I have no flupping idea what to expect from Mass Effect Not-4, aka Andromeda [official site], given all signs point to it being a clean break from the Shepard saga. But the reveal that combat will be similar to Mass Effect 3's frantic shooty fare does start to make it a solid thing in my brain, rather than an entirely abstract concept with a few twinkly stars in it.
This comes from - I know, I know - Twitter chat from Chris Wynn, senior development director at Bioware. Given details for Andromeda are so thin on the ground, the team breaking cover in even this teeniest of ways is worth paying attention to. We now know, for instance, that despite a move to EA's proprietary Frostbite engine, some of the old systems are being rebuilt rather than reinvented. And this means that:
@Linkenski your assumption is a safe one. There are some new elements that make it more dynamic, but overall similar feel.— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) August 11, 2015
ME3's combat wasn't bad, though I guess this confirmation is a minor poke in the eye for anyone hoping Mass Effect would do anything with the optional tactical combat mode seen in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Also not terribly surprisingly is apparent confirmation that we won't see any of Mass Effect's cast return.
@_Anderzzz story wise, it wouldn't make much sense.— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) August 10, 2015
That's not an outright no, of course. In a fantastical setting that's already seen at least one resurrection, anything is possible should the writers wish it so. Wynn leaves this window open, in fact:
@PKBitchGirl @_Anderzzz given that we haven't added every single character to the Andromeda build yet, can't really answer this one yet.— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) August 13, 2015
But given we're already in a different part of space entirely, and potentially even a different time period, dredging up old faces is both going to require narrative gymnastics and risk baggage that new series of ME games could do without. It's better to meet and bonk new people rather than moon at familiar folk whose stories have wrapped up.
There's also this very strong suggestion that we'll meet new types of alien:
@jorge__92 it's a new galaxy.....— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) August 15, 2015
And also the claim that voice actors haven't been cast yet. Maybe there'll be room for a little Jennifer Hale...
@iEAT_JEDi we haven't cast anyone quite yet, are getting started now on that process now.— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) August 16, 2015
I'm definitely ready for another big, brash space adventure. All the hoo-hah around Mass Effect 3's ending has almost faded from my brain, and I'm no longer concerned about story: I just want to shoot and flirt among the stars again. No prophecies or ancestor races though, please.