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Mass Effect fans think iconic character could return in sequel

Fans have spotted a clue in unreleased Mass Effect 4 merchandise that could spoil a major character's return.
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Wily Mass Effect fans have spotted a major Mass Effect 4 clue in unreleased merchandise that may actually spoil the appearance of fan-favourite character Commander Shepard in the upcoming game. The clue, spotted by an intrepid YouTuber, appeared within the description of a promotional poster depicting several characters walking towards a Geth alien ship.

Originally, the description read:

‘Shepard’s final quest may have ended the threat of the Reapers but at great cost, including Earth itself. While Shepard and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces, fans are left wondering what’s next.’

Now, it’s been changed to the following:

‘MASS EFFECT WILL CONTINUE… And with the sneak peek poster we got from the BioWare team as part of the N7 Day 2021, there is a lot to unpack.’

All references to Commander Shepard have disappeared, replaced by the more generic version of the text. The change, while seemingly innocuous, has caught the attention of fans for its peculiar wording.

In many of the endings for Mass Effect 3, Shepard dies in the fight against the alien Reapers – but the ‘best’ outcome of the game includes their survival against all odds. While this was only obtained by few players, it’s considered the canon ending of the original trilogy.

Read: BioWare gives update on Dragon Age 4, Mass Effect

Given the description of the Mass Effect 4 promotional poster referenced Shepard as being alive, many fans now assume the upcoming game will follow the ‘canon’ ending of Mass Effect 3 – Shepard surviving their ordeal and coming out of the major conflict alive.

Should this turn out to be the case, it’s likely Shepard will have a major role in the mystery sequel – something that’s yet to be officially confirmed by EA.

Taking all the clues together, keen fans have pointed out that Mass Effect 4 could follow the Earth-shattering game ending that saw all synthetic life, and parts of Earth itself, destroyed in a major conflict – one that will likely have major ramifications for the sequel.

While the clue-teasing has reached conspiracy levels as the fanbase dives further into this errant poster description, it is important to remember nothing has been confirmed about the game just yet – outside of its existence. A recent developer update indicates work on the game is well underway, but fans will have to wait longer to hear official word of what exactly a future Mass Effect sequel will focus on.

In the meantime, it’s likely this scant clue will be picked apart and poured over for months (and potentially years) to come.

Update 12/5/22: In a Twitter post, Michael Gamble, Project Director at Bioware, confirmed the poster description was a simple mistake that had now been fixed. As expected, many fans are not taking this word as gospel as they continue to speculate about the franchise’s future.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.