5. New Gameplay Concepts
Ideally, with the trilogy over, this would allow the developers to experiment and mix things up from a design and gameplay perspective. I’ll be honest, if the next Mass Effect game ends up being like the upcoming Gears of War Judgment and God of War Ascension (basically the same exact design and gameplay as past games set before the trilogy with a new story), I will be supremely disappointed. I want to see things we never would have seen in the trilogy, like space combat. Hell, I’d even be in favor of the game being an entirely new genre. One thing I’ve always thought would be cool would be a third person character action game like Devil May Cry or God of War, but instead of swords you play as a super powerful biotic character. Allow us to do some of the really cool things we saw biotics do in cutscenes but could never actually do in gameplay.
4. Continue With Focus On Characters
The best part of Mass Effect has always been recruiting and getting to know your squad mates. Some of the best moments in the entire series were the loyalty missions from Mass Effect 2, and I want to see this focus on character development continue with the next game in the series. A story is only as compelling as the characters involved in it, and the emotional attachment to these characters was one of the main reasons players became so invested in the Mass Effect fiction. I’d love to get to know a whole new cast of characters in the next Mass Effect game, but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to seeing some of my old favorites return either.
3. No More Galactic Threats
I’ve always been of the mind that the idea of the galaxy threatening Reapers was one of the lesser aspects of the Mass Effect fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the Reaper storyline, and the reveal of Sovereign’s true nature in Mass Effect 1 is one of my favorite moments in the entire series, but I don’t want a retread of this. Mass Effect is one of my favorite fictional universes of all time, and I think it has a lot more to offer than yet another “save the world/galaxy” storyline. The best aspects of Mass Effect are the race relations, shady corporations, criminality, character interactions, and interstellar politics; let’s leave the grand galaxy threatening evil to the trilogy and focus on the more interesting aspects of the fiction for future games.
2. Tell New Stories
I’m sure the initial instinct of the new development team at Bioware Montreal will be to tell a story that in some ties into into Shepard, the Reapers, or the trilogy as a whole, but I think this would be a mistake. The promise of a post-trilogy Mass Effect game is that it can stand on its own, and I think trying to tie the game into the trilogy in some way would be a disservice to that potential. This universe is full of possibilities, and I feel like there is a nearly limitless amount of potential stories to tell that have nothing to do with Shepard or the Reapers.
1. Don’t Ruin The Universe
Anytime a work of fiction begins to expand beyond its initial premise into spin offs, side stories, and other entertainment mediums, there is always the potential for the quality bar to drop off dramatically. I’m sure some would argue that this has already begun with Mass Effect, with the poor ending to Mass Effect 3, the atrocious fourth novel (written by a new author), the underwhelming iOS games, and the mediocre anime film. While all of these things are troubling for the future of the series, the core series will always be big blockbuster console and PC games, and thus far all installments on that front have been excellent. The first post trilogy game in the series will be the real test for the series future viability. If the universe is treated with respect and the game feels like it fits tonally and fictionally as part of that universe, then there is nothing to worry about. I guess this entry on the list can be basically be summed up as “don’t suck”, but that’s just showing my desire for this series that I love so much to avoid going downhill.