Given the success of EA's Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena attraction at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina, EA has been moving ahead with plans to create a Mass Effect ride at California's Great America in Santa Clara. Fortune reports that they are calling it the Mass Effect: New Earth 4D and it will be an in-theater experience rather than a roller coaster. Though it is an EA initiative, BioWare has been involved in the entire development process for Mass Effect: New Earth 4D, giving feedback on the art design, story, animation, and more.
“It’s very important that we create an attraction that fits seamlessly in the world of Mass Effect, while including the elements we know are critical to making a good amusement park experience,” said Christian Dieckmann, corporate vice president of strategic growth at Cedar Fair Entertainment, “We want to ensure that dedicated fans and park-goers being introduced to the franchise alike walk away thrilled and excited.”
New Earth 4D is set within the Mass Effect universe and,. according to 3D Live co-founder Nathan Huber, it takes place during the events of Mass Effect 3. The ride takes participants into space alongside the Normandy, Commander Shepard's famous (or perhaps infamous) vessel from the Mass Effect series. From there, guests are sent through a mass relay to Terra Nova, a planet where something has gone drastically wrong. While Commander Shepard is referenced, he/she does not appear during the experience.
The ride will use 4K technology that was originally intended to be used on Michael Jackson's "This Is It Tour," but was sidelined after Jackson passed away in 2009. Halon Entertainment, a visualization and technology company, joined forces with 3D Live and used Unreal Engine 4 to create the visuals seen in the four and a half minutes that the ride lasts.
Mass Effect: New Earth 4D launches at Great America in Santa Clara, CA on May 18.