/planet designs were outright great. My main issues with it were with the pacing, and the proto-woke elements, like making the asari ugly, and cucking the protagonist. You were everybody's floormat, and didn't have a witty or forceful response to assert yourself even to the last janitor NPC. Still I gave the game a 7/10 which is huge, as I only gave 6/10 to ME3 when that came out with the original ending.


    But I digress. Bringing back Shepard as a protagonist doesn't make me excited at all it causes me dread.
    Well said. I think you've summarized things nicely.

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