Mass Effect 5 won't be open world, returning to 'classic' format
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For millions of gamers, the Mass Effect series means so much to its loyal legion of fans and its community is no less passionate 16 years after the launch of the original game.
Developed by BioWare, the same studio that brought us the original and critically acclaimed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, when Mass Effect was released in 2007 for Xbox 360 it became an instant classic. Though from a personal perspective, I remember the torment of it releasing during my honeymoon (sorry, my lovely wife).
Check out the Mass Effect 5 teaser trailer below!
The original Mass Effect would later find its way on PC and PS3, before benefiting from a remastered collection across multiple modern platforms which also included Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 and all previously released DLC as part of the Legendary Edition.
To address the elephant in the room, in 2017 we had Mass Effect: Andromeda, which at least for the most part, takes place around 600 years after the events of Mass Effect 3. This troubled entry in the series launched with bugs that would spawn internet memes for millennia and despite being a much better game now, its mud continues to stick. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Thankfully, fans of the BioWare series rejoiced in unison, when Mass Effect 5 was announced with a teaser trailer during The Game Awards in 2020 which featured the popular and returning character, Liara T'Soni.
Unfortunately, since that time, we’ve heard very little about the progress of Mass Effect 5 and despite approaching three years since its initial announcement, we still do not have a release date. That being said, in 2022, a BioWare blog post confirmed that the next entry in the beloved sci-fi RPG series had begun its early development.
However, a recent rumour has brought to light some potentially new details and it involves BioWare ditching its open-world formula that was introduced in Mass Effect: Andromeda in favour of its ‘classic format’.
Jez Corden of Windows Central claimed in a recent episode of ‘The Xbox Two Podcast’, that Mass Effect 5 will bring back the more streamlined approach of its intergalactic map exploration.
“I've heard that Mass Effect  is ditching the open world,” claimed Corden, “and [is] going back to its classic format. I don't know if that's accurate, 100%, but it's an industry rumour.” Obviously, we can only take Jez Corden’s word on this speculation, so we should take it with a pinch of salt until BioWare confirms otherwise.
At this stage, we don’t know what works best for Mass Effect 5 regarding a massive open world or the classic formula. Sometimes, having a massive map can work to the detriment of a game and something more linear can work in a game's favour. After all, a more linear approach worked wonderfully for the original Mass Effect trilogy, not to mention that they were all massive games for the time in terms of scope.
Mass Effect 5 is expected to be released for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.