If you tuned into the last Bioware induced post a few months back, during the late summer months, Machine Mean discussed, to some extent, rumors and overall fate of the continuation of the Mass Effect universe. We discussed the terrible three choice ending of M3, as well as possible future directions. The web is still abuzz with fan fiction rumor, but the continuation as been, more or less, confirmed. Bioware producer Michael Gamble, in answering a fan question regarding any new DLC for M3, responded with “nope. Citadel was the last DLC, we have a full, brand new game to make!” With that being said, i’m sure every subject of the nerd kingdom had already assumed as much, but then again…with as much hate over the ending to M3, many of us nerds were left with nagging uncertainty. At this moment, I think its rather safe to exhale. There will be a new Mass Effect…perhaps as soon as 2015 (best guess).
Whatever direction the new game will take is still highly conjecture. No one knows for sure. I’ll be praying that its not a prequel as I want the very memory of M3 behind me. It happened. It was horrible. Lets move on. From some of the stuff leaked during PAX, in a closed meeting with a few hardcore fans, Bioware reps asked a few interesting questions that could lead to some insights in the direction M4 (or whatever its eventually called, but for now, for clarity, lets just call it M4). Here are a few of the questions:
1. What does N7 mean to you? (Most interesting question. Sounds something similar to what was discussed on Machine Mean back in August)
2. When asked if the group preferred a prequel, sequel, or something new entirely, the group responded overwhelmingly that they preferred a sequel. (Which sounds good to me because, though some prequels are necessary, it would feel like a waste of time and effort with Mass Effect.)
3. Two new species was revealed; however, the group was asked if they had to choose two from the already existing pool to leave out of the game, which ones would they choose. (The revelation of two brand new species sounds amazing; the two the group by % choose to leave out of the new game were the Krogan and Quarian species’. I can get behind leaving the Quarian’s out, to be perhaps included later on in a DLC, but how could they vote off the Krogan’s? They are the most badass species in the entire Mass Effect universe!!!)
The rest of the presentation basically was to talk about having a more detailed armor customization and crafting better looking species for in-game play. There was also some talk about bringing back the feel of M1, which is also something we talked about here back in August. Don’t get me wrong, M2 was an amazing game and highly replayable, but the feel and mood and tone of M1 was what really set the series apart from other RPG’s. If you want to check out my source for all this new info, watch the video by RocketChainsawAU below:
For now, it looks like we’re going to get something similar to what we here at Machine Mean speculated back in August; except for having a story crafted around the Specters, we’ll get an N7 based story. The only nagging issue with an N7 story is that it limits the chances of having an multispecies character option to nill. Best to my knowledge, N7 is a human special ops team. Will the N7 story still be awesome? Maybe, but less than if they allowed character creation to branch off a little more, giving the player to choose a foundation other than human. Just like the Specters though, N7 is an area that hasn’t been fully explored before. So even though we know what it is and have heard about in our past adventures with Shepard, it will be entirely new.
Until then, we’ll have to keep our ears to the ground and hope more credible information will be leaked.
Its been well over a year now and many of us (nerds) have already been asking for sometime now: “Where oh where has my Mass Effect gone?” The buzz on the web has both confirmed and non-confirmed the fate of the Mass Effect franchise. From what i’ve gathered, it doesn’t seem as if BioWare (at this point and time) has any plans on continuing the series. One rumor floating around is that they are actually planning on crafting an entirely new space odyssey. Why? Because the ending of Mass Effect 3 was so confusing and drastic they had to add a free DLC to help explain what happened. Plus, the two out of the three “choose you’re own adventure” ending didn’t help matters…leaving the future of the organic races in the Mass Effect universe questionable. Obviously, plenty O’ gamer became ticked that the series they had been following from the beginning and all the choices they labored over actually didn’t matter in the end. But does this really mean BioWare couldn’t continue the series? Absolutely not and i’ll tell you why.
For one, just because M3 gave the player the option of three different endings doesn’t mean a new Mass Effect game couldn’t pre-select one ending as the foundation to base a continuation from. Basically, in my proposal for a new Mass Effect game, i’m cutting out the two dumbest endings: synthesis and control. Personally, after everything Shepard and his (or her) team had gone through, and the juxtaposed relationship between the Reapers and everyone else (minus the Geth), the only rational ending would be Destruction. Why? I’m glad you asked! The Reapers were (supposedly) immortal amoral beings whose sole purpose was to protect the galaxy by keeping organic life in a drastic cycle of checks and balances…IE exterminating all organic life once they reached a certain point of evolution. The Reapers wanted to keep organic life from destroying the galaxy, which they saw as an inevitable probability, unless advanced organic life could be kept in check through extermination. This is the nuts and bolts of the story, as i’ve understood it.
So, again, why choose the Destruction ending as the foundation? The problem with amoral beings is that they cannot take change into account. Shepard faced similar arguments with the Reaper known as Sovereign, who explained to Shepard during their conversation that the Reapers “impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.” According to the in-game history, the Reapers had already gone through several cycles of extermination. We don’t know how many. But we do know the Prothean’s were the last dominate organic life before what now exists (humanity, Asari, Turians, Krogans, Salarians, Quarians, and many more). Without getting into a huge long drawn out discussion, let me be frank and just say that the biggest difference between the Prothean’s and the modern races was that the Prothean’s were not a peaceful race. They controlled power through a tyrannical government and were reportedly very oppressive to the other races during their time. So much so, we never even hear about the other guys. What little information exists in the game regarding the old races are simply about the Prothean’s with little mention of anyone else. The modern races, represented in the Council and through Shepard’s efforts, while not perfect, made the effort to work together, even more so in the third installment. The Reapers ignored the diplomatic change in civilization.
Convincing an amoral being that you’re not going to ruin the galaxy for everyone else is nearly impossible. In their eyes, organic life is organic life, and must be kept in check. This is why the Reapers should have been Destroyed. My proposal is built from the following ending captured beautifully in Admiral Hackett’s narrative:
A solid Mass Effect game could definitely spring board based on the above ending. The new game should start in the near future, say ten years or so from the events that took place during M3. Why ten years? I think ten years gives a good enough time to allow the worlds damaged during the Reaper invasion to rebuild. Cities could be rebuilt in that time frame, memorials, museums, and military strength as well. The Mass Relays could also be repaired and a new Citadel Council could be established with added races that helped during the war. I would include a Krogan and Quarian representative on the council for obvious reasons. Would the Quarians be “unmasked” now that they have a home world and could stop being vagabond germaphobes? I’ll leave this bit open for debate. It would be interesting to see how the Quarians assimilated into a more broad society.The Krogans would also make for an interesting addition among the civilized galactic community, and they have most definitely earned their place on the council. The Geth should still be on the fringe. Some things cannot be healed with time and the Geth are unpredictable. I would imagine folks surviving the war with the Reapers would have some hostilities toward sentient beings.
More details could be added regarding the other races not included on the Council and some detail needs to be relieved regarding the destiny of past characters. These folks do not need to make a cameo, but the importance of their role in shaping the future cannot be ignored. I think a memorial for Shepard, Anderson, and the Normandy should be a visitable location on Earth in any future Mass Effect game. The one aspect of the previous games they must continue on into any future game is the music, especially from the first game. If your not sure what i’m talking about, check it out below:
My proposal for the hero is to have a full fledged Spectre story! As “Spectres are not trained, but chosen. Individuals forged in the fire of service and battle—those whose actions elevate them above the rank and file,” the Reaper Invasion would have forged many new recruits across several worlds. The best part in doing a spectre story is being able to craft a hero based off a multinational foundation: the spectre’s work for the council and using the back story similar to the one above, you could create a character from the six council represented races. Could you imagine having a playable Krogan character?!? Mind = blown!
This would also be similar to the way BioWare has established some of their other games in the past. This story would be set up similar to Dragon Age: Origins. Each race would have their own origin story which would then funnel into the main spectre story. You could go as detailed as you wanted. Similar to DA, each race would be better suited for different specializations, such as: a Krogan would not be adept, but would be a dangerous solider. Salarians or Quarians would make great engineers, Asari lethal adept or infiltrators, and humans could play toward a more versatile character.
I’m not sure where the story would lead, but considering the vacuum the Reapers left in their wake, there could be plenty of options to choose from. One could be about Cerberus in the aftermath of the Illusive Man’s death. A company that big and shady wouldn’t go quietly into the night. The Batarian’s could also be a good major story, especially considering they no longer have a home world and are struggling to find their place in the galaxy. The Reapers left plenty of scars to base future story’s on and whatever direction BioWare decides to take with it, they will need to be more down to earth than with the original trilogy. The worlds end doesn’t necessarily need to be a factor in every story told and after the events of M3, i’d prefer something a little more mundane. We just saved the entire galaxy; lets work on maintaining the promise of galactic unity.
Whatever happens, we know that Shepard’s story has ended, but the entire Mass Effect lexicon shouldn’t have to end as well. BioWare scribes have spent some considerable amount of time crafting Mass Effect’s rich universe and there are still many things left unexplored. And to be honest, another reason why i’d hate to see this series end is that Mass Effect is as close to a Star Wars console game we’re going to get. The “force lift” and “push” make the adept character the most enjoyable playable class in Mass Effect, hands down!!! For now, the best we (nerds) have to look forward to is the upcoming release of Dragon Age: Inquisition. After that….just maybe we’ll get our next Mass Effect game. Fantasy is great and it has its place in time, but Mass Effect was a truly unique space odyssey.