The future of Mass Effect
The Mass Effect trilogy has come to an end, and what an end it was. BioWares sci-fi franchise reached heights we never thought it would, achieving the highest levels of interactive storytelling.
And now, its time to look towards the future. Though BioWare hasnt commented on the future of the franchise, weve cooked up some ideas for things wed like to see in new Mass Effect games.
It should be a prequel
We dont really know which of Mass Effect 3s many endings is canon, and the galaxys future could be dramatically different depending on the choices each player made throughout the series. Theres no way BioWare can keep up with all of the different decisions gamers made over three games (were amazed it pulled it off with two), so, in favor of keeping our canon in-tact, we suggest they go backwards.
There are tons of stories to tell in the past, and even if we know how they end up wed still like to see how they played out. The Rachni Wars, for instance, would be an interesting change for the series, as would some of the different battles Anderson talked about. Go back, not forward, and BioWare doesnt need to worry about whether or not we killed Wrex or not.
The plot should be less dramatic
Mass Effects epic trilogy was well, epic. Every mission required the player to save the galaxy from ancient, evil threats that could very well wipe out all life. Been there. Done that.
The next games story should be more personal. Plenty of fantastic games have made plotlines about saving someone who has been kidnapped, or killing an old rival for revenge. Lets take a step away from cataclysmic apocalypses and experience a more sedated, individual story. Save the end of the universe stuff for Mass Effect 5.
It should be an RTS or an RPG or an FPS
Weve had three games of cover shooting as Commander Shepard, but the interesting thing about the Mass Effect universe isnt the guns, its the lore. The people. The aliens. The planets. These would all make for more interesting games outside the realm of cover-based shooters.
Give us control of an entire army and make a Mass Effect RTS. Blizzard managed to shove some amazing story into StarCraft II, and even included some decision-based segments. It feels like something along these lines would work well for the futuristic world of Mass Effect.
Heck, we wouldnt even mind a full-blown RPG. BioWare proved that it was capable of doing turn-based combat with the Nintendo DS Sonic RPG, maybe the next game in the series could play up the RPG and tone down the action.
We also think a survival horror FPS would work. The universe is a scary place, after all.
...or it should be an MMO
If BioWare really wants to go crazy with the universe, though, there's no better medium than an MMORPG.
For as much as we loved The Old Republic, we couldnt help but wonder how much better it would have been if BioWare had made its MMO set in Mass Effects universe instead. With SWTORs launch out of the way, maybe BioWare can start rolling towards the next iteration of the Mass Effect franchise being a persistent online one.
BioWare should take advantage of the foundation laid with The Old Republic, with story missions being interwoven between MMO quests. If they do go this way, though, wed like for the combat and gameplay to be closer to what we already have in Mass Effect. That works. Don't mess with it too much.
It should be one self-contained story
It must have been extremely hard to make choices in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 flow into Mass Effect 3. Were not sure BioWare is in the mood to have three more games of choices so why not wrap them all up in one game?
Mass Effect 4s plot should be as branching as Mass Effect 3's, with different plot twists and turns that live and die depending on your choices. The original Mass Effect trilogy was a proof of concept for decision-driven narrative for the developer, now it needs to see if it can create the same kind of customized experience on a game-by-game basis.
It should star a Krogan
The Krogan are a proud, powerful race in the Mass Effect universe so powerful, in fact, that they were used as a weapon of sorts in the Rachni Wars (see: a war against the bugs from Starship Troopers). But after the war they didnt put down their weapons and go home. The Krogan are strong, and began expanding their numbers dramatically, waging war on the rest of civilization.
To keep them in check, other alien races developed the genophage, a virus that targeted their reproductive capabilities.
Why is that important? Because it illustrates the most important fact about the Krogans: theyre crazy awesome. All of the highly-advanced alien races cowered as the Krogan marched their forces around the galaxy, and eventually had to neuter them, since they couldnt go toe-to-toe with the powerful, reptilian soldiers.
We want to play as them. We want to play an entire game from the perspective of a Krogan, either during the Rachni Wars, during the wars right after where the Krogans kicked the butts of every other race, or even after that. Theyre a warrior race, and we think that playing as a young Krogan soldier who rises up the ranks to become a powerful warlord would be an absolute blast.
...or an Elcor
Sadness. We really feel as though the Elcor were underutilized in the Mass Effect universe. They were introduced, but never used as anything besides occasional comic reliefs. Disappointment. In Mass Effect 3 we thought wed get a chance to interact with them more, but every Elcor mission was relegated to planet-scanning, keeping us off the Elcor home world entirely. Crippling depression. It was sad.
Excitement. So lets make sure that sadness doesnt repeat itself by including playable Elcor in Mass Effect 4. Passionate. In ME3 it's said that the Elcor fight by attaching powerful weapons to their backs, lumbering around like organic tanks, and that would make for an awesome game. Sincerity. Dont you agree?
No matter what it is, it shouldn't come out for a few years
The Mass Effect series is one of our favorites of the generation. Heck, its one of our favorites of all time. We loved learning about the different races, exploring distant planets, and being completely immersed in a realistic, fully-realized universe that actually felt different from what we were used to.
And now its time to take a break. No matter what Mass Effect 4 is, we hope BioWare takes its time on it, releasing it a few years into the next generation instead of forcing it out within a few years. If it takes its time, Mass Effects return can be a huge deal, and we want it to be a big deal. We love this franchise too much to see it milked to death.