BioWare's new game: All the rumours collected and dissected. Mass Effect online incoming?

First up though, BioWare has been throwing a few more hints out on Twitter to compliment its oh-so-informative "five seconds of a man with a gun" opus. So far, two Aztec barcodes (those weird square ones) have been released. They look like this:

Current online Columboing suggests the following suggestions. Having decoded the first image,Rock, Paper, Shotgunclaims to have up with the number 55.845. This, as we all know (yeah, we totally did) is the atomic weight of iron. Meaning? Well, nothing on its own, but a slight application of the contrivance ray might give us a possible solution. Iron is the main component of steel, and BioWare released a mech combat game called Shattered Steel in 1996. Here's its intro movie:

So a reboot is possible. The tone and look of the current footage certainly aren't at odds with Shattered Steel. But conflictingly, RPS reckons the second image decodes to -128.5 Farenheit. That's the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth, and occured in 1983 at Vostok, Antarctica. Vostok 1 was also the name of the first manned space flight, and the location also lends its name to a system in Mass Effect. But if ME is looking more likely now, are we talking Mass Effect 3? Possibly not.

You see there's an uncorroboratedstory fromKotaku- via an unnamed "development source", naturally - that BioWare Montreal is working on a spin-off Mass Effect game. It apparently doesn't feature Commander Shephard, but does feature a big multiplayer focus, with single-player gameplay to compliment the main series story. That would make sense, given that Bio Montreal was advertising for multiplayer programmers a while back. And again, the futuristic look of the current teaser would fit in.

So what do you reckon this new game could be? And what do you want it to be? Is a multiplayer ME spin-off something you could get behind, or are you only interested in the main series? And if you played Shattered Steel back in the day, would you want to see it back?

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.