What should the next Mass Effect plot be about?
You can bet Bioware is hard at work with the next Mass Effect installment (which probably will not be called Mass Effect 4). There have been plenty of rumors flying around the internet about the possible plot-line for the game, but so far Bioware has been very discreet. We do, however, have a few details about where the creators may intend to take the franchise.
First, the only concrete information we have is that the game will run on the Frostbite 3 engine, so it’ll likely only be for next gen consoles. (Actually, the Xbox 360 and PS3 might be able to run it, but definitely not the WiiU). Second, the new game will definitely not be about Shepard. Bioware has constantly stated that ME3 was Shepard’s final tale very forcibly on both their forums and in interviews. Shepard’s story is over. Casey Hudson has publicly stated that not only will the next game not feature Shepard, but it will in no way imitate him/her whatsoever:
"So first, we don’t want to make ‘Shepard 2′, or Mass Effect 4 with like, ‘oh there’s no more Shepard but you’re a soldier in the universe’. So this will be a very, very different context for sure, and nothing has been decided on the rest."
It’s obvious Bioware wants to try something different. It also sounds to me that the Reapers, integral to the other three games, will not play a major roll at all. Bioware, it seems, wants to explore and expand the vast universe they created.
"We are starting to get ready to develop another Mass Effect game, and it’s going to be a new thing. 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."
"There’s so much that could be told in the Mass Effect universe. It’d be cool to do something completely unrelated to the larger storyline, like a story about a private investigator on the Citadel…"
This alone tells us a few things. First, despite what some have suggested, the next game will take place in the current cycle (so we’re definitely not going to be fighting Reapers as a Prothean, thank God). This makes sense. Bioware already created a vast universe; it’d be silly if they tried to start from scratch a whole new universe and races to produce a game in which we already know the inevitable ending to. It also seems that the story will take place before the Reaper war, not after. Again, this makes sense. I can’t imagine you could play a detective in the Citadel if it was destroyed. There were multiple endings to Mass Effect 3. If Bioware created a game after the war, they would have to choose one specific ending over the others. What if you destroyed the Reapers? What if you took control of them? What if you choose synthesis? These endings are simply too stark to try to mask over.
Aside from creating an entirely new and unrelated story, Bioware has also discussed the possibility of spin-offs in great detail.
"…Or maybe something detailing Garrus’ time in C-Sec."
"While being one of Shepard’s most loyal friends, Garrus has also had some of the most driven personal goals. He’s a hero in his own right, as Archangel and beyond. Who wouldn’t want to see the further adventures of the bold, charming Garrus Vakarian (there’s a lot of guns out there to calibrate)"
"Aria. The Illusive Man. Kai Leng. Any henchman. The list goes on. I think most of them could have successful spin-offs of their own in some fashion."
"Following the story of Javik a little bit more would be pretty cool. As the last remaining member of a lost race, I think that we could tell a lot of stories about his adventures in the Milky Way, and coming to terms with his place in the new Galaxy."
These statements also, at least in my opinion, seem to discount any rumors about historical prequels to the ME universe. So we’ll likely not see a game about the First Contact War, The Krogan Rebellions, or the Rachni Wars. Of course, this is all just speculation on my part based on very limited information. What do you guys think? Should we have a ‘Garrus as Archangel’ spin-off? Should we have an ‘L.A. Noir-esque’ C-Sec saga? But more importantly, are we going to finally get to see a Krogan wearing a Top Hat?
What are you guys hoping for? What do you want to see?