New Mass Effect – 7 things I’d love to see

I guess it was inevitable: Mass Effect is returning. Such a great franchise couldn’t stay away for long. Here is the first trailer, which features a familiar face…

One might think that the presence of the Shadow Broker herself, Liara T’Soni, guarantees that this future instalment of this series will go right back to the main story of the original trilogy. Given the Asari’s long life span, however, we could actually be talking quite a bit of time into the future. They can live over 1000 years, so this trailer could take place in Andromeda. She would only be around 700 years old when the Nexus arrived so this story could span both galaxies. Whatever it is, I’m in. It’ll probably require that I buy yet another new console but I can worry about that somewhere down the line.

In the meantime, I’ll be lining up to get a copy of the Legendary edition of the trilogy and playing through that one more time. It’s been a few years since I finished my last go and it would be good to revisit it, especially with brushed up graphics and whatever else is fixed up.

I was thinking about what I loved from the original trilogy and all the things I enjoyed about Andromeda and, as a massive fan, I have a wish list for the developers of the 7 things I would love to see in any new game.

1 – Exploration a la Mass Effect 1 – Despite getting stuck trying to drive the Mako up ridiculously steep slopes because I was too lazy to just go around, I really enjoyed the exploration element of the first game. You could always rely on finding something of interest and there were a few surprises, even if those distress beacon traps did get a little predictable after a while. The area on each planet was large but not too large. I found Andromeda’s open world environment just too big. I didn’t care about most of it after a while. Give me lots of beautiful and different alien worlds but with only a certain amount to explore.

2 – More multiplayer – I’m not a big multiplayer person but I’ve really enjoyed the Mass Effect games’ version of this. I love how it’s a co-operative experience and your not just in these Deathmatch scenarios where some teenage kid in Plymouth just keeps shooting you in the head and trash-talking you over the mic. i loved the different powers and weapons that you could access and the levelling system was great. More of the same, please.

3 – A range of endings – this may sound like flogging a dead horse, but I hope they have learned the lesson of Mass Effect 3 and are going to stick the landing this time. There have to be big ramifications from the choices we make. If that means we can’t finish the game if we don’t get things right, then I’m good with that. I would rather have massive moments that can turn the whole course of the game. This worked brilliantly with the loyalty missions in Mass Effect 2 but I think they could go a step further and have decisions that literally mean you can’t get to the end of the game.

4 – Flying spaceships – don’t know why but it would be great to actually take control of your spaceship (beyond just pointing it at the next star system). Imagine dogfighting or dodging an asteroid field in the Normandy. Just one section would be fine, like that car chase bit (in Shadow Broker or Leviathan, I can’t remember which) just for a change of pace.

5 – Giving all the characters a good development, not just based on whether or not you’re trying to get in their pants – let’s have proper discussions that go somewhere with every character. That’s what has always been great with Mass Effect when it is done well. That guy, Jaal, in Andromeda had a wonderful arc, even with my character who just saw him as a friend. It would be great to have more of that and less of every Tom, Dick and Vetra being thrown at you like romance options at ‘Recall’. I mean, Vetra? Really? I appreciate the Captain Kirk “love the aliens” vibe, but Turians aren’t exactly cuddly, are they? It would be like sleeping next to a giant beetle like in that Kafka story. Just let me have conversations and learn something about these characters like a grown up.

6 – Codex – One of my favourite things about this whole series is the depth of the world-building. The history and the politics and all that fascinates me and really adds to the enjoyment of the game. Let’s keep that up in any new instalment. Stopping in the Citadel to look at a statue of a krogan and then learning all about the krogan uprising, the genophage and the Rachnii, even though that had no bearing on the outcome of the game, made you feel so much more immersed in the universe. Depth is everything.

7 – I can’t think of anything else – I wanted to do seven because it would fit the whole N7 thing but I can’t. I just want this game, now!

Thanks for reading, everyone. If you feel like reading more, you’re in luck because I wrote a book. It’s not about Mass Effect, but it is about space travel. It’s called The Ardenna Crossing and you can find it here…

Cheers for reading,

Richard

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