Is a remaster of the Mass Effect trilogy finally on the way? That’s what many people will be thinking after Bioware dropped a cryptic tweet referring to the opening of first Mass Effect game, in what could signal a return to the beloved Shepard trilogy.
The clip, which runs for 1:38 minutes, shows the text introduction from 2007’s original Mass Effect game on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC – detailing the “incredible technology” that enabled “travel to the furthest stars” – before cutting out to a title image and cover art of the title. But that’s not all.
The tweet itself uses a curious hashtag, #MassRelays, suggesting some kind of new branding we haven’t seen from Bioware before. It seems likely ‘Mass Relays’ could be the (not particularly inspiring) name of a remastered trilogy, or hint at it coming in the near future.
What are mass relays?
In the games, mass relays are the interconnected system of portals that enable Shepard – and the rest of the civilizations he or she encounters – to travel around the cosmos. The relays are relics of an ancient civilization that let you jump from one relay to another, and are what’s referred to in the opening above.
It’s a bit odd to cite the in-game transport system, really – and if we’re being open-minded, it’s possible that something quite different is in store. Maybe a Pokémon Go-like AR game where you travel from relay to relay (like gym to gym) on some kind of lightweight shooter / narrative adventure? A terrible rollercoaster ride at Disneyland (given Disney will eventually own everything)? In both cases, we hope not.
A remaster seems the most likely outcome, but the headlines around Bioware haven’t been kind in recent years, and the big bet that the company took (and lost) on Anthem puts it in a precarious position in today’s gaming market.
Fan the flames
A remaster of its masterful sci-fi trilogy could be a very good thing for the developer, which somewhat lost the trust of fans after the ill-received Mass Effect: Andromeda was rushed to retail while still full of bugs – with many viewing the company’s focus on the (also ill-received) Anthem as the reason the Mass Effect title didn’t get the resources or development time it so sorely needed.
A brand new Mass Effect adventure would be a bit of a risk for Bioware, but getting a chance to revisit the older games – with updated graphics, some well-oiled mechanics, and a wallop of nostalgia – could be just the thing to put Bioware in our good books again.