The new Mass Effect, or Mass Effect 5, was originally revealed at the Game Awards back in 2020. Although it's unclear whether it'll actually be called Mass Effect 5, we do know it's the fifth game in Bioware's sci-fi series. While it's looking like we're in for a bit of a wait for an eventual release, Bioware has said that although it's still in pre-production, "development has been proceeding very well" in a recent blog post.
We have had some concept art, and a duo of teaser trailer, but realistically details on what the new Mass Effect game will be are pretty light. What we do know is that the next Mass Effect game looks set to be a follow-up to the original Mass Effect trilogy - which are often counted among the best RPGs around. BioWare also recently committed to it being a single-player experience like those that came before it, and we have additional details like it will feature returning characters from the original trilogy.
With some of the best game stories around, the prospect of another entry in the series has us all excited. While we may be in for quite the wait to see the game arrive, read on below to get a rundown of everything we know so far about Mass Effect 5.
N7 Day 2023
2023's N7 Day (or November 7) brought us some new info for the next Mass Effect - well sort of. Over the course of a few hours, BioWare drip-fed snippets of footage which led up to the reveal of the above 34-second teaser trailer.
It was initially pitched as a countdown for "Mass Effect Epsilon" - which just so happens to be the number five - but then the teasers evolved to be titled other things like 'Defiance' and 'Post-Nebula' with notes of access codes of "Oculon-2819-Defiance". That 2819 reference makes us think this will be when the game is set. Could 2819 be the year they arrived in Andromeda?
Within all the accompanying text, there were a few interesting notes:
- /////ANDROMEDA DISTRESS SIGNAL DETECTED
- /////AUDIO TRANSCRIPT: ALTHOUGH THEY SHOULD KNOW BY NOW NOT TO UNDERESTIMATE HUMAN [REDACTED]
- /////CLASSIFIED: REVIEW BRIEFING MATERIALS ON OFFICIAL ALLIANCE COMMS CHANNELS
- /////SECURITY BREACH DETECTED /////CONTACT SYSTEMS ALLIANCE
References to Andromeda is immediately interesting, both for the Mass Effect game of the same name, and the planetary system itself. Then the references to the Alliance seem to suggest that will be a core focus for the story.
The N7 Day 2023 teaser eventually showed a helmeted figure - fairly feminine in outline - wearing a quilted N7 jacket with Cyberpunk-worthy collar, which everyone on the Subreddit is calling very Daft Punk. She pulls out a gun and heads out of the building towards an open area that seems to be very dusty or sandy, with golden hues.
The trailer was also accompanied by new Mass Effect art - the full-resolution version you can see below and zoom right in.
Within that coat, you can see a number of other characters in a bar of some kind - possibly Afterlife - including Geth, Salarian, Asari, Human, Angaran, Turian, Krogan, Hanar, and potentially even Garrus himself.
First Mass Effect teaser trailer
The 'next Mass Effect teaser trailer' breakdown
During The Game Awards 2020, BioWare dropped the very first teaser trailer for the next Mass Effect game… and holy Liara T'Soni was it quite the trailer. Running at just under two minutes, fans were quick to dig into every second of footage shown to try and piece together what it might mean for the future of the franchise. BioWare project director Michael Gamble caused a lot of excitement when he said "there's a lot to unpack" on Twitter, and the Mass Effect fan base erupted with interesting theories and thoughts about what the trailer may be hinting at.
Firstly, you can hear the very recognizable horn of a Reaper ring out during the opening sequence. Later on, eagle-eyed fans also noticed you can spot the silhouette of a Reaper in the background as a mysterious figure (who turns out to be Liara) walks through a snowy landscape. Gamble confirmed you do in fact see Reapers in the trailer, so we're likely seeing the remnants of what was left behind after the final showdown with Shepard in Mass Effect 3.
The presence of Liara is also very interesting. There is a lot of speculation surrounding whether the area we see Liara in is in fact in the Milky Way, given that she uncovers some N7 armor. Some have even been speculating that she's in fact on Earth, which may suggest that the next adventure is likely a direct sequel.
There's also a lot of substantial theories around the possibility that the next is in some way tied to Mass Effect: Andromeda. If it is, it could give us an idea of the timeframe the next adventure will take place in. Andromeda is set some 600 years after Mass Effect 3, and interestingly you can even listen to voice recordings from Liara in Andromeda - given her long life span, it would also make sense for her to still be knocking around long after Shepard.
The very first time Ryder takes off in the Tempest ship, "godspeed" is said to be over comms, which can be heard in the trailer. Gamble also confirmed on Twitter this was "intentional", which has also added more credence to the idea that the next adventure will be linked to Andromeda.
Prior to the release of the trailer, many believed it was connected to Andromeda because of the official artwork that was released on N7 Day in the blog post announcement. The concept art titled "Mud Skipper" shows the silhouette of four figures, one of which has the same build as the Angara, which is a race we first encounter in Andromeda. Could it actually be Jaal? There also appears to be a Salarian and Drell, but who they are is currently unknown. The very same image can be seen for just a moment when we see Liara turn and smile in the trailer, which suggests she could have been the fourth figure on the far left of the original image.
Mass Effect 5 developer
Who's making the new Mass Effect game?
The new Mass Effect game is being made by a "veteran team" at BioWare. Shortly after the release of the teaser trailer, BioWare project director Michael Gamble highlighted some of the names returning to help create the next step in the franchise on Twitter.
For starters, Dusty Everman has rejoined the development team as a principal narrative designer. Gamble mentions that Everman was one of the key contributors when it came to bringing the Normandy ship to life and was previously a senior level designer at BioWare. Parrish Ley, who previously worked as a cinematic director for the Mass Effect Trilogy, is also returning to bring "his vision" to the new adventure, along with longtime BioWare programmer and technical designer Brenon Holmes and original Mass Effect art director, Derek Watts.
Release date rumors
Mass Effect 5 release date theories - When will the new Mass Effect game be released?
The question we all want an answer to is of course 'when we can expect to see the next Mass Effect adventure arrive?' Well, we probably won't be seeing an official release date for quite some time, especially considering BioWare is still in the early stages of development. However, it's going to be a bit of a long wait for this one. Initially, we were told that Mass Effect 5 development reportedly won't begin in full until 2023, but now we are in 2023 and Bioware says the game is still in pre-production.
"For Mass Effect, we continue pre-production with a core team of veteran storytellers who are bringing the deep franchise history forward in a spectacular new way," said Bioware general manager Gary McKay in a recent statement in June 2023. This paired well with the November 2022 statements, and followed on from the words of McKay in October 2022 where he said the team was "still "envisioning" Mass Effect 5.
In the official BioWare blog post, it states that the team is "looking forward to sharing our vision for where we'll be going next." While we probably won't be seeing any big updates about the next game anytime soon, we'll certainly be keeping an eye out for any more news about Mass Effect 5's development going forward.
Mass Effect 5 gameplay
Mass Effect 5 will be a single-player game
In the latest Alpha milestone update for Dragon Age: Dread Wolf, BioWare touched on the new Mass Effect game, and its commitment to making it a single-player experience. "We have a team hard at work envisioning what the future holds for a new single-player Mass Effect game," general manager Gary McKay noted towards the end of the post.
The Mass Effect series has always been single-player for the most part, with the exception of a multiplayer experience in Mass Effect 3, which was actually pretty darn fun (and ended up being omitted from Mass Effect Legendary Edition release). Still, it's good to have single-player confirmed, especially in light of EA's push for live service games in the past.
Mass Effect 5 concept art
Mass Effect 5 art released so far
Revealed as part of N7 Day 2021, this new Mass Effect poster teasing the next game. Not only does that crater look a heck of a lot like a Geth helmet, if you zoom in on those teenie space peeps, one appears to be wearing Krogan armor.
Interestingly, in January 2022, BioWare GM Gary McKay revealed in a post on the BioWare blog that the poster contains "a handful of hidden treats", including "at least five surprises, all of which point to an amazing future in the Mass Effect universe".
Of course, McKay doesn't go into detail about what any of those are, but does add that he's seeing "some incredible work from both teams", speaking of the Mass Effect and Dragon Age development crew.
On N7 Day in 2022 (November 7), we then got a handful of new Mass Effect 5 images that obviously made fans start diving deep into theories as to what they could mean. Both images can be seen above, showing off a ships flying over futuristic cityscapes, with one featuring a turian in the bottom right corner. Most people are convinced that the cities have asari connections, as the lighting and architecture have definite vibes of the asari homeworld, Thessia, which we visited in Mass Effect 3. It also looks a lot like Illium, the asari corporate colony where we're reintroduced to Liara in Mass Effect 2.
Interestingly, those images were accompanied by the below video, which the community proceeded to decode:
Thank you to all the agents who decoded the footage. Here’s a clean transmission 👀 https://t.co/iADrTHnU6s pic.twitter.com/ALNBNNM05aNovember 7, 2022
It very much sounds like the voice of Liara T'Soni, the asari from the original trilogy that has seemingly appeared in other teases for the next Mass Effect game.
A fan of all things BioWare? Be sure to check out everything we know so far about Dragon Age 4.