Should Mass Effect 4 be a Prequel or a Sequel? BioWare Wants to Know

Lee Bradley

BioWare is canvassing for ideas in relation to Mass Effect 4.

Speaking on Twitter, executive producer Casey Hudson asked fans if they wanted the game to be a prequel or a sequel.

"Parsing through your thoughts on the next #ME game. Would you be more interested in a game that takes place before the trilogy, or after?", he wrote.

Hudson has a track record of reaching out to fans for their thoughts on the game. In November the exec producer revealed that BioWare was in the early stages of designing the sci-fi RPG and then quizzed Twitter for ideas.

"We're in early stages of designing a completely new Mass Effect game. What would you want to see in it?" he asked.

It’s all rather interesting when filtered through the events following the release of Mass Effect 3, when fan outrage pressured BioWare into fiddling with the ending to the trilogy.

In light of those events, which contributed to co-founders Greg Zeschuck and Ray Muzyka’s shock retirement, it seems BioWare is now more intent on making sure they give fans exactly what they want. But have they lost their nerve?

Or, alternatively, is Hudson just engaging the community with sweet little teases and I’m reading too much into it?

Probably the latter.

  • Prequel
  • Don't care, as long as you don't rush the game like ME3.
  • Mass Effect: C-Sec
  • Either, just aslong as the story is as immersive as the trilogy and has subtle nods towards past (if sequel) or future (if prequel) events. Perhaps a Garrus working at C-Sec or Shepard during his training? Whatever happens Bioware have done a great job so far so more Mass Effect can't be a bad thing surely?! :)
  • Prequel but no Shepherd. Perhaps the Turian/Human war?
  • Definitely prequel imo. The Mass Effect unverse is so rich there's any number of stories they could tell.
  • Prequel but as long as it's good I wouldn't mind either.
  • I'd definitely rather a prequel. First contact with some of the other species could be pretty interesting.
  • Prequel If Bioware do a sequel with humans, turians, asari and the like still kicking about, it would fly in the face of the ending I've chosen since the Extended Cut came out - Refusal. I also wouldn't mind too much if they just set it in, as Bucky O'Hare would tell us, another dimension, another time and place, a parallel universe was falling on it's face! I'll buy it regardless, but I'd rather it not be a continuation. That said, I do still want the asari and turians kicking about, so emmmm, I dunno what I want really. There isn't that much time between discovering the Mass Relays, First Contact War with the Turians and where Shep kicks ME off though. Enought for a few games though I suppose.
  • Grand Theft Hammerhead: Crescent Nebula
  • Well if they did a sequel then they'd really be screwing with people's choices... via having to force a canon ending to the trilogy.
  • I'd rather they do a Prequel. I might as well posts my thoughts from another site while I'm at it. "I'd rather they leave history alone, that and the First Contact War or the Relay 314 Incident, wasn't really a war lasting only around three months. Could be a good opener, but not a game. Perhaps a Dragon Age: Origins style opening for Humans and Turians. Which brings me to my idea, a proper open-world game set during the events of either Mass Effect 1 or 2. Leave the Reapers alone, a choice of playable races each with their own origin (like DA: Origins) and have you choices from ME1 and 2 have an affect on your world. It'll have to have alot of exploration with a Mako like vehicle, proper RPG character progression. Basically a Elder Scrolls/Fallout type game set in the ME universe. It also wouldn't have any multiplayer at all. That's a Mass Effect game done right for me."
  • At least if the community pick the whingers cant moan about it....after the me3 fiasco the last thing they need is another backlash from the angry nerd patrol. Id prefer a sequel...a prequel will be tainted by knowing what came after it....a sequel they can take in a totally new direction, a fight for survival in the new world or something.
  • I don't see how a sequel would fit. I'd rather prefer a prequel, or maybe a side story with other characters.
  • Either can be great if done right. Would love to see how the galaxy came to be and the origin of the races, council etc. Again the future could be nice to see how the galaxy recovered after the Reapers and what trials face them next.
  • a prequal would be good to cover all the wars we heard about during the games such as the krogan and rachni and turian compliftcs but a sequal would be good for showing what happened after the end of 3. To be honest either would make a good story just only problem with sequal is which ending will it follow.
  • I would have said a sequel, because it would be really interesting to know how everything plays out if Bioware could adapt well to the choices that were made, but most people here seem to be saying prequel. I suppose either would be fine, but it would need to be a well made game,and have links to the trilogy from either direction.
  • I'd rather they do a spin off game, like Halo wars, but thats not goingt o happen.
  • Prequal, could base it off Mass Effect Revelation with Saren and Anderson... great story... would make an interesting game imo.
  • Sequel, I want something new, not a copy paste adaptation where I know how its going to turn out. Prequels always feel like a money grab and usually end up sucking. I mean look at Halo reach vs 4.
  • No Mass Effect 4 would be alright.
  • Two words: Rachni Wars.
  • Prequel, but with tid-bits that players of the trilogy can appreciate. I'd like to see more RPG elements too, like a level tree and whatever, so you have to make certain choices early on to determine how your character ends up. To be honest though, haven't completed the second and haven't played the third at all (though own both). Will get right on that ;)
  • I don't care, as long as Casey Hudson is kept far away from the franchise.
  • Something set hundreds or thousands of years in the future would be pretty awesome i think :) choose your a different race apart from Human and battle a new evil, with Reapers (and AI Shepard) helping you out :)
  • Cannot be a sequel really, it would have to be some type of prequel. i hope they do a prequel as make a game better than ME1 but in the same still with the needs of gamers in mind like it was a decade ago! Either way, ME2 was a disappointment and ME3 was a lesson I should have learned after playing ME2, so I'm gonna really need some positive after play reviews before I'd buy it this time. (Once bitten, twice should have been shy, third time - I aint a friggin idiot!)
  • it shouldn't fucking be made.
  • I'd like to see a sequel... After Sheperd's death, I think it would be nice to see how civilization was torn apart, and how conflicts among the races started.
  • needs to not be a mass effect game
  • They shouldn't, and should wait several years before even thinking of this, let the ash's of ME3 rest, that was the final of it's trillogy, you do not immediately start on the next bit, you let it rest, let people want it more as time goes, then you begin to plan and ask. It would be a side story or prequel, a sequel wouldn't be as attractive, though there could be some interesting idea's to be used that Halo is already using in the book cannon. Why is it that lately every single game or movie seems to need direct sequels as soon as they can be made as soon as the last is over?
  • Sequel Obviously, who wouldn't want to know the aftermath of what happens?
  • Mass Effect: C-sec Pick your race.. junior detective on the citadel. La noire style through a riveting plot and conspiracy etc etc Open world exploration on a full sized citadel. (maybe just a ward) You could really flesh out the cultures and their interactions.. get some inter-species mocap in there. Plenty of choice integrated in investigations etc.
  • I don't mind, but I'd much rather it were left in their hands. After all fans are fans, we're here to admire their work not to direct it ourselves. If that were the case we'd all be developing games.
  • how about 'sea-shell'?
  • Definitely a sequel. Pretty much the same reason as #20 stated. In my opinion, prequels really work when there is a significant long history that is uncovered. The franchise has tons of avenues to explore as a sequel. I would be cool with a prequel if it was done a la Halo wars.
  • What about an interquel, set between two existing games, similar to Prince of Persia? If they're aiming at doing a new trilogy, then I would prefer a sequel story if it is possible in reasonable ways; absolutely forward we must go. Concluding to a prequel only tells that the story writers have given up their will to do more and only milk what they've got left. In a way a prequel would be interesting too but IMO they have so much more left to offer. -Sequel-
  • a prequel about how the alliance firs discovered the citadel n other alien races n shit
  • How about they stop milking the series and just make a new IP?
  • How about it just doesn't exist.
  • Sequel. i would like them to expand the universe without bs excuses on whe we didnt see it in the original trilogy (cough...Star Wars). With that said i would not mind a single game on the first contact war (Turian/Human war). LOL, i can see it now "mass effect wars" RTS.
  • Trying to salvage what's left of the franchise will only make it worse. Prequel or Sequel, either way it's going to be interesting. I'll have to stock up on popcorn when it happens.
  • Prequel! It would be nice to reveal Shepards Past before the events of Mass Effect 1
  • Don't! Just don't... please.
  • I don't know why everyone's bitchin about the idea of a sequel. The original Deus Ex and Invisible War retconned most player's decisions at the end of their respective prequels. Mortal Kombat series has fucking plenty of that shit too, as have a lot of other decision-based games. Hell, a lot of game series out there end up trippin up on continuity at some point or the other anyway. I rate they should do a prequel/sequel trilogy, where you play as your own custom character about a century after the events of ME3, and also play as his ancestor, who's been involved in one of the universe's pre-ME1 wars, helping uncover parts of a larger mystery, akin to what Grant Morrison did with Batman and Robin & Return of Bruce Wayne. If Bioware truly want to go in a different direction, this should be it. Although I suppose they'd probably get a bunch of fans moaning that they're going to have to play Assassin's Effect, but to hell with the fuckers! They caved into notoriously OTT fan demand once, doing it a second time's gonna fuck them up majorly in the long run. At the end of the day though, I think the most logical next step would be to take a break from story-driven Mass Effect games, and release a console MMORPG spin-off. As long as they regularly support it with story events, it'd have huge potential.
  • Sequel, but like the last line in ME3 have it be a "story" about someone else but have it be after ME3. It doesnt have to be right after it could be after people have rebuilt. Or just make a MMORPG and have it take place during the events of the first 3
  • could always go for an in-between. There is that two year gap that Shepard was dead in ME1 to 2. Twas a lot of comics and stuff to fill the gap, but I'd like to know what some of those characters actually went through, like Garrus becoming Archangel and trying to clean up Omega.
  • I say Sequel unless the prequel takes place at least 3000 years in the past. Way before Shepard.
  • Neither....Make it a mass effect wars game like halo wars :p
  • My vote goes for a sequel. Of course, they'll have to make an ending cannon if they choose a sequel, but I'm not that keen on prequels.
  • it would have to be a prequel because if you picked say.. the green ending the game wouldnt really be that interesting ... maybe if they use that bioware magic and take their time it might be a cool sequel... if it has tali and garrus in it.. even better! ok ill admit it i cant decide.. do both please
  • Took a lot longer than I expected for someone to say "milking the franchise" ... ....... OT: Prequel.
  • prequel: maybe go into the rachni wars and the krogan uprising / genophage beginnings
  • They could go into multiple prequels that have their own independent stories. They could do one game on the Rachni wars, with the Krogan and Turians. They already have the models from multiplayer to take on alien rolls. They could do another game of the first contact war, when humans first discover Turians and space travel. I say don't do another "trilogy". Do a bunch of independent stories in the universe. If doing a "trilogy", then do as after Mass Effect 3 events with a new character. What effect did the endings of Mass Effect 3 have on all of the races? How has the devastation of the reapers impacted the relationships between races?
  • IF it's a prequel, we need to get a Rachni squad member.
  • Sequel, the story before mass effect we all know especially if you read all codexs so their wouldnt be anything new. If they go even 30 years back the chance of biotics for humans are zilch and we would lose out on alien team mates. I like being about to use biotics (second time around, first is always a soldier class for me) and i like romancing liara on the ship and fighting with the other aliens. In the set universe there wasnt much cooperation between races unless they were mercanaries or organized crime. So unless the next game is Mercanaries 3: Rise of the Alliance or mass effect: Mafia i want to have my Asari romance, Vanguard to have fun with my second and beyond playthrough, and i want to enjoy something i dont already know about.
  • Would love to have a tilogy as the protheans. I think knowing that the reapers destroy them would make for an emotional and action packed game.
  • How about you release a real Mass Effect 3 first? After you throw off the shackles of EA first of course.
  • How about making an RPG this time eh? eh? Nah, course not...
  • How about this? Mass Effect 4 shouldn't even EXIST. It's a trilogy, leave it that way. We've all seen what happens when trilogies are messed with (see Indiana Jones if you need further proof.)
  • If you do make one make it a prequel where we are mister anderson or a sequel where your character can be any race that can hold a gun
  • Whatever it is, it should be an actual RPG.
  • It should be prequel called Mass Effect: Prequel with special edition that haves awesome ingame bonuses, and the edition should be called Mass Effect: Prequel - No crap ending edition. And it will cost 50$ more then normal edition, because you will actually get a normal ending while others will get it 6 months after the release lol!
  • sequel or prequel, shit is shit.
  • Definitely a prequel. With a return to actually being an rpg. @3 that would be great for ME's shooter styling. How about we have ME(r) & ME(s). ME(r) will be a return to the rpg style for a prequel & ME(s) will be Shooter style based around C-sec. Before anyone points out that the devs will never go for it, I would point out my awareness of the fact, and that I can still dream. :)
  • Prequel: First Contact War and/or the Krogan Rebellion/Rachni War
  • Hmmmm either way could be good if done properly. One thing is for sure, we need to be able to play as other races and characters from the other games. The co-op in ME3 was a sample of that now let's give these characters a voice and a story.
  • I would love another mass effect... Doesn't matter what it is. Make it a new story too or a continuation. Enjoyed all of them. Will be waiting.
  • How 'bout we move on and try something new?
  • how about Dragon Age 3 instead? Or hell! how about Jade Empire 2 before we think about kicking out another mass effect game?
  • Tell them to ask ray muzyka.
  • something that doesn't require online pass to get the top tier single player ending would be a good starting point, regardless of if the game jumps forwards or backwards in the timeline.
  • prequel: andersons story on becoming a specter only to be framed. sequel: like any other game new enemies.
  • I'd like to see a Prothean sequel. It'd keep it in the universe but they'd obviously be able to give it a very different feel, especially when you consider the all the different races that would have been alive at that time.
  • Prequel about when Andersson almost became a Spectre.
  • Definitely sequel. I've already read the codex, I want a new story.
  • a prequel would be cool, but we would likely know the outcome, so a completly new sequel say 10 or 20 years later i say
  • Mass Effect: Pimp of Omega spin off please=)
  • Man, do what you want and don't let any community dictate you anything
  • Pull a Gears of War: Judgment. Explain how Shepard became a War Hero, or whatever class you picked in Mass Effect 1.
  • Just make sure to show up in your sheep suit when you line up for your pre-orders... and practice "Baaaaaaaa" 'ing.
  • Personally, i'd rather not have another game. At least not with the title of "Mass Effect 4". I hope the title ends up being something like the new Gears of War game is titled. Mass Effect 4 makes me think a sequel with Shepard, even though it isn't. I hope I made sense there. I'm too tired to think straight. OT: Sequel. I've read so many ME3 ending theories that I wish one of them would be true, but a sequel would be needed for that to happen.
  • If they do a prequel I would like to see it set in cycle zero and focused in around the creation of the original reapers/synthetics that started the cycles of the mass genocide every 50,000 years. If a sequel, a new enemy should appear either from another galaxy or temporal/dimensional type deal and as for the main character, I say make it like ME3 MP and not just be limited to playing as a human alliance trained soldier. Standard ME style RPG or a MMO type deal would me sweet too, anyways there's my 2 cents. Cheers,
  • I really don't care to have something about the First Contact War, it would just seem kinda boring. Either a prequel as Javik or something set decades after 3.
  • It can be either, just as long as the story-telling is amazing and deep and that it ends in a good way. I think a sequel could be good depending on the amount of time that would have passed since the ending of ME3. A prequel... well, no First Contact War stuff, that would be stupid. I feel we already know everything/enough about it and it would be too boring. Personally, a ME3 sequel 'time to rebuild' story could be cool. Of course, all of this is assuming that it would be done right based on what fans want and not what EA wants.
  • I vouch neither, let's see a whole new story line. Maybe like a rogue blue suns agent or something.
  • Problem with the sequel, is that no matter what they do, it will alienate fans... Unless they plan to have 3 different versions of the game... because I choose destroy, and I don't want to play a ME sequel set in a Control or Synthesis ending. Prequel or parallel to the original events of the trilogy.
  • I would like a sequal because I would like to honestly "feel" that I made a difference after all. And would like see how all my old squadmates are (granted they are alive) And granted as long as Garrus and Liara can be allies that fight along with you, why not? Who else would be great to help your new character learn the ropes with them? If the ending would of been godlike. I would of wanted a prequel instead.
  • Either, but a sequel would be much more interesting for me. I hate prequels because you know the ending before you even buy the game. What's the point? Prequels do not sell as well as sequels.
  • I think if it is a prequel it should take place during the Promethean days of the Reaper War or play as Saren from before he meets Anderson to either the time he meets Sovereign or his death, there could be an alternative ending where he kills Shepard and his team. If it were a sequel it should feature a whole new cast but have bits of mentionings of Shepard. Maybe keep Liara but as an old woman and as the Shadow Broker and/or a member of the Council, that might be over doing it.
  • Prequel, First Contact War (Shangxi) might be cool.
  • Sequel. I hate it when they come out with games or movies and then go backwards in time. With the ending to mass effect 3 and the reapers still there. they need a sequel to finish it up and continue it. Not go backwards
  • I have been reading this entire forum. I don't care what you guys say. Casey Hudson is one of the greatest human beings ever born. He created the best game series of all time. And i am saddened that his fans are betraying him and his co-workers who resigned after you guys bashed them. This is one of the best series ever and should be continued. They shouldn't make the same mistake star wars did and make prequels. This series should continue, but it should be after mass effect 3. Which is one of the best games of all time.
  • @92 I am a huge Mass Effect fan and enjoy every Bioware game I've played (yes, including Dragon Age 2). But Casey Hudson stripped away the original ending written by the writer that made Mass Effect 1 the phenomenon it was and gave us the pile of crap and continuity errors that was the Mass Effect 3 ending. Face it, Casey Hudson is now detrimental to the success of our favorite game series. George Lucas (sort of) gave us Star Wars 4-6, but he also games us episodes 1-3.
  • Good point is prequel hunderts years before original trilogy.
  • sequel
  • i'd like a prequal kind of like a dragon age origins, or set during the prothien war with the reapers rather than a sequal, only because our actions and choices over the trilogy didnt make any kind of impact whatsoever, ok you can say if tali didnt survive 2 she wouldnt be in 3, i had samara's daughter survive the suicide mission only for her not to appear in 3, or anything really as long as its mass effect and not something just using the name
  • Personally I would rather have a sequel. They always turn out better than a prequel(Reach and Halo 4 for example). What happened after seems like a much more interesting topic than what happened before Mass Effect:3. All of that aside, I would love to see an expansion in the multiplayer department. The current multiplayer is outstanding, but a PvP section would make it even greater!
  • True fans would say neither. What are you going to do for a sequal? Be like Halo 4 and, uh oh there is a bigger threat in the galaxy...give me a break. Prequals never have a good feel to them. But Bioware is out to milk fans. I still say neither, leave the series alone.
  • 'in a galaxy 50,000 years ago' :-)
  • If they made a prequel then wouldn't that mean they'd have to return to the way things were in the first game like having guns that don't run on ammo but overheat and having options to upgrade your guns and armor with special qualities? I mean those things I liked a lot, but I think going backwards isn't doing the series any favors. We know what happened in the past and we know how it happened, when, where, and pretty much most of if not all the details. I think Mass Effect 4 is the proper choice but make it the same way 343 did Halo 4! Moving on to a new, unseen locales with a new threat to take on with some of the older threats (just not reapers or cereberus) popping up here and there. New weaponery, abilities, and characters. No more Shepard or previous squadies. Start the new trilogy with a new protagonist, maybe a villian who is fighting against the Alliance and the allied races? Or make it like KOTOR, Dragon Age, Jade Empire where you can be a hero or villian! It'd be much more hyped to play that sort of Mass Effect game.
  • Either one would be good. Prequel could star someone set in the early mass effect universe, such as during the brief war with the Turians or someone under your Shepard's command (because they said you'll want to keep your saved files). Or sequel, where you're a new alliance marine or N7 operative and you need to save the galaxy again from some crazy shit, and you can interact with characters from your previous saved files who lived from the first game, who have become legends for aiding Shepard and helped bring down the Reapers. Like in the future, since Liara is basically the only one to be guaranteed to be alive due to her long-living race, she could tell the story of your Shepard and what a boss he/she was
  • Well neither I suppose. I mean Mass Effect really is about reaper threat and the story of Shepard. With that out of the way a sequel would be Mass Effectless? We won (or lost?) already! And a prequel would be unnecessary if it didn't have the reaper threat and completely pointless because we all know what's going to happen on that matter. Souvereign all over, but with a different reaper? So I feel that could be a little to much did that done that. I say a spin off series would be better but avoid something like Mass Effect the old republic. And i feel human presence is necessary. And eventhough a spin off like Omega and the Turian war sounds great, how can that be as compelling as the original Mass Effect. Where is the surpice? How big can it be? The developers realy have a huge job to do if they want this to work. The chances of failing are very big.
  • Anyway here's a thought: This game was once an rpg. Now it looks like a shooter. I hope Mass Effect 4 won't turn out to be just a shooter. I can't help but see the slight change. ME1=rpg with shooter elements, ME2=rpg with more shooter elements, ME3=rpg with a lot more shooter elements. So ME4=shooter with rpg elements? That would be a shame to me.
  • I'd much prefer a prequel , then they could use rachni , batarians , krogans and a lot more other cool species as staple enemies which i thought was lacking from previous mass effect games theres a lot of different ways they could take the mass effect series whether they make a prequel or sequel. My only negative thought on a sequel is about Bioware having to select a cannon ending
  • I'd prefer a prequel. One that resulted in the "awakening" of Sovereign as an unknown side-effect. They could outline how Benezia and Saren came to be contemporaries; I suppose they could even make them, and perhaps a Salarian, your squad.
  • Neither a two part story combining the both of them.
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