The year was 2007 when the very first Mass Effect title found its way to our Xbox 360 consoles. This new BioWare game incorporated several genres as we found ourselves thrust into a role-playing action game with a sci-fi feel. The original three games were developed as a trilogy, however given the enormous success of the franchise and the detailed and complex universe created throughout the three original titles, it seems likely that BioWare will continue to provide us with many more opportunities to save the galaxy.
BioWare set itself a challenge with the Mass Effect games. We gamers tend to be a forgiving bunch to action-only titles with plots that feel a bit hurried, however when a game is placed firmly into that role-playing category we wholeheartedly expect to be pulled along with a story that will keep us rooted firmly to the couch. Despite the rocky ending to Mass Effect 3 slated by many reviewers, in general the story of the series has really worked to achieve this illustrious aim. Convincing characters, a plot affected by your own actions and the ever-present threat from the Reapers led to a compelling set of games. Without giving too much away, those that have played through the entirety of Mass Effect 1, 2 and 3 will also know that the story was relatively neatly wrapped up upon completion of the final sequences.
So what does this mean for future Mass Effect games? Well we can certainly expect to be introduced to a new protagonist. BioWare has made it clear that the first trilogy would be surrounding the life and times of Commander Shepard, so a sequel to the events in these games will introduce another lead character for us to love. Future forays into the galaxy could explore the impact of the decisions made at the close of Mass Effect 3, potentially exploring the different races in more detail and contemplating how they will go about putting the pieces back together. Alternatively BioWare may choose to take us down the route of a prequel, delving into areas of the galaxy's past that have already been created within the Mass Effect comics. Wherever or whenever we end up, we can be confident that such a complex universe will more than cater for our desire for a detailed story.
Taking the Mass Effect franchise to the Xbox One might not cause too many changes in the plotline of future forays into the galaxy; however we can certainly expect to see some enhancements when it comes to the graphical prowess of the game. BioWare has done wonders in making the Mass Effect games, and particularly Mass Effect 3, into a visual splendor so think what more could be done with the enhanced processing power of the Xbox One. Rumors of a high speed multi-core processor and dual graphics cards could lead to detail like we've never seen before. If BioWare does decide to focus on some of the different races of the galaxy we can expect to see incredible detail in both character design and the architecture of the worlds.
An excellent story and awe-inspiring graphics are just two of the reasons why Mass Effect has seen such continual success. Without gameplay to match, the series would still have fallen at the first hurdle. Fortunately BioWare took this into consideration and created three games that were a delight to play. Although elements of the gameplay such as action sequences were improved as the series progressed, it is the other novel elements that stand Mass Effect apart from its rivals. Take, for example, the ability to load in a saved game from a previous title in the series. Instead of losing the decisions that you made within the first and second games, you could simply adopt them into the third. This continuation has hooked fans of the series into future games more aptly than any other decision of BioWare, and we can certainly expect to see a similar system in future games. With the Mass Effect galaxy so large and complex, there are even rumors of an MMORPG variation on the game in the future. To date MMOs have been mostly contained to PCs, however there is no reason why next-generation consoles shouldn't be perfectly able to handle the performance required for massive multiplayer action. Wherever BioWare take us next, we can be confident that the strongest elements of the Mass Effect series will remain, resulting in future titles that will keep us in front of our consoles for hours upon end.
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
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