I see the EDI/FemShep discussion and I just want to whisper: “EDI/Miranda.”
Because they can both consider themselves built by Cerberus, made to be perfect and adaptable. Without mothers, created by men who wanted to use them as tools, who both broke away from the organization that made them who they are, who found a new identity in the middle of the worst war the galaxy has ever seen.
Who carry bodies that receive constant commentary (from the game and fandom itself), the sexualized gaze, the reminder that there’s no children in either of their future, the realization that they were made to outlast others, who discovered a new family on this platform called a ship despite so many things going wrong.
Just give me aliens, not a Synthesis space-future.
In my perfect world, the next Mass Effect game would be a prequel set during the Krogan Rebellions. The ‘male’ and ‘female’ main character choices would be between a salarian and an asari, since they’re the two species who made up the original Spectres. You would be playing the very first Spectre - it would be badass.
There would be actual exploration of alien culture and we’d get to see Tuchanka before the genophage and first contact with the turians and an extremely brutal war that brought together the STG and asari commandos into a scary black ops organization that were given full freedom by the two Councilors. The Rachni invasion would still be a fresh injury to the galaxy and quarians wouldn’t be in their suits.
Paragon and Renegade could still exist, despite the given outcome. The Rebellions were a conflict where asari set up entire asteroid belts with explosives and salarian viruses took out the krogan extranet and knocked out all contact, but that doesn’t mean all of the first Spectres were monsters (or does it?).
It could be a game that actually explores a lot of shades of grey too, because who exactly is right? Despite the fact that it was the salarians that raised up the krogan, asari colonies were the ones being invaded, their soldiers taken as prisoners of war. The krogan dropped WMDs on the turians as their opening offense. Then the salarians bioengineered a plague to sterilize the krogan race to almost a stopping point. No one comes out shining; there’s no hero.
Also, there could be a teenage Wrex cameo, because his krogan ass is actually that old.