As hard as it may be to conceive, the Mass Effect franchise has been with us for nearly five years now, with the epic sci-fi trilogy reaching its dramatic and emotional conclusion with 2012’s Mass Effect 3. Despite the controversy that surrounded the game’s ending – not to mention the backlash that followed in wake of the subsequent Extended Cut – there can be no denying the series has delivered one of the most gripping, thought-provoking experiences of this generation of consoles.
Now that Commander Shepard’s epic battle against the Reapers is over, developer BioWare has set its sights on the future of the series; after all, while Shepard’s part in the tale is done and dusted, the franchise is far from dead. Quite where the series will go next remains unknown, but we know that BioWare is dedicated to bringing us more experiences within the sprawling Mass Effect universe. In fact, just recently it was indicated that an all-new game is in the works.
With that in mind, PSU.com decided to compile a list of three things we want to see in the new Mass Effect game.
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1) EXPAND ON PAST EVENTS
Prequel’s are usually frowned upon in the videogames industry, but in Mass Effect’s case we’d relish the chance to revisit old haunts. BioWare has weaved an intricate lore into its epic sci-fi franchise, with numerous key events having transpired years before Shepard arrives on the scene. As such we’d love to see a new Mass Effect title shed light on those historically key moments in the universe, such as the Rachni Wars and the First Contact War. Equally ripe for the picking would be several character-specific exploits, including Garrus’ time in C-Sec, Wrex’s infamous Bounty Hunter days, or even a darker route that scrutinizes Thane’s exploits as an assassin. Tempting as it is to see more of a younger Shepard, we’d much rather the game delves deeper into the lives of his crew; after all, one could argue they were far more rounded and developed than Shepard himself. To put it simply, the narrative is so rich that BioWare could easily make a whole new trilogy out of elaborating these crucial events – and that’s something that we’re very much interested in.
2) BRING BACK PLANET EXPLORATION
Mass Effect’s polarizing planet exploration sections were one of the things we really missed about the sequels, and we’d love to see them implemented in a new game. Whether or not this means bringing back the beloved Mako remains to be seen, but we’ve had enough surveying planets for resources for one lifetime – let’s have the chance to explore the far reaches of the galaxy at our leisure. There was always a palpable sense of excitement and discovery as you touched down on an uncharted planet in the original, cruising over long-forgotten terrain while uncovering hidden treasures and assaulting enemy strongholds. Sure, Mass Effect’s planets got a little monotonous over time, and architecturally many of the indoor areas were the same dull, uninspired corridors and cargo rooms over again. As such, we’d like to see BioWare inject some variety into the proceedings this time around, both in terms of the look and feel of planets a well as the interior locations.
3) DIVERSIFY GAMEPLAY
At its core Mass Effect has always been a cover-based shooter with RPG elements. While the original game was a little fiddly in regard to combat, subsequent sequels tweaked and refined the experience, offering increased mobility and generally making capping foes an easier job. However, with Shepard’s saga now over, we think that BioWare should re-examine the fundamental gameplay mechanics somewhat, and look at diversifying the core experience. For example, how about implementing stealth sections, or perhaps giving players the chance to operate some high-tech, futuristic jetpack for some adrenaline-fuelled aerial combat? Mass Effect has a technologically rich lore to tap into, and BioWare could easily take advantage of this to incorporate more ideas into the gameplay department. The weapons system could do with a complete overhaul too, and we’d love to see the return of the heavy weapons class. In fact, why not go even further, and give us some more character classes, and perhaps re-introduce the comprehensive weapons modification system from ME1. Either way, we want to see something fresh as far as weapons and technology goes, catering to more play styles.
What would you like to see from a new Mass Effect game? Let us know in the comments section below.