Mass Effect Shall Continue!
Posted on Friday, April 27 2012 @ 14:17:16 Eastern
As I said before
, Mass Effect is an incredible universe. ME1, 2 and 3 focused on Shepard’s tale but set the scene for books and graphic novels to complement that story arc and chronicle the stories of other characters such as Anderson, and the Illusive Man whose adventures feed into the events we have already played through. It’s testament to BioWare’s creation that the tapestry is so rich that even after the main plot and the complimentary plots are taken care of there is still huge potential for follow up titles to address the remaining mysteries.
The interesting thing about the Mass Effect universe is that humanity is very much a minor player and a newcomer to the galactic stage. No matter how ambitious they are their involvement in galactic events has been going on for less than thirty years so a lot of Mass Effect lore has nothing to do with humans. This isn’t unique in the sci-fi world but it is constantly an issue with Mass Effect so it warrants a mention. The great thing about it is that every species lends itself to a different style of game as evidenced by the ME3 multiplayer. BioWare have confirmed there will be more Mass Effect games and they may not be locked to a familiar genre so here are some of my ideas:
The First Contact Wars refers to the short but eventful period when humans were discovered by turian scouts trying to activate a mass relay. Human forces were decimated and the remains were followed back to Shanxi which was captured and subsequently liberated by concentrated attacks. A game revolving around this period would be heavily action based and would lend itself well to a squad based FPS. To keep it a Mass Effect title and not Ghost Recon in Space the main character should be someone already known to the fans. My first thought was Captain Anderson or the near N7 graduate as he was then but I reconsidered and thought that playing through as Jack Harper with his wet work team would be far more interesting. If you know who Jack Harper is then I’m sure you’ll agree.
The Rachni Wars was a period many centuries before humanity had visited even the moon. Explorers opened an inactive mass relay and found a space faring race of insects operating under a hive mind intelligence. The rachni weren’t peaceful but there have been claims that this was due to Reaper influence and considering the use of Ravagers in ME3 and the peaceful nature of the queens Shepard has encountered this seems like a valid idea. Whatever the reasons behind rachni aggressions this game would be a good excuse to play a Gears style shooter as a krogan warlord. Plus, if the indoctrination idea pans out then subtle references could be snuck in. They would be too small to be spotted by a galaxy ignorant of the Reapers but enlightening for any fan of Mass Effect.
Speaking of krogan… another important piece of lore is the Krogan Rebellions. After the krogan rid the galaxy of the rachni they used their new found leverage to obtain new planets. Their harsh homeland of Tuchanka had kept their numbers manageable, once freed of this they expanded voraciously and eventually forced the hand of the Council. This Real Time Strategy would document the events of the turians attempting to repel krogan shock troops planet side and prevent meteor strikes from their beginnings in space, and would culminate in aiding the salarians deliver the genophage to Tuchanka..
Moving back to the human side we could play through the events of the book Revelation. Playing as Lieutenant Anderson it would be a 3rd person adventure game with Anderson investigating the mystery surrounding the Sidon research facility. Because Anderson would be a lone investigator he would control more like Garrett from the Thief series and Drake from Uncharted; he would take stealth tips from Garrett, and agility and gunplay lessons from Drake. This game would shed more light on Saren Arterius and the finale would – should – be the destruction of the eezo refinery with an end-of-credits cinematic hinting at Saren’s plan.
An aspect of Shepard’s life we have heard about superficially (depending on the character profile chosen) is his role in the Skyllian Blitz. This would expand our knowledge of not only the slaver attacks but also the origin of the hero we shaped throughout the trilogy. It would be a squad based shooter with Shepard as the only true soldier attempting to rally a hastily assembled militia. In much the same way as the upcoming Steel Battalion game is proposing, Shepard may need to look after the mental wellbeing of the amateur soldiers under his command and the game would finish with Shepard holding off hundreds of batarians on his own to save the men and women he is responsible for.
Something ME3 helped to flesh out was the collapse of the Prothean Empire but it was strictly from the point of view of Javik. The prothean-reaper war lasted for more than a hundred years so a game following this period is sure to have plenty of material to draw from. All the disturbing lines delivered by Javik about the Protheans and their slave races committing various atrocities for various coldly logical and naively misguided reasons can be given real context in the form of an action RPG just like the original three Mass Effect titles but in a prothean dominated galaxy.
Another story touched upon by ME3 is the Geth War (or the Morning War) and it shows huge potential. The origin of Legion is something many fans will be interested in and the prevailing geth/heretic dynamic is something which could be expanded upon. The structure of geth society is so different it would need to be explored in detail and I think the story is too deep for an action game. This is one story I’d love to see as a feature length film, either cartoon or live action.
There is so much potential within the Mass Effect universe for expansion; the first journey through a mass relay, the evolution of the krogan, the discovery of the yahg, the beginning of the Shadow Broker and so many more. These are just a few examples of stories I hope BioWare expands whether as games, books, comics or films. It’s not often I take to a universe as strongly as I have to this one; I hope it continues expanding for a while yet.