November 7 is a big day for Mass Effect fans, otherwise known as N7 Day. It's derived from the N7 designation reserved for the Alliance personnel (humans, basically) with the highest proficiency level such as the series' fan-favorite protagonist, Commander Shepherd. The series' developers, BioWare, have embraced this date over the years, including this year.
As part of this year's N7 day, BioWare dropped a clue-filled teaser for the next Mass Effect game and fans are busy digging up potential clues about what it could mean for the game.
BioWare even encourages fans to spend more time examining the short clip "more closely".
Happy #N7Day from across the stars! 💫 We found this interesting footage you may want to 🔍 a bit more closely.
— Mass Effect (@masseffect) November 7, 2022
Without going down into the rabbit hole, the prevalent theory is the in-development Mass Effect game will pick up following the events of Mass Effect 3. Unfortunately, it won't be a sequel in that it will likely take place hundreds of years later. Keep in mind that the canon ending of Mass Effect 3 sees Shepherd destroy the entire mass relay network to prevent the current "cycle" of society from being engulfed by the reapers. The ending of Mass Effect 3 confirms this, as Shepherd's act of bravery has been turned into a story told to a new generation of what appears to be human beings.
Subsequent teasers for Mass Effect 4 have confirmed that Liara T'Soni, one of the game's best companions, will play a role in the next installment. However, she belongs to the Asari, a race known for their ridiculously long lifespans. Liara first appeared in the original Mass Effect as a 106-year-old "young adult".
Given that the Asari can live for over a thousand years, her appearance doesn't help narrow down the timeline. But, the fact that BioWare chose Liara does at least "confirm" that the game will take place after Shepherd's sacrifice - we just don't know when exactly.
Having said that, the gist of the story of the original Mass Effect trilogy is the mass relays were actually used by the Reapers to start every new cycle. Because of their destruction, the current "cycle" of organic beings survived a catastrophic event, except that they no longer have access to the lynchpin of interstellar travel. This could've inadvertently started a new arms race where everyone wants to be the first to build new mass relays to reconnect the galaxy once again.
At the very least, this idea makes for an intriguing premise that sets the stage for another memorable galaxy-wide adventure.
Unfortunately, as enjoyable as it is to dissect the trailer for clues about the next Mass Effect game, it doesn't hide the reality that it's still years away from coming out after starting early development in April. BioWare is busy working on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf.
According to the Nvidia GeForce Now leak, the fourth Dragon Age game was scheduled to come out in June. Of course, this didn't come true but we're hoping that circumstances haven't forced the game to be delayed by more than two years from its original internal release date.
You can only replay Mass Effect: Legendary Edition and be best buds with Garrus so much until you get tired of going Renegade Shepherd.