6 Things I Want to See in Mass Effect 4
Recently, I completed the epic adventure is that is the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, combining the first three Mass Effect games and all of their DLC. Way back when the games first came out, I played through the first two and then never bothered with the third game. There was such a negative backlash that I simply didn’t play it. But time heals all wounds, and a nice sale on the Legendary Edition had me back in the saddle as Commander Shepherd.
What does the future hold for the Mass Effect video game series? Does anybody have any idea? Two years ago, we got a tiny teaser that the game was in the works. It’s been radio silence since. I’m one of the few people who seems to have actually enjoyed Mass Effect: Andromeda, but the developers stopped bothering with that game almost immediately. So this list is just going to be a bunch of random speculation and thoughts about what this hypothetical game might contain.
Join me after the jump as I reflect on my Legendary Edition playthrough and offer some hope for the future.
6. Better integration of squadmates
I always found it kind of boring that you have a huge squad of a dozen mighty warriors, but you only ever bring two of them with you on a mission. Are the rest of them just hanging out in their rooms on the Normandy? Oh no! Shepherd is battling an entire army of Cerberus soldiers! Most we can do is watch! I’m not saying the game needs to disrupt its classic 3-person away team play style, but maybe find a better way to include the squadmates on missions? Put them in the background, give them other tasks planetside; get creative with it.
5. More personal customization
For one thing, we should be able to change our hairstyle mid-game. I played through all three Mass Effect games, which span several years, and my Shepherd never changed her hairstyle. I wasn’t even sure if I could change it between games, when I was uploading my previous character. Would it have destroyed the whole file to tweak something? I’m saying the Citadel should have had a hair salon. And I should have been able to buy more outfits and change their colors, instead of relying on the pre-set wardrobe. And maybe customize the looks of your guns? Play a plastic surgeon for when you play for an hour and realize you don’t like your Shepherd’s face, but it’s too late to restart the whole game? These are real problems that should be easily addressed.
4. Better apartment integration
I like having a space that my character can call home. You’ve got the commander’s quarters on the Normandy, and then the third game gives you an apartment on the Citadel. Each one has some very minor customization options, and I would like more. Granted, you don’t have much reason to hang out in your planetside apartment while playing a Mass Effect game…so maybe give me a reason to do so. I’m a gamer who likes to stop and smell the roses and really inhabit a character and their world. And the Mass Effect games did a lot in that direction, but I feel like they could go further.
3. As many character cameos as humanly possible
A very fun part of Mass Effect 3 was seeing all the cameos from the Mass Effect 1 and 2 characters. They didn’t all come back as squadmates, but they had all manner of guest appearances. Definitely do that again. Heck, I want a big squadmate roster, and would love to have these characters back as full teammates. I realize the potential in starting fresh and bringing in new blood. But did anybody really care for the new characters in Mass Effect 3? Give me the classic allies!
2. Dual protagonists
So, spoiler alert, the ending to Mass Effect 3 can be wildly different depending on the choices you make. And a big one is whether or not the main character, Commander Shepherd, lives or dies. By the time we get to Mass Effect 4, the game is going to have to make some hard decisions as to what is canon and what is not. So let’s say that Commander Shepherd is alive and will be back, and will use our saved version. But perhaps we start the game as a new protagonist, and at some point, Shepherd comes in as a squadmate…would that be cool? And maybe we switch over to Shepherd halfway through? Might be a fun idea.
1. Customizable alien protagonist
To build on the previous idea, if I’m going to request a second protagonist, you bet your butt I want this characters to be both fully customizable and an alien. They may limit us to asari or turian, and that’s fine, as long as we get to design our own. Is this too much to ask? Maybe! But dual protagonists will be cool, and will be even cooler if we get a second customizable character beyond Shepherd. And I want to design my own aliens! Surely they set up the fact that turians have unique face markings so that we could pick our own, right? Makes sense to me!