A new Mass Effect game may be in the works, but two people with ties to the series have now announced they're retiring and leaving BioWare, the studio developing the new title.
BioWare general Manager Casey Hudson and studio veteran Mark Darrah are both leaving BioWare and going their separate ways for the future.
When announcing the new Mass Effect entry, Hudson assured fans it was in the works from a "veteran team" at the studio, but did not offer additional details. But given Hudson's seemingly sudden departure, it seems neither he nor Darrah were going to be a part of the revival.
However, their involvement would certainly have made fans feel a bit more secure about the future of the popular sci-fi franchise.
With the future of the series somewhat in the dark, what can BioWare do to ensure the new Mass Effect is worth the wait? Here are a few thoughts.
1. Retcon Mass Effect: Andromeda
Ending the original Mass Effect trilogy was difficult. No one was completely satisfied with the way things ended, but Mass Effect: Andromeda was not the direction to move forward in.
It was a disappointment in nearly every sense of the word. From a lackluster narrative to dull characters, it was nowhere up to the same standard of quality as even Mass Effect 3. Plus its vast stores of bugs and terrible game design couldn't even be erased with a patch.
The best course of action might very well be to strike it from the record and pretend it doesn’t exist, especially with its in-world implications for the rest of the lore.
2. Return to what makes Mass Effect memorable
The Mass Effect series was always an exciting prospect for many because of its satisfying dialogue, memorable characters, tight gunplay, and exploration.
But little by little it began to move away from its core concepts until the third game, which ended up trying to be too much to too many people.
The new game should go back to basics and build truly exciting characters that players like spending time with. It could also benefit from having polished fights, a living, breathing universe, and lore that’s worth investing yourself in.
3. Make choices matter
In Mass Effect: Andromeda, and largely many times in prior entries, your choices seemed didn't seem to matter.
Whether that meant player dialogue, overarching story beats, or which character you chose to be in a relationship with, these decisions felt trivial in the larger scheme of the game.
If there’s no real player choice and only the illusion of such, the game feels decidedly hollow. And for a series that’s based its reputation on letting players go to the stars to weave their own space operas, perhaps this was the most egregious problem plaguing Mass Effect after all, and one that can still be resolved early on.