The Game Awards 2020 ended with one more announcement just before the final award, and it was a big one. The show finished with a teaser trailer for the next Mass Effect. No, not the reworked versions of the original three games, but a brand-new game.
The teaser was vague, consisting mostly of overviews of planets and galaxies against radio chatter that's tough to make out, but definitely includes some key Mass Effect tidbits, including the sound of a Reaper attack ship. It sounds as if it's going through the history of human space travel, including real-life history. We had only one detailed view of a person, a being on a seemingly isolated area of a planet. It ended with the promise that "Mass Effect Will Continue," though it did not give a title or release details.
Fans have speculated that the person picking up the N7 armor fragment in the trailer is none other than Liara T'Soni, one of the original Mass Effect party members and a popular character in her own right. She's accompanied by a few characters in the background, who are hard to make out but appear to be a Salarian, a Krogan, and a Drell. The original characters were not featured in Mass Effect: Andromeda, which released more than three years ago to lukewarm reviews.
A close listen to the audio might hide more hints. The chatter seems to go through Mass Effect historical events, like the First Contact War and humanity joining the Citadel. There are also snatches that could be from Mass Effect games themselves--it's possible to pick up what sounds like Shepard, voiced by Mark Meer, calling out over the radio during the Battle of the Citadel at the end of Mass Effect. After that, a voice says, "Is anyone receiving this? I've lost contact." Though distorted, it sounds a lot like Liara. There's more dialogue, which suggests more hints, but it's tough to make out beyond that, unfortunately.
In a set of follow-up tweets, BioWare project director Michael Gamble said he's excited to start showing fans their vision for the next Mass Effect. He also suggested the trailer has plenty of secrets to unpack for the devoted fan community that will likely spend the next days scouring it.
On that note, fans are already speculating that the game treats Mass Effect 3's "destruction" ending as canon. We won't share further details for fear of spoilers.
This is one of two Mass Effect projects currently in development. The other, a remastered version of the original trilogy, is coming next spring. That was announced on November 7, aka N7 Day.