Mass Effect, BioWare’s sci-fi juggernaut, has been the developer’s flagship franchise for the last few years. The first installment was released in 2007 and five years (and two additional games) later, the series reached a climactic ending that brought the entire story to a very final conclusion. SPOILERS FOLLOW.
The protagonist for the entire series, the character through whom players experienced every moment of every event in every game was forced to sacrifice his or herself to end the threat of the Reaper Invasion. In almost every ending, Commander Shepard dies. This left many wondering about the future of the franchise. The Mass Effect name seemed too powerful for BioWare to simply let go of the intellectual property, but if there were another Mass Effect game, when would it take place? Would it be a prequel? Or would players simply assume the role of another character? Certainly there were plenty of viable companions who could see their own titles, particularly Garrus Vakarian or Liara T’Soni. Complex recently posted an interview with Mac Walter, the man behind most of the content in the Mass Effect universe, and what the writer had to say was not what many gamers wanted to hear.
When asked explicitly about the direction of the next Mass Effect installment, the currently untitled Mass Effect 4, Walter revealed that the plan was “to tell a story that doesn’t relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all, whatsoever.” He went on to add that regardless of what happened, the most important thing to the team was to make sure that it still felt like a Mass Effect game, instead of a spin-off. And for anyone thinking that perhaps a story could still be told from Garrus’s perspective, a story that doesn’t relate to any of the Shepard events, Walter concluded that the next game would be “without the Shepard character or the Shepard-specific companions.”
So it seems that the next Mass Effect will start from scratch, though Walter did discuss his current project, a 13-issue comic called Mass Effect: Foundation. He mentioned that he couldn’t imagine not using “the comics as a companion” with the fourth Mass Effect installment. Fans who wish to familiarize themselves with the next step in the Mass Effect universe may want to pick up the comics to find out what’s in store.