The Wii U has featured heavily in the past few days of gaming news (this is relevant, I promise), with announcements of pricing and release windows flooding in left, right and centre. The launch lineup has also come under scrutiny following its reveal and, whilst everyone may be focusing on the fact that we’re getting a new version of Mass Effect 3 on Nintendo’s home console, that’s no reason to forget about Mass Effect 4. We’re always contemplating what we’d like to see in the sequels to our favourite series, but we thought we’d take a different format for this article and analyse five ideas from other games that Bioware could use to influence new mechanics in Mass Effect 4.
A More Complicated Morality System – The Witcher 2
As sacrilegious as it is to admit, I always preferred the original Dragon Age to the Mass Effect series (notice how I ignore Dragon Age 2 in this sentiment). The reason behind this preference is solely due to the choice systems in the two games. The circular dialogue system of ME is hugely streamlined and well designed, but it means the game always tells you what is objectively right and wrong within the game universe based on the orientation of each option, a fact further enforced by the points allocated to you based on your actions. I don’t care if they call it Renegade and Paragon, the fact of the matter is that it’s really frustrating when games tell you that your actions are evil or just. If a character has an issue with my methods, as they do in Dragon Age, that’s fine, but don’t tell me what’s right and wrong in a more objective sense Bioware, as it totally undermines the complexity seen in your games elsewhere. Just get rid of the moral points system altogether, as this ambiguous morality worked incredibly well in the recent Witcher 2. Now that game had some interesting choices.
Properly Interesting Weapons – Borderlands 2
Sci-fi games often offer a disappointing level of creativity when you consider they’re set in the future. Whilst Mass Effect features creative alien races and world lore, the actual weapons are as dull as dishwater. Even if your firearms shoot plasma, you’re still just wielding a normal pistol. Bioware ought to look no further than Borderlands 2 for its inspiration, as previews have already shown us crazy top-loading weapons, disposable guns that explode etc. Why can’t Mass Effect have more stuff like that?