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'Mass Effect' 4D theme park ride will blast off next month

Mass Effect: Andromeda won't be released until next year, but fans can enjoy something new from the hit BioWare series within a matter of weeks.

Mass Effect: New Earth 4D, the theme park attraction announced last fall by the video game developer, is set to open May 18 at California's Great America in Santa Clara.

While the ride was initially discussed only in broad terms, such as “4D holographic experience,” Fortune now reports it's set at around the same time as 2012's Mass Effect 3. Guests will taken on an adventure alongside the iconic starship Normandy "through a mass relay and on to the planet Terra Nova, where not all is as it should be." Game protagonist Commander Shepard is referenced in New Earth 4D, but doesn't make an appearance.

BioWare was involved in every step of the development of the ride, which utilizes a custom 60-foot 3D LED screen in the park's newly renovated Action Theater.

“3D LED is like a live VR experience,” said 3D Live co-founder and CEO Nathan Huber. “We have a performer [playing the captain of the ship] interacting on stage with the holographic screen. The 80-seat theater feels like you’re in a spaceship thanks to motion seats with wind, water, leg pokers, and neck ticklers with 80-channel atmospheric surround sound arrays. It’s a full sensory bombardment.”

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