The Shepard is dead. Long live literally anything else, please.
Posted on Sunday, November 18th, 2012 by T.G. Corke
Earlier this week, Casey Hudson officially announced that BioWare had begun the inception stage of Mass Effect 4, and were actively requesting ideas from the fanbase. While many of us still angered by BioWare and EA’s practices over the past year would love to believe that the majority of the suggestions Hudson receives will be along the lines of “resign from BioWare immediately and take Mac Walters with you to give the game a fighting chance,” in truth it’s unlikely to be much more than a few gameplay suggestions, such as “selectable alien class for the next protagonist,” or “multiple concurrent inter-gender romance options/threesomes.” The reality is that most fans of the series either never cared about the failings of Mass Effect 3, never realised what they were to begin with, or were satisfied enough by the Extended Cut and ‘free’ multiplayer DLC that they’ll likely buy into any future sequels the company puts out, regardless of how many weeks or months premature their release turns out to be.
While I remain incredibly frustrated with the way customers and gamers have been treated by a developer that I once trusted and respected, ultimately I’ve still bought much of the DLC for Mass Effect 3 and will probably end up buying the rest of the main story content, simply because I’ve invested so much into the series – in multiple senses – that I want to see all of it, even though in my own mind I know I’ll never reclaim the feelings I once had for it. Countless avid fans of Star Wars, Ultima, Highlander and World Championship Wrestling felt the same way, watching helplessly as their once-beloved series’ slowly and aimlessly eradicated every last instance of soul or craft before their eyes, yet unable to turn away as the flames grew larger and larger.
That’s how I feel about Mass Effect. Through good and bad, I’ll be with Shepard and his squad till the death, because I was there at the birth. Hell, I’ll probably end up getting ME1 when it’s released on PS3, just so I can own the trilogy on both consoles. That’s right – I was once such a big fan of Mass Effect that I bought into the franchise on both PS3 and Xbox (including the DLC for each system), so hopefully you’ll know where I’m coming from when I say how let down I still feel even now. Ironically, given some of the patches for ME3 on PC that almost manage to salvage the game’s ending, I’d probably have been better off just buying it on Steam. Needless to say, I have no intention of doing so now.
In spite of this, I can say unequivocally and without any hesitance or potential reconsideration that I have absolutely no intention of buying Mass Effect 4.
The reasons for this are many, so I will list only the three most predominant ones. In essence, though, it all goes back to the core foundations on which the series was built, and the promises and reasonable assumptions on which I and so many others developed an attachment to it.