Mass Effect 4: Original Trilogy Characters May Return and the Mako is Back (Update)
The possibility that you'll be able to play as an alien hasn't been 'locked' down yet.
Update 2: You can now watch the entire panel below.
Original Story: During the Mass Effect panel today at the International Comic-Con in San Diego, BioWare revealed that charcters who formerly appeared in the original trilogy may make a return.
While this is by no means guaranteed, it's interesting in light of the events at the end of Mass Effect 3.
According to those present, BioWare staffers commented "You're not playing Shepard and Shepard is not a central part of the story. Want players to explore places you haven't explored before. The theme is new experiences for players, but with elements of what you know and love."
While on the matter of giving players the option to play as an alien, BioWare said "We haven’t locked that down … Can’t talk about that.”
However, BioWare said "our hero has something to do with N7" - the Alliance military initiative Commander Shepard was part - which may suggest that playing as an alien will be restricted to multiplayer as was the case with Mass Effect 3.
It's also too early to talk about who will be composing the music for the game.
BioWare also showed off the armour prototype for a female character (above) and male (below) while also confirming that the Mako will be back. The studio referred to the vehicle as 'your Mako' suggesting it will customisable.
While the Mako was a difficult vehicle to control in part because of the rought terrain of many planets in the original game, "We learned some things about vehicle frustration." The game is focused on exploration and the Mako enables fast travel around planets.
The studio also said that co-operative multiplayer is more important to them than competitive play but details are scarce.
BioWare has yet to title the next Mass Effect, announce launch platforms, or reveal a release window. Even so, the studio did comment that "it's not called ME4 damn it!" but at this point we have nothing else to work with.
Update 1: Another shot of the armour has been embedded below, courtesy of GameInformer.