Mass Effect 4: The Future of Commander Shepard and the Immortality of a Legend

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The last moments of Mass Effect 3 (ME3) created a huge debate among players and one of the main topics has been Commander Shepard and the character’s ultimate fate. It is true that players’ choices had the ability to change the storyline and eventually proclaim Shepard’s destiny; however in this article I will discuss the future of this Bioware’s hero and how the company will most likely handle his\her reappearance in the fourth game. Despite the lack of official information about Mass Effect 4, it’s for certain that the upcoming plot will have a new protagonist since Commander Shepard’s story has been completed and the hero isn’t coming back as the main character again. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that Shepard won’t come back, especially if the fourth game is to become a sequel. Dead or alive, Shepard has become a true legend in both game and real life. In the sci-fictional world of Mass Effect, the legendary status has been achieved simply because the continuity of the galaxy was established due to this brave soul’s actions and sacrifices. In real, there are no doubts that Shepard is Mass Effect’s insignia and without Shepard there will hardly be Mass Effect. This ideal makes me confident that regardless Bioware’s decisions for the fourth game, Shepard will indeed return one way or another. It’s nearly impossible to contemplate every decision chain and path set from the previous three games, which means that Bioware will either create a hollow prequel with no Shepard or a deep sequel far into the future, where Shepard will be remembered as the savior of all organic life.

For Mass Effect 4, I believe that Shepard’s survival won’t have any impact in the story, first because if the fourth game’s story would be set in a near future it would imply the creation of two complete distinct stories, one where Shepard survives and proceeds with his/her life and another where Shepard possibly transcends into a substantial form and becomes part of nature itself, guaranteeing that balance between organic and mechanic species isn’t disrupted. Secondly, it seems to me that the most reasonable and noble way to bring Shepard back is through memories and recordings that will surely be part of the pos-reaper age archives. In an advanced technological society, recordings are everywhere and they can be easily stored and accessed at any time. Memories can probably be extracted or accessed as well and even if this technology doesn’t exist in the upcoming reality, asaris can live hundreds of years, meaning that companions and allies like Liara, Samara and Aria could still be alive to share their past experiences with Shepard.

The galaxy shall never forget the legend that saved multiple species from extinction. No matter the form or shape, Shepard has become immortal and not even time will be able to erase the heroic deeds that prevented a whole civilization from turning into dust and perishing into oblivion. Excluding Commander Shepard from Mass Effect 4 would be, in my opinion, absolutely catastrophic since it would bring a huge consistency crisis to the series and it would disappoint fans beyond believe. Let’s hope that Bioware will be able to develop a new enthusiastic plot, while keeping in mind most of the preceding events.

5 Comments

  1. I personnaly wouldn’t like it to be a prequel. For a game with such scale, it wouldn’t just fit. Mass effect games were all about its story and plot. Since ME1, we’ve been busy trying to find a way to survive and beat the reapers. The games just got better and better, more intense, etc, with every single choice we’ve made through the dialogs. While we don’t play a platform game for its story, a game like mass effect is all about the story. And we’ve played all 3 games, and we know what happened. Since the first attacks and missions on mass effect 1, and the missions on mass effect 3, we’ve learnt exactly what was going on, and why we were there, killing or protecting races. Mass effect games were one of the best experiences in my life. For the first time, I really felt engaged in a game, and I really felt all those guys were really there, and needed my help. And I knew every decision I’d made would have some impact, like in real life. I wished each game just had 10 times more missions, choices, dialogs, etc, and the 3 games could last 1000 hours. I whished reapers didn’t attack us on me3, and instead, bioware had just given us much more content on me3, and me4 was the game where we fight against the reapers, instead of me3. I just wanted more and more of it. Millions of planets with millions of side-missions, eventually made by hundreds of modders, that would just create new places, new worlds, new stories, via an editor. It could have been amazing. Also, people wold have a weapon editor, where they would just choose its price, features, perfs, visual and sound effects, etc. Countless possibilities.

    That’s why, since we all know what is going to happen, a prequel would just not make any sense. OK, we would have new missions, new weapons, a new story, and we could just take a simple action /choice/part of the plot from me1-2-3, and make a 2 hour mission about that. But at the end, it would just be a filler. All the pleasure we had when playing the series, and discovering an extra bit of the plot,well, it would not feel the same.

    If we take a god of war game. Everything was so perfect, from the PSP prequels, to the main story since gow1, than gow2, and finally, the amazing incredible god of war 3, as the ultimate revenge from kratos. Playing the series always felt fresh, and the pleasure was always there, even until the end.
    The game was amazing, and one of my top 3 stories ever. I’ve played each game at least 3 times, and each time I start a new game, I have the same pleasure as the first time I played it. That’s why I didn’t like god of war ascension as much as I would have expected. And there’s nothing to do with the graphics or action or whatever. It’s just that no matter what we do in the game, no matter if it lasts 8,12 or 20 hours, we ALREADY know what it’s going to happen, and as I was playing it, I knew nothing major would happen, and it was just a simple day of kratos life. Another example, ‘valkirie’ movie, with tom cruise. I went to cinema and almost left the room before the end. Why? Because we all know the movie is about someone who will try to kill hitler, with a bomb, and the bomb only injures him wthout killing him. During 2 hours, we know how exactly it will end up. The same would apply to any mass effect prequel: it would just be a filler, and no matter what we would do, it would always lead to the story and plot we all already know.

    That’s why I would like bioware to somehow revive Shepard, give him new powers, new weapons, new skill upgrades, etc, and make a story, for example, on a parallel dimension at the same time of mass effect 1-3 events, where many other races, planets, people, etc would be preparing themselves for the reapers invasion, with a totally different approach, tactics, ideas, etc. For example, it could be some hidden and distant galaxies/systems, where nobody ever went or heard about, a system that had been made slaves, by the reapers, many cycles ago like 200’000 years, and the reapers just had destroyed all the relays that would lead to these systems, and without those relays, those systems were hidden from all the other races. And somehow, Shepard would just hear about these distant systems and races that had existed, once, many many years ago, and would try to build a special relay, with the protheans help, and once these relay would be built, on mass effect 4, we could just continue the story, on mass effect 5 and 6, where Shepard and other races would be able to travel to these systems, and discover new races, new technologies, etc. And on mass effect 6, the other dimension would also be prepared. With the new relay, those races could come to our system, but reapers would also be able to go there and attack them.I think I could write the plot and story for ,mass effect 4-5-6, if I was asked to :) I love the universe so much, I would invent a 1000 hours plot, if needed.

    So, no, no prequel, please. It won’t make any sense.

    • Dude, I just came here to say you are awesome. But Bioware will probably f**k up somehow, so now I’m just left with the bitter taste of what could have been

  2. I wish that they would bring back Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 4. I find without him , Mass effect won’t be the same. How Xbox users feel if Master Chief wasn’t in Halo 4? or how would ps3 users feel if Kratos wasn’t in God of War: Ascension? Devil May Cry tried with Nero in the fourth game and it wasn’t DMC until you played as Dante I mean it was nice that Capcom tried to go in a different direction, but it didn’t have the same DMC feel without Dante as the main guy. I still feel that Mass Effect 3 still had a lot of steam to make Mass Effect 4,5, and even 6 with Shepard. Well whatever Bioware does with the Mass Effect franchise I just hope the magic of the first 3 games will be carried on to the 4 game, with or without Commander Shepard as the main guy/gal

    • Ivattthestannier

      Shepherd – the little kid at the end asks his grandfather for ‘another tale of the shepherd ‘ which the old guy says ‘ok’

      Plus the breath at the end.

      Shepherd was in the rumble of part of the citadel at the end, not London ( I don’t know why people thought London ) and besides the guy died and got rebuilt anyway in me2. He will be back, I reckon he might even be the lead again.

  3. Ivattthestannier

    Bio ware left a massive clue about shep, read my reply to Albert below if ya interested as too why shep will def be in me4 or 5

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