N7 Day Seven Wishes

On this lovely N7 Day evening, I am enjoying the creativity both from BioWare and the insanely talented fanbase of the Mass Effect ‘verse. I’ve decided to do a bit of soul searching and list five things I’d love to see return in the next Mass Effect and two new things I’d love for them to add.

Planetary Exploration

In the first Mass Effect, this was accomplished by traversing between about 3 or 4 set points on otherwise featureless planets in the physics bending Mako. This gameplay was subsequently dropped in later installments of the trilogy. In the latest outing, Mass Effect Andromeda, exploration experienced an upgrade with the Nomad and detailed planetary terrain. In fact, exploration and colonization was a major part of the main plot line. I want it back.

Grounded Opposition

While I will always rate Sovereign and the Reapers high on my list of great antagonists, I really like the idea of building and maintaining a society in the midst of more mundane threats like the short-sighted xenophobia represented by the Terra Firma Party or the unethical “progress” represented by Cerberus in the first two games in the trilogy before they became more arch and boogieman-esque in the third.

Liara as a Matriarch

I want the next game to be within Liara’s lifetime, and I want her to be prominently featured. She is my favorite of the BioWare romances, and such a wonderful way to tie the new game into the ‘verse we all know and love. Seeing a much older and wiser Liara would be such a treat. She could either become more serene and stately like her mother Benezia or more bold and course like her krogan-descended father Aethyta or some delightful mix of both. Anyway we get her, I’m with it.

Customizable Family

I really got a kick out of seeing how the game’s AI would design my pop based on how I customized my character. I also loved how we got to customize our sibling. I want this back, and I want at least one of them to live and be a major supporting character throughout the game.

Citadel DLC-style Missions

The Citadel DLC was THE best DLC I’ve ever played and really added so much to ME3. I would love if this sensibility was infused into the main game of the next ME . There should be “missions” where hanging out with your companions are the purpose, with fun mini-games and various conversation trees that have actual impact on your relationships and even the story in small ways.

A Big Cast

There was something so special about having such a large and robust squad with their own dedicated story lines in Mass Effect 2. I would love to couple the size of the ME2 cast with the independent character interactions of ME3 where you’d find two comrades hanging out in the galley or sharing a drink in the Observation Deck bar.

Those are the five things I would like to return. These two final wishes are things I would love to be introduced to the Mass Effect universe.

Variety of Gameplay

One of the things I adore about BioWare’s Dragon Age franchise is how much variety is in the gameplay. It started with the Dragon Age Awakenings DLC where you had to run your keep and make political decisions as well as go out on missions and quests. It evolved in Dragon Age Inquisition where you found yourself passing judgement on vanquished foes and deftly or clumsily navigated the politics and intrigue of an Orlesian Ball. I want to be a leader with vast but finite resources in the next Mass Effect instead of just a really competent (and lucky) squad leader.

Black Hair Variety

Mass Effect Andromeda was definitely better than the original trilogy in terms of Afro-textured hair, but so many games have made huge strides so I know BioWare can do much better as well. In fact, the player base of the SIMS 4 has created a robust community of melanated customizers. Step into your greatness BioWare (and hire more Black devs/artists please).

So there you have it, the 7 Wishes I have for the next Mass Effect on this lovely N7 Day!

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