During the past week, BioWare has released several blogs written by their staff, sharing memories of the Mass Effect Trilogy that undoubtedly left me a little teary-eyed. During PAX East in Boston, a panel celebrating the trilogy produced “scant details and vague teases about the future of the series and its creators.”
“We are starting to get ready to develop another Mass Effect game, and it’s going to be a new thing,” series executive producer Casey Hudson said at a Mass Effect retrospective at PAX. “We want to be able to give fans an opportunity to get back into the world with these things you’ve come to know and love about the Mass Effect experience but start something fresh and new—a new way for you to explore the whole universe in Mass Effect.”
It’s been told that the game will be primarily developed in BioWare’s Montreal studio, and as we’ve already (unfortunately) been told, Commander Shepard will not be returning. Ultimately, this news is simply a repetitive tease, with no actual clues to the game’s content. And while exploring Mass Effect’s immersive world sounds fantastic, I certainly hope the storyline isn’t as… epic. Commander Shepard’s decisions ultimately changed the universe. Whether the plot takes place before or after the Reapers, I hope it’s the universe that changes the protagonist.
Shepard’s larger than life character is something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and his/her interactions with the supporting characters are what truly made the game for me, but I’d like the game to be “smaller” in the sense of the scale of the story. The Reapers were an overwhelming and looming danger and obviously required an epic telling, but perhaps introducing a more normal protagonist, one that is shaped by the world and his/her interactions with the universe would be a nice contrast. One thing is certain to me, though. Mass Effect will never be the same or as special as the first trilogy.
But this new game should let us choose our own species.
Or just bring back Liara. And Shepard. And blue children.
…I think I’ve lost my train of thought.