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A new game is being developed in the Mass Effect universe, and I’m not sure how to feel.
On the one hand, Mass Effect is one of the best examples of what BioWare, a company with no shortage of love from me, can do with a game series. On the other hand, we’ve seen in many cases how trying to stretch out an IP to a fourth installment or offshoot series can go wrong. How are we supposed to feel? Let’s put the points on the board.
How often do these things work? Scream was a decent trilogy if we forget the third one. However, Scream 4 was a pale imitation of what made the series fun. The Alien series was absolutely mind blowing, again forgoing the third one, though Movie Defense Force made a decent case for it. Then Alien Resurrection was released and you could see the dollar signs in the studio executives’ eyes, and the tears in Joss Whedon’s. And Jaws…well that series was chum the second they went past the first one, but The Revenge went down in history as being especially abysmal. If we learned one thing from Trilogies in film, it’s not to make a third entry. But if it’s two things, the second would be keep the number at three.
Then we have the offshoot, or spinoff, which is likely where Mass Effect’s new entry will go, considering that whole *YEAR OLD SPOILER* world ending, story resolving, Reapers-have-been-defeated thing. And this option isn’t much better. Joey, The Cleveland Show, Evan Almighty, Joanie Love Chachi, and AfterMASH are all examples of how to take a good thing and make you sad this is where it all went. Even video game spinoffs like Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX, Death by Degrees, and the recent Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance all prove that sometimes games need to be left alone to die, remembered for the joy they brought, not by how the developers should have stopped with the main series.
Still the best in the series.
Who the hell doesn’t want to see more out of their favorite series? The beautiful thing about video games is that each entry can be improved or changed, unlike an action film which is still perceived the one way. Although not following up on a trilogy framework Metal Gear Solid 4, Resident Evil 4, and Halo 4 have all been considered the best of their respective series. There is no movie, aside from maybe The Bourne Legacy (because I have a man crush on Jeremy Renner), that can claim that distinction.
And some video game spinoffs are really good, like a lot of the Mario spinoffs (Party, Kart, RPG), Age of Mythology, hell the original Modern Warfare could be considered a spinoff of the WWII-exclusive Call of Duty series, and the original MW was fantastic. And considering the amount of love BioWare puts into their games it’s doubtful they would ever release a product that isn’t at least up to their high standards (the ending, of course, is a different debate…)
What Do You Think?
Of course these are early arguments. We hardly know anything about the new game yet, aside from the fact it is being made. Fans of the series are already saving up and those burned by the end of ME3 are already writing it off, but we’re curious to see what you, the good readers of SAH Gaming, think of the idea. Should game companies continue to bring us the series that we love or should they just leave a good thing alone? Leave a comment below and join the conversation!