Where Should the Mass Effect Franchise Go Next? [OPINION]

By Mike Andronico , Updated May 11, 2013 10:00 PM EDT

Bioware's Mass Effect 3 has been out for well over a year now, meaning most players have reached the end of a science-fiction journey that has spanned three games and even more unique worlds. While the final game in the trilogy polarized many fans with its controversial ending, the Mass Effect experience as a whole has been nearly univerally praised by critics, and every player has their own unique attachment to their version of Commander Shephard.

Mass Effect 3 is still enjoying a large user base thanks to its solid multiplayer, which has been receiving frequent free updates up until early this year. This is likely because Bioware is readying the next journey for the blockbuster space series.

While Mass Effect is a shooter-RPG hybrid at its core, its mythos has grown as rich as the likes of Star Wars. Take one quick glance at the in-game codex in any Mass Effect title, and you will be treated to an expansive list of planets, species, and spaceships, each with their own thorough history. In addition to the vast worlds created by the game alone, there are a plethora of comics, novels, and mini-games that expand the universe even further. This presents Bioware with a galaxy of opportunity when it comes to creating an all-new Mass Effect title, which could be announced as early as E3 according to MTV Multiplayer.

Judging by the ending of Mass Effect 3, the story of Shepard can't go on any longer, nor should it. The trilogy brought an end to a character that evolved from individual player choices, and ending debates aside, allowed for a fitting finish to the hero. But just because Shepard is gone doesn't mean Bioware can't shift their focus to the past, present, or future of any of Mass Effect's other unique characters.

Bioware has encyclopedia's worth of Mass Effect history to draw a game from. There's the First Contact War between the Turians and Humans, the Geth rebellion against the Quarians, and the Illusive Man's days as a soldier before he became the deadly face of Cerberus, just to name a few.

So what kind of game could Bioware make? Sure, they could start a new trilogy with another malleable Shepard-type, but this is the perfect opportunity for the devs to try something different.

A first-person shooter would lend itself pretty naturally to the Mass Effect world, allowing for a Halo-esque experience with the likes of Turians, Krogans, and Alliance Soldiers. Any of the game's historical wars would serve as a proper backdrop, and it would give Bioware a chance to try their hand at competitive multiplayer. The developers can provide their own take on the MOBA craze created by games like League of Legends, replacing champions with Reapers and space fleets. With Star Wars: The Old Republic gaining traction again, Bioware can translate the Mass Effect franchise to an MMORPG that would allow players to freely explore places like Omega, the Citadel, and anywhere else of their choosing.

What would you like to see from a future Mass Effect game? Is more of the same action-RPG formula fine, or is it time to take the next step?

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