Considering the success that both BioWare and EA have enjoyed with the Mass Effect series, there’s no question that the characters and universe have caught on with more than few gamers. Some fans call the series one of the best in modern gaming, but according to the franchise’s executive producer Casey Hudson, it’s the three-part story arc that most sets the games apart from their competition. In his humble opinion, Mass Effect 3 isn’t just the end of an adventure, but the final chapter in the first true trilogy in gaming history.

It’s no small claim to make, but there’s no denying the strength of personality development and writing that the series has shown so far.

It may not be Shakespeare, but given the changes made that took the hardcore RPG into the realm of third-person shooter, the story is likely to be one of the main reasons that fans have stayed on board for ME3. I mean, we’ve got to see Shepard’s story through to the end, don’t we?

BioWare has already explained their commitment to the characters and bonds formed in the past two games, emphasizing deeper relationships in ME3. While the first game is still only an experience that PC and Xbox 360 players were able to enjoy, a fair amount of PS3 users also found the second chapter a worthwhile place to join in on the story.

Now we know that the next game will be featuring some series-firsts in combat, but the chance to finally defend humanity against a Reaper invasion is what fans are really lining up for.

In an interview with PC Gamer, Hudson noted that a single story being told in three distinct chapters while delivering three independently satisfying titles is a feat that has never been accomplished:

“I would argue that this is the only trilogy in games. There have been games where there were three, but in terms of planning it out from the beginning, with a story that was meant to span three games, and actually finishing all three games — I don’t know if that’s ever been done before.

“Certainly bringing your character across and those decisions, that hasn’t been done before. So we have a really, really exciting opportunity, which is to take all of the stuff that we’ve built and it’s not now just about continuing it, but it’s about letting people end it. And end it in ways that, especially if you’ve been following the series, you know what it would mean to end certain conflicts in certain ways. You know the values behind it, and the history behind it, and especially the people that are affected.

“We talk about the Genophage, and how you could resolve that in different ways, because you know so many people affected by it: Grunt and Wrex and Mordin and these characters that you can actually put a face on. So it’s pretty exciting to be able to finish it.”

While a few game series may have delivered one installment after another, it’s difficult to think of a game that intentionally left a story unfinished for a second game, which did the same for a third. And out of the games that may have done so, it’s even harder to think of one that did so while putting the emphasis on characters and story, not trademark gameplay mechanics.

The developers at BioWare have already promised that Mass Effect 3 will end the trilogy in a satisfying way, and with more than a few characters and plot lines to include in any climax, they’ve got their hands full. Still, you can’t argue that the language and marketing for Mass Effect 3 so far has more in common with a movie franchise than a video game series.

What do you think about Hudson’s opinion? Do you want to see Shepard’s story end once and for all, or should BioWare take a page out of Dragon Age‘s book and start a brand new series with Mass Effect 4? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

Mass Effect 3 is currently scheduled for an early 2012 release on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Source: PC Gamer