BioWare: Mass Effect 4 will reference original trilogy but remain separate

"We've got a really cool idea for how we're going to carry on."

The next Mass Effect game will reference the series' existing trilogy, BioWare has said, although there's still no clear confirmation of when the new title will be set.

But, when quizzed on the subject, BioWare Edmonton and Montreal boss Aaryn Flynn told Game Trailers that the developer had a "really cool idea" for how the franchise would continue.

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Fans have speculated that the map interface shows a new galaxy to explore.

"I can't get into that too much. We've got a really cool idea for how we're going to carry on - keep the trilogy separate but at the same time give a bunch of nods to fans who enjoyed the trilogy in the past," he teased.

"That's all going to come out soon."

BioWare has already stated that Shepard will not appear in the next game, and that your previous companions are unlikely to return either.

"Hmm," Flynn mused when asked about returning characters. "Definitely returning races. It wouldn't be a Mass Effect game without the krogans - we showed a krogan today."

The teaser video revealed during EA's press conference explained that the forthcoming game would "move forward" and take the series to a "whole new region of space" - prompting some to suggest it would be set in a whole new galaxy.

Such a move might allow BioWare to sidestep the effects of Mass Effect 3's ending by simply starting the franchise somewhere else.

But - wherever the game is set - familiar races will still be around. A human, krogan and what looks like a salarian were seen in the early footage.

"We think fans of the series are going to be surprised at just how far we're going," BioWare concluded during the trailer.

We're constantly updating our guide to all of the Mass Effect 4 information revealed so far.

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