What was originally one of Game Rant's most anticipated games of 2011 is now topping the list of our most anticipated games of 2012. That game of course, is Mass Effect 3, the trilogy-concluding installment in our favorite space-based RPG that also sees the end of the Commander Shepard storyline.
Over the last few months, we've seen Mass Effect 3 introduce the franchise's first multiplayer component but this is only the first step for BioWare in growing the franchise and laying the foundation for its long-term future.
Mass Effect, an original property from BioWare, redefined the sci-fi RPG, dropping the turn-based combat from their Knights of the Old Republic games but adding in real-time gameplay into the mix of great mechanics from that series. As we know all know, Mass Effect 3 will be huge and players will demand more when it's over. Even though we may be done with Shepard, the universe and potentially, other characters, will live on.
There have been hints of an eventual Mass Effect MMO but with BioWare finally launching Star Wars: The Old Republic next month to continue the Knights of the Old Republic timeline and stories, there won't be another sci-fi MMO from them in a long, long time.
CVG spoke with BioWare Creative Director Casey Hudson about the future of Mass Effect after ME3 where Hudson reiterated what we already know about demand for more:
"There's a lot of possibilities - we're obviously pretty focused on ME3, but we know that people are going to want another ME game, and there are lots of different things we can do.
There are now technologies coming out for platforms, different ways in which people will be distributing games in the next generation, so all of that is congealing. We don't have specific plans yet, but we know that we're going to do something."
Although not revealing anything about another game in the series, who would star or when/where it could take place, we at Game Rant have our own ideas for Mass Effect 4 and spin-offs. The choice words of Hudson about "technologies" and new ways of distributing games seems to hint at next-gen development which would lend credence to our theory about Mass Effect 4 potentially releasing as a launch title for the Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4.
Developing for the older Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles have allowed BioWare to stop worrying about trying to push the technical and graphical side of development for Mass Effect 3, and instead focus on story and character development. With the successor to this title however, that will likely change and BioWare will again need to aim to push the boundaries and expectations of gamers to offer that new/next-gen experience.
Either way, it's safe to saw Mass Effect will be getting another installment and if BioWare doesn't already have some of their staff working on it, they will be in no time following the release of ME3.
Mass Effect 3 releases for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on March 6, 2012.
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