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5 things the new Mass Effect 4 must get right – Reader’s Feature


Mass Effect 4 – what should happen next? (pic: EA)

A reader offers BioWare some advice on making the next Mass Effect and avoiding the mistakes of Andromeda and the original trilogy.

Like any good Mass Effect fan I’ve been enjoying the Mass Effect Legendary Edition remasters immensely and now, having got to Mass Effect 3, my thoughts are naturally turning to the next game. We know basically nothing about it at the moment, except the impression that’s its probably going to be some kind of back to its roots style sequel that relies heavily on original trilogy concepts and characters.

Mass Effect: Andromeda was bad but trying to do something all-new was the right direction. It just needs to be, you know… good. Andromeda’s story and characters were terrible and while not being connected to the original trilogy is not necessarily a problem it didn’t do anything with the freedom that should have given it.

The next Mass Effect needs to be very aware of the problems Andromeda suffered from and not try to redeem or continue it. This is the moment to sweep it under the carpet and forget it exists, and these are my suggestions for how:

1. Make it a proper sequel

The first thing Mass Effect 4 needs to do is connect to the original trilogy. Not wimp out with a prequel or an Andromeda style ‘another galaxy’ nonsense. Set it after the events of Mass Effect 3 and try and make sense of the ending. That doesn’t mean you have to bring back Shepard or any of the other characters (although Liara already looks like she’s in it) just that this has to be set recognisably in the same galaxy. Because otherwise, what’s the point in even calling it a Mass Effect game?

2. Work out a better plot

As much as I love the original trilogy one of the main problems is that nothing the Reapers want or do makes any sense. Originally the idea was that they were upset that the use of biotics was working with dark energy to hasten the heat death of the universe and since only organic beings could use biotics the Reapers, who live forever, wanted to stop them using them. They tried to talk them out of it at first but when they didn’t back down they started killing them. The original ending was supposed to be a choice between agreeing with the Reapers or wiping them all out.

I think most people would agree that that’s a lot more interesting than what we got, even if the overall plot to Mass Effect isn’t really important (all that really matters is that Reapers are bad so we gotta kill them). The next game really needs to do better in this respect. Whatever the big bad is give it a motivation that makes sense and, more importantly, is interesting. This is sci-fi and an excuse to explore lots of out-there ideas. If all the story is doing is making you go, ‘Huh? That doesn’t make any sense’ then something’s gone wrong.

3. Use the combat from Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda is a pretty bad game: uniformly terrible or boring characters, stupid plot, very few worthy additions to the lore, and just generally a bad copy of the ‘real’ Mass Effect games. However, it does have great combat. Like really good. Mass Effect 3 is good, but Andromeda is better than most dedicated action game. So don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater and make sure you keep that.

4. Focus on character interaction

The best bit of Mass Effect is talking to characters, both your crew and the others you meet along the way. This really needs to be expanded on so that it is the main thing you do in the game, because it’s what BioWare and Mass Effect are best at. That means more of everything: more romance options, more socialising (like the Citadel DLC, that’s so great!), more talking to bad guys that are actually rational, and just generally acting like a role-playing game and not a straight shooter. Not that the combat isn’t important, but it should be secondary to dialogue.

5. Stop wasting my team

This is a much more minor thing but for heaven’s sake just have a proper auto equip button. All the stat and equipment stuff in Mass Effect is completely boring and I don’t care. The sign of a good role-playing game is not sitting through a spreadsheet of numbers working out if one helmet offers 1% more protection than another. Automate that nonsense and let me get on with the good stuff!

By reader Cameron

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk and follow us on Twitter.


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