The Next Mass Effect: A Galaxy Of Possibility

With news that BioWare are now actively seeking fan feedback for a new Mass Effect game, the series is in a very strong position to expand and explore the hundreds of scenarios that have been referenced in Mass Effect lore. The only thing we know is that Commander Shepard will not be the central figure in the next Mass Effect game, which means BioWare is not limited in which story can be told next.

The Mass Effect Universe is big. There are a number of races including Humans, Turians, Krogan, Asari, Quarians and Salarians, and those are just the core races that take up much of the screen time in the previous Mass Effect titles. There are at least eight other races that also feature within the Universe, and all of these races have unique histories and stories that could be explored.

[drop]This means that, with the absence of Shepard, BioWare can create a main character that isn’t a human and instead focus on the struggles and triumphs of a different race.

If they’re even more ambitious then Bioware could allow players to choose from a number of protagonists from different backgrounds; after all BioWare do have experience with this approach from Dragon Age: Origins.

What’s nice about the Origins approach is that it would allow players to gain a bigger insight into the different races. Examples could be of a Krogan under the effects of the Genophage, a Turian soldier dealing with the aftermath of the Reaper War, or a Drell under the employ of a Hanar master.

Those are just three potential stories that take advantage of the lore in the Mass Effect Universe, each one with the potential to tie into a bigger story, and there are hundreds more.

Story wise the next Mass Effect doesn’t have to focus on a large scale military conflict either, and we’ve already seen glimpses of other aspects of the universe. For example, we know there are vast mercenary groups operating in the Mass Effect universe. A game which explores the relationship and competition between the Blood Pack, Blue Suns, and Eclipse as they take contracts from each other and fight for control on Omega offers a lot of possibilities in both story and game design, regardless of what genre the game is.

Yes, it is a possibility that the next Mass Effect title may not even be an RPG. Back in March of this year a video surfaced of a cancelled project BioWare was working on, showing a first person shooter set in the Mass Effect universe. Even though this particular project was scrapped, BioWare does have the foundation to build upon, should the idea become appealing again.

However, whether EA would allow for another major FPS brand to emerge, when Battlefield and Medal Of Honor already fill that gap, is a different matter. Of course EA could allow for a Mass Effect FPS to be developed and release during the summer, but if the Holiday market is the target then one of the other two series would possibly have to be retired.

[drop2]Perhaps more interesting is the possibility that BioWare could create a Mass Effect RTS. BioWare Victory are currently working on the free-to-play Command & Conquer game, and this advance into the RTS genre by BioWare shows us a company that is looking to expand its horizons.

We have to wait until Command & Conquer lands to see how BioWare fares with the jump, but if that’s a success who’s to say that we don’t get a Mass Effect RTS. Again, the Universe has enough lore there to allow such thing to happen, be it focusing on the Geth/Quarian conflict, the First Contact War or a new scenario entirely.

You may notice I’ve referenced events that, for the most part, have already been resolved by the time we get to the Mass Effect trilogy. Just because the original games are set after this point, doesn’t mean that the new ones would need to be. Yes, it could be set after the events of the Reaper War, or during it, although during is less likely as that story would have to be careful about what we learned in the trilogy.

Personally, I believe the next title may be set before the Reapers, before the Illusive Man, and even before Shephard. It may not be a direct prequel to the current Mass Effect games but instead a look at events in the Universe before or during the arrival of humans to the galactic stage, especially as the latter offers another situation of great upheaval that would be very interesting to interact with.

Regardless of what BioWare does next, it is in a very rare position afforded to those who create stories in general. BioWare has free reign on where to take the series next, from continuing down the RPG route or doing something different. Something different may not be what some fans want but the sheer potential itself is quite exciting.




    This is my feed back how about killing the mass effect series, mass effect = Shepard.

    I’m sure they can create the same universe under a different title, leave it at that the series finished off good well without that ending but it concluded the whole story well, the galaxy got saved, the rippers r.i.p

    • Spoiler alert!!

      • Oooopssss sorry people lol

      • Good thing my eye caught a glimpse of your comment, McProley.

    • It was quite obvious that Commander Shepard (of many…many Sheep) would save the galaxy from the Reapers. Most games do that. Saving the world. Not really a spoiler is it?

      • Yes, I’d consider that a spioiler. It may have been the case that the opposite happened at the end and Sheppard lost. I didn’t know as I haven’t played it. I do now though

      • My apologise McP, there are ‘multiple’ (lol) endings remember plus that extra DLC endings so you in for a shocker, I just spoilt one ending :)

      • No worries, TM, I’m not too fussed. I just wanted to point out, thats all

  2. the thing is, Shepard isn’t gonna be the only thing missing from any future Mass Effect games that are set after the reapers.
    and that’s true no matter which colour ending you choose.

    they could do the first contact war, but i can’t see that having a lot of scope for missions where a small group of ground troops could play a major part.
    so a it’d need to be in a new genre.

    in a universe as vast and varied as the Mass Effect one, i’d say there’s real scope for an MMO.
    with the possibility of each of the major races being playable and different missions and such for each one, the potential is vast.

    i’d like to see them keep the series generally as an rpg, but an RTS could work, or even something like Sid Meir’s Alpha Centauri, with the colonization of Mars, the discovery of the Prothean site, expansion of the human colonies throughout the solar system, culminating in the first contact with a living alien species.

    but given the way gaming’s going these days, i expect a rather generic fps.
    especially if Halo 4 sells well.

    • The franchise would be a great foundation for an MMO but that market is very crowded and competitive. I personally wouldn’t mind a Halo-esque FPS spin-off as long as the focus is still on the story. They could still keep some RPG elements in the game but then the shift to FPS would only be for the sake of turning the game even more into a shooter.

      I personally would love to see a scenario from the distant past come into play. Maybe the era when Humans started to explore space and first came in contact with other races or maybe the origins of the Reapers from a closer perspective (not sure how much of that has been covered in ME3, since I haven’t played that yet…).

      • …of the Reapers or Protheans from a closer perspective.*

        Forgot to mention the Protheans! :)

      • there is a sort of explanation given for the reapers right at the very end, but like the rest of the ending it’s absolutely ridiculous.

        but then the ending seems to have been a rush job, at the very last minute the plot takes an unsignalled right turn into batshit crazy.
        i think they tried to turn it into some clumsy allegory against too much technology.

  3. I’d like to see a new trilogy set during the time humans first discovered Prothean tech.

  4. It’s such a rich universe – would be great to play as a non-human character and create a new blank canvas people can mould for themselves.

    Also a nice little spin off/parallel story ala AC: Liberation for the Vita please Bioware :o)

  5. I would love to see a FTL (Faster Than Light) meets Mass Effect kind of game…

  6. Skyrim styled Mass Effect game… There, I said it.

  7. [**Warning: Possible Spoilers For Those Not Familiar With Mass Effects 1-3**]

    Why does it need to be set during Shepard’s cycle. There have been countless others before. The galaxy’s fundamental technologies are in place throughout many of those because the Reapers put them there to influence the development of other species. The Mass Relays are there, so is the Citadel, both of which give players familiar ‘landmarks’.

    For some ‘continuity’ with MEs 1-3 it could be set in the preceding Prothean cycle. We don’t know what other races they shared their cycle with, even if we know how they ‘ruled’ (cf. enslaved and exploited) them and all that lore could be expanded. Yes we know how that cycle ends, as the countless ones before it did, but ultimately tragic tales are also worth telling.

    Regardless of when it’s set I’m sure it’ll be a next-gen game. We now know it will be built upon the same modified Frostbite 2 engine as Dragon Age III: Inquisition and I don’t expect to be playing that game for 12-18 months.

  8. I don’t see why they couldn’t do another FPS. It’s a very strong and popular genre, and EA also publish Crysis games, which have a more Sci-Fi angle on things.

    In fact, I’d go as far to say that EA have been deliberately targetting each of their competitors in the shooter arena. Battlefield and Medal of Honor both but heads with each side of the Call of Duty franchise, whilst Crysis 2’s release window coincided with Killzone 3’s, and featured a similar palette and gritty future destruction look. Crysis 3 is also hitting home when KZ4 would have arrived, had GG stuck to a 24 month release schedule…

    So who haven’t EA gone up against? Halo. A Mass Effect FPS would be the perfect counter to Halo, with a deep sci-fi setting and universe, planet hopping etc. etc. So that’s where my money is for a ME expanded universe project, an FPS set to release roughly alongside Medal of Honor: Generic War, and hopefully to go directly up against Halo 5.

  9. It’d be nice to play someone who could convincingly display three different emotional responses,going by track record i’d vote for the dog from mdk2 (he could also jump btw).
    Good thing is it’s using the frostbite engine (awesome!!) and if we don’t like anything they’ll patch it in later anyway.
    If it weren’t for contractual obligations i’d wonder what Greg and Rays ideas would be?

    Just kidding,i’d love another fps dribble fest really and why the hell not mass effect? The Me universe contains tonnes of buttons to push and doors to load through so it’s an obvious choice.

    Seriously though i’d love an Me game that tackled their Baldurs gate legacy,possibly using an approach like the recent xcom reboot,just dump the action slant altogether.

  10. FPS Mass Effect? Yeah…right. Think about it some more and come back and tell me it would be anything like the experience of an RPG style.

    Mass Effect died a serious death with 3. Better to work upon a new ’cause and effect’ game outside of dragon age and mass effect. They have both dwindled in quality.

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