Bioware may be tight-lipped regarding Mass Effect 4, but a survey leaked last week by a Reddit user offers some insight into what the game might hold in store for gamers.
Of course, the info listed below should be taken with a grain of salt as currently there is no way to confirm its veracity. However, it is also worth taking into account that details regarding Dragon Age: Inquisition leaked in a similar manner well before the game released. It's also worth noting that shinobi602, a well-know industry insider, claims that the leak "is the real deal."
According to the survey, Mass Effect 4 takes place in the Helius Cluster – a cluster composed of hundreds of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy, far removed by time and space from the events of Commander Shepard's trilogy. Players will take control of a "pathfinder" who leads an expedition into the far reaches of space to establish a new home for humanity. During their journey, players will visit untamed lands fraught with dangers, such as cutthroat outlaws or warring alien races. The survey claims that the game world will be over four times the size of Mass Effect 3's.
Players will scour the galaxy in search of resources to set up colonies and develop upgrades for their ship, crew, and arsenal. While exploring the Helius Cluster, players will stumble upon traces of a mysterious race called the Remnants whose long forgotten technology will hold the key to gaining power in this sector of the galaxy.
The game will feature seven distinct crew members to recruit, each with a unique personality and specific abilities that will aid players in battle. For example, Cora's biotic shield ability creates a bubble that not only protects allies inside it, but also allows them to fire out of it. The crew's combat effectiveness will increase by upgrading their abilities, weapons, and gear.
The newly established colonies will need protection, and players won't be able to be everywhere at the same time. As such, hiring mercenaries will be crucial to protecting the settlements. Those AI controlled mercenaries will form Strike Teams that are sent on randomly generated, time-sensetive missions. Those missions will take real time to complete and will appear in various forms, such as settlement defense or Remnant artifact recovery. Depending on how the Strike Team fares on the mission, they will be awarded with more XP, money, and better gear. Players will also be able to outfit the team with better gear to increase their success rate and allow them to tackle more difficult missions. For players who like a more hands-on approach, the Active Strike Team mission variant will allow them to tackle the missions themselves, using their Multiplayer roster of characters. Those missions can be played either solo or in co-operation with up to three friends. Taking on those missions with friends will increase the difficulty considerably, but will also yield much better rewards.
Speaking of Multiplayer, the "Horde" mode makes a return. Up to four players will fight through waves of increasing difficulty while also completing specific tasks, such as disabling a bomb near a colony base or assassinating a high value target. Progressing in this mode will not only allow you to unlock new multiplayer specific characters, weapons, and gear, but will also earn you in-game currency in the form of APEX funds, which can be used to purchase items and equipment in singleplayer.
Source: Reddit / NeoGAF