In the spirit of Christmas and with Bioware teasing images of the new Mass Effect title that is currently in development, I figured it was time for me to put my two cents in and get my wishlist ready for the men and women developing the game. Having been a huge fan of the series since the original Mass Effect was released back in 2007, I have spent many hours speculating and dreaming about what the next installment in the series would have to offer. A lot of the time I found myself pleasantly surprised at how well the writers at Bioware were able to keep me guessing and take things into a direction that I did not or could not have seen coming. Many people are still unhappy with the way Shepard’s story was ended in the original trilogy, I am not one of these people. I was satisfied with how things were wrapped up even before the Extended Cut was released and even more so after seeing it for myself. In the next installment I think there are a couple of things that need to be established so that we can move forward.
– The game should be a sequel. Going to a prequel strips us of a lot of the control that we would have when it comes to shaping the future. We know how the First Contact War ends, we know what happened to the Protheans and going back any further than that would require more time than Bioware is saying the next game is going to take.
– Destroy cannon ending. The Reapers are gone and it is time for something new to threaten the universe.
I am in full support of moving on from the Commander Shepard story-line. Shepard has done his or her thing and has cemented his or her place in the lexicon of the greatest heroes of all-time. It is time for someone or something else to step into the forefront and gives us a glimpse into this stellar universe through an all-new pair of eyes.
Will anyone ever be able to live up to the lofty standards set by Commander Shepard? Probably not, and that’s okay. All our new hero needs is to be original and be something or someone who we can get behind in our pursuit to tackle the monumental challenges we are sure to face. Whether or not we play as a human will shape the entire direction of the next Mass Effect iteration. My hope is that we will continue to play through the eyes of a human. I think it gives us the greatest opportunity to truly bond with our main character and gives Bioware the most options when it comes to the direction in which they can take the story. To prevent the character from feeling like a Shepard rip-off I would like to see them come from a slightly different walk of life. Instead of being a decorated solider we may get a more gritty and enticing feeling from a mercenary of sorts, something of an anti-hero. Playing as this type of character allows us to truly shape our protagonist in the way that we see fit. Do we want to climb the ranks of galactic consciousness by brute force? Or would we rather make our name the hard way, by doing things the right way and taking whatever consequences might accompany doing so? A mercenary who is thrown into a challenge that they may or may not be ready for feels like the freshest and most “non-Shepard” direction a human protagonist could go.
From the beginning of the Mass Effect series we have battled some the most fearsome and grotesque enemies ever created. The Husks, Geth, Collectors, Cerberus and Reapers all felt like the right fit at the time we were against them. Nothing ever felt out-of-place or forced. The timing and execution of these enemies seemed logical in the trilogy’s timeline and made fighting them feel both real and gratifying. For this very reason I think our new enemies would feel best coming out of left field. I don’t feel that they necessarily need to be a brand-new race or something that seems slapped together. There is two very obvious choices for our next threat and I thinking pairing the two of them together makes for a much for formidable foe.
The Leviathan Controlled Yahg:
From the moment I played the Mass Effect 2 DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker I have been enthralled by the mysterious Yahg. They are so powerful and also possess great knowledge. They are a perfect choice to become the next Galactic threat. When you add the extra layer of the ancient and powerful Leviathan I think you have an enemy that is worthy of challenging the universe for control. With the Leviathan controlling the Yahg they gain many things. They gain the power they need to be a proficient space-faring race and they gain the knowledge of each and every cycle that has ever come to pass. The Leviathan have been hiding from the Reapers for millions of years and with their main threat gone it is only logical that they would try to push themselves back into the forefront of the galactic civilization. We have seen proof that the Yahg have the ability to grow and adapt very quickly. The fact that one was able to take the seat of the Shadow Broker and maintain it for as long as it did is proof that this race will have to be dealt with at one time or another. The two of these races together make a very imposing enemy. You have the brute force of the Yahg paired with the unparalleled mental powers of the Leviathan and that is nothing to sneeze at. Together they could wage a war to rival any that has come before it.
A New Vessel:
I am going to miss the Normandy. So many memories have been forged in the different variations of this ship that I cant help but wish there was some way that I could continue to man this vessel without Commander Shepard aboard, but we all know that just wouldn’t be right. Being that our new hero isn’t coming from a military background, I think it stands to reason that our ship is not going to be quite as technologically advanced as the Normandy. I would however like to see some creative weaponry and tech added in. There are plenty of black market weapons and ship dealers to put together a ship that could carry its weight in any interstellar battle that we may find ourselves in. I think that this could be done in one of two ways. Our mercenary hero could already have a ship with all the shady bells and whistles that one could dream of, or we could be allowed to build our ship from the ground up. We could be allowed to focus on artillery or stealth, or maybe even a mixture of both. This could also be a great way to spend some of the credits that we all inevitably end up having a surplus of by the end of the game.
There is so much that could be coming with the next Mass Effect game and I know for sure that the men and women at Bioware are not going to let us down. It’s very likely that I wont receive many, if any of the things on this list but that is part of the fun of this series. Debating and speculating on the future of this carefully crafted universe is a lot of the fun, and the simple fact that there is so much for us to speculate on goes to show how amazing the team truly is. I love the Mass Effect series and regardless of whether my wishes come true or not, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next game.