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Shepard's Return In Mass Effect 4 Looks Likely Following Actor Update

In the midst of rumours over Commander Shepard's reappearance in Mass Effect 4, original actor Mark Meer has made a prominent post

The finale of the original Mass Effect trilogy, while sad for many fans, was very changeable. The existential, synthetic Reaper menace might be integrated with sentient life, annihilated, or taken under control of sentient life, effectively becoming slaves, depending on numerous decisions made during all three games, as well as one last decision at the conclusion. There has been a lot of debate over these three ending archetypes, and some gamers have even come around to the contentious conclusion, defending it on the internet. Less has been stated regarding Commander Shepard's destiny, who can only survive the endgame under extremely particular conditions. The unveiling trailer for Mass Effect 4 shows Liara unearthing a piece of N7 armor that many assumed belonged to Shepard. This was backed by the previously mentioned merch listing that included Shepard, albeit the director of Mass Effect 4 indicated that this was an error.

Despite this, many people believe Shepard will return in Mass Effect 4. Following an Instagram post by male Shepard voice actor Mark Meer, these aspirations have grown (via ComicBook). The post's description simply commemorates the one-year anniversary of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, but the image itself is more substantive; the image accompanying the description is an art piece featuring both the male and female versions of Shepard, with a text bubble reading: "We're not the'retiring' kind."

Of course, this is far from conclusive on its own. However, Meer's tweet comes at an odd time, given it closely follows BioWare's much-discussed product listing and subsequent removal. The term "retirement" is also provocative. On a similar topic, Jennifer Hale, the female Shepard's voice actor, has indicated interest in returning for Mass Effect 4. If Hale and Meer are still enthusiastic about their shared position, BioWare may invite them back on board.

BioWare may be able to bring Shepard back for Mass Effect 4, but whether the studio should is a completely other matter. Fans may want Shepard to return, but their presence may come at the expense of creative freedom, as the Destroy ending of Mass Effect 3 would have to remain canon. It would also imply limiting the game's context, given Shepard (supposedly) has a typical human lifetime. BioWare hasn't explicitly denied Shepard's return in Mass Effect 4, so fans will have to wait and see.

Source: Mark Meer/Instagram

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