Now, on to the rumor. Saw this on a friend's Facebook page: Apparently info about the upcoming Mass Effect 4 has leaked through a survey. While the source appears to be legit, these things should always be taken with a grain of salt until they're confirmed.
But having said that ... I read it and have the following observations.
While I'm amused at the idea of the devs realizing they fucked the franchise up so thoroughly that they have to set the next game in a completely different galaxy to start over ... this still didn't exactly blow my skirt up. I have zero interest in a prequel because none of it will matter. It'll still lead to the mountain of excrement at the end of Mass Effect 3. But I'm not that interested in the next game taking place far in the future either (though if they're still using the Mako, it's probably not that far off ... but then, I fucking hated the Mako) and in another galaxy, when there are still so many stories that can be told in our own galaxy. If only they'd just handwave the ending of 3 away and start over with a story that has nothing to do with the Reapers ....
Overall, it sounds like the game will be a lot like an MMO/RTS combination, which I couldn't care less about. There was a mention of single-player, but after Bioware gave me the impression that they cared more about ME3's multiplayer than the single-player game, I'm not expecting much for this one.
If 4 is about establishing a new home for humanity (and there, yet again, is the emphasis on humanity just as 3 was all about "take back Earth" when the entire galaxy was in danger), to me that suggests our own galaxy was left in ruins after the Reaper invasion. And if they're making the Synthesis ending canon, since they considered that the "best" ending ... or equally as disgusting, if they make the Refusal ending canon and every advanced civilization was all but wiped out except for a handful of survivors who had to leave the galaxy to stay alive ... then the chances of me ever buying another Bioware game will drop to zero.
The Remnants sound like a carbon copy of the Protheans. The final confrontation with the Illusive Man was a carbon copy of the last fight with Saren in the first game, so that's no surprise.
"Meaningful choices" ... yeah, we've heard that before.
So ... if the leak is the real thing, I doubt I'll be buying the game, at least not until I can get it for five bucks in a Steam sale. And if it has the same writing team as 3, then I wouldn't even pick up the game if they paid me to.
As far as I'm concerned, Bioware can't be trusted to tell a story worth paying $60 to $80 for and investing any time into. They have to earn that trust back.
And if the information in this leak is accurate, I don't see that happening.