Stealth Elements – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Considering Shepard leads a commando style unit that is meant to be more subtle than sending in full armies, he still winds up running and gunning a lot. Based on your play style, all out brawling can be circumvented by some clever persuasion and decision making, but things are still based on the two extremes of war and peace. Deus Ex: Human Revolution offered similar elements, but avenues of espionage also meant there were often middling ways of dealing with such situations by not being seen at all. It would be great to see the option of stealth in Mass Effect 4, especially as there is room for a new protagonist with espionage training.
A More Flexible Class System – Final Fantasy series
Mass Effect has always been a series that demands multiple playthroughs, and a part of this has been how different each of the game’s classes is. The diversity of skills on offer for each class is impressive, but it would be nice to see players being able to manipulate this diversity across a single playthrough of the game. The Final Fantasy series is a great example, with its classic job system in 3,5 and some of the spin off games granting a huge level of customisation. I’m not saying Bioware should totally rip these mechanics off, but the inspiration is ripe for the taking.
A Crafting System – Vagrant Story
Most RPGs and MMOs involve some degree of item creation these days, but I’ve picked Vagrant Story as a key influence. Why? Because it doesn’t spam items. ME1 had an issue in that there were too many items, whilst Mass Effect 2 had barely any equipment at all. ME3 got a better balance, but a refined crafting system like in Vagrant Story could work. You get your gun barrels and combine them with different magazines and a fancy attribute gem if your lucky. You can combine two barrels or two magazines together to create better ones if you want, but the system remains streamlined and doesn’t need to introduce billions of items to remain rich.