I love Mass Effect. I have played the entire storyline from start to finish on 3 separate occasions everytime carrying forward my save files. I have found the best possible endings to all the games. I have read the comics and read the books. I have seen the film and will eagerly anticipate future movies. I even own the soundtracks. Mass Effect vetted my appetite for sci-fi adventure. That is something that not many people are willing to take a chance on given the massive popularity of Star Wars and Star Trek. Bioware took a chance and made it work. They built a world that can rival any Sci-fi universe. Let this be a statement in the beginning that I am totally sold on Mass Effect 4 and would love to see Bioware craft a world as diverse and expansive as Star Wars and Star Trek. I truly believe the world of Captain Shepard has that potential.
The reason I say this is because the one common theme that all successful franchises have is that they manage to create multiple characters that people can enjoy, that people can fall in love with. Luke, Leia, Han, Yoda, Vader, Chewie and even C3PO and R2D2 – Star Wars had such characters aplenty which is why a variety of authors have managed to expand their world to such an extent. Star Trek found and refound the magic formula again and again with the 3 distinct crews that have existed through the years. They have spawned TV shows, movies and even entire languages. People love these franchises not because they are believable or because they are repeated (which many of them are) but because they tell a story that people are interested to hear, see and experience. Mass Effect managed to do just that. The outpouring of emotion at the release of Mass Effect 3 showed just that. Yes people complained about the ending but only because they cared. I loved the endings, I understand that the developers wanted to tell a story of their vision but perhaps had forgotten that people take to their fantasies quite strongly and through the course of the game they had come to believe in their own fantasies and were perhaps saddened to see someone else’s vision enforced upon them. I for one was in for the ride and loved the adventure Bioware managed to deliver.
This year on N7 day Bioware finally released teaser images of Mass Effect 4 being made. I was practically counting down to N7 day to see these teasers and I was not disappointed. Rest assured I will still critically judge the game when it comes out but I do have hopes for this one. I want to play as the Illusive man, or perhaps as Saren or even Anderson. Maybe even as Javik or some other Protheans. Maybe they could tell the tale of the last days of Ilos, or of the Geth rebellion. Maybe they could take us to an early Feros or some other alien place. The world is so rich. Perhaps they could show us the birth of the reapers with us playing as one of the creators of the reapers. So many expectations, so many possibilities. Bioware might as well create a different timeline and give us a new story altogether. I want to experience that world again. Bioware is doing just that by giving us Mass Effect 4. But some people are not happy about it. This article was particularly shocking. I do get that some people are worried that Bioware is going to mess it up and then they will never be able to go back to that world again, they are being protective of something they love – a memory. But stop there and think for a second, yes they can mess it up, yes they can make it unbearable but whom will you trust to take you into that world again if not Bioware? They created it and are the best people to carry it forward. Successful transitions such as Bungie – to – 343 Industries for Halo are all too rare to take a chance on our favorite game world.
Let me take a flight of fantasy and think of the different types of games that are possible in the Mass Effect universe. Imagine a survival horror game on earth after the reaper invasion with the husks, imagine a MMO where you get to take on the role of contributing to the war against the reapers, imagine a FPS where you get to fight endless hordes of alien monsters, imagine a stealth game as Kasumi, imagine a spaceship simulator where you get to fight the war against the reapers in space controlling a ship yourself. I am excited, I want all of the above, I want to go on another adventure with Ashley, Liara, Kaidan, Garrus, Tali, Miranda, Joker, Jack, Grunt, Jacob, Mordin and Thane. I am waiting Bioware. Surprise me.