BioWare has confirmed that, whatever the player does, the leading character of Commander Shepard will no longer appear in other video games even if the universe will be used for future products.
Michael Gamble, who is a community manager at BioWare and a producer working on Mass Effect 3, has told PC Gamer that, “After this, Commander Shepard’s story is complete,” and went on to answer “Correct” when asked point blank whether Shepard will be definitely excluded from other Mass Effect titles.
The developers working on Mass Effect 3 at BioWare have already said that players have the option to actually fail in the game and see the Reapers take over Earth while the other races stand by and do nothing.
Commander Shepard can also die during the game, but it's not clear whether he will be forced to make a heroic sacrifice at the end of the story or whether he will be allowed to live the rest of his life as one of the honored heroes of humanity.
BioWare is well known for creating interesting characters and then offering players a lot of choices linked to their development and their fates.
The company allowed players to kill Shepard in Mass Effect 2 and those who have kept their saves will probably be forced to use a whole new character for the final chapter of the trilogy.
The Mass Effect series is important because it was an entirely new intellectual property in the science fiction space that managed to quickly get a significant audience while mixing role-playing mechanics that have been traditionally associated with BioWare with a full-blown third-person shooter.
Mass Effect 3 is now slated for a March 2012 launch and gamers will be able to pick it up at the same time on the PC, the PlayStation 3 from Sony and the Xbox 360 from Microsoft.