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Mass Effect Boss Casts Doubt On Shepard's Return

Mass Effect Boss Casts Doubt On Shepard's Return
Images via BioWare

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

12th May 2022 15:23

What would Metal Gear be without Solid Snake, Metroid without Samus, and Halo without Master Chief? We imagine they wouldn't be the sci-fi staples they are today, which puts a potentially Shep-free Mass Effect 4 in a bit of a predicament.

While the first three Mass Effect games have become synonymous with Commander Shepard in either his base form or as the female FemShep, 2017's Mass Effect: Andromeda decided to ditch Shep for Scott or Sara Ryder. Is it any coincidence that the entry is held as the worst the franchise has to offer?

Why Do Fans Think Shepard Will Return For Mass Effect 4?

Mass Effect 4

Mass Effect 4 is technically the fifth main game in the series, but everyone is basically calling it that because the first tease hints that it will be a sequel to Mass Effect 3. Although it was revealed back on N7 Day 2020, we still know literally nothing about BioWare has planned for the game. Now, a few details are starting to emerge.

Only recently, fans were over the moon when they thought merchandise confirmed Commander Shepard's role in Mass Effect 4. A Mass Effect lithograph said, "While Shepard and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces, fans are left wondering what's next." It was all the confirmation we needed, and considering it came from BioWare directly, the internet soon championed Shep's return.

Sadly, BioWare cottoned onto this and quickly changed the description to read: "The threat of the Reapers may have been ended, but at great cost including Earth itself. While the survivors are left to pick up the pieces, fans are left wondering what’s next." Mass Effect's fabled "Destroy Ending" sees Shep sacrifice themself, and although most think there's a tease that Shep survived, BioWare has suggested they got a hero's end. 

 

What Has BioWare Said About Shep In Mass Effect 4?

Following speculation about Commander Shepard's potential inclusion or axing, Mass Effect Project Director Michael Gamble stepped in to clear up what's going on. Responding to the change, Gamble wrote, "Yeah, that was a mistake." He later added that it was a mistake from someone unfamiliar with the franchise. While that should be cut and dry, we're not quite buying it. Something massive like a mid-game Shep return would be a major spoiler.

With the Mass Effect 4 teaser showing off a much older Liara, players have speculated the next entry could be set hundreds of years in the future. If this is the case, the writers would have to explain how Shep has lived far beyond normal life expectancy. Then again, with everything from cryogenic freezing to cloning, it's a fairly easy workaround. Whether Shep is suiting up for Mass Effect 4 or not, it doesn't sound like BioWare is ready to make anything official just yet.