Mass Effect 2
is a great gaming experience. It pretty much defines being put down in the strict box of just one genre, it develops a nice cluster of human stories to tell and offers a good overall narrative ark that takes the story of the trilogy forward. And BioWare is also promising more downloadable content to keep fans occupied until Mass Effect 2, which might arrive as soon as the first quarter of 2011.
And with Mass Effect 3
set to be the last fame in the current series in this universe, which BioWare will then probably return to, it's interesting to speculate on what the developers will be offering to close down the franchise. What we clearly know is that the Reapers are now coming in full force after the setbacks they suffered in the first two titles and humanity will likely be on the front lines in the all-out battle that is to come.
And my guess is that BioWare might be setting up the third game to be something along the lines of Dragon Age: Origins or Neverwinter Nights in terms of underlying structure. After all, there is no way a whole fleet of Reapers will be defeated as easily as Saren and Sovereign went down in the first game or as the Collectors and their proto Reaper went down in the second. That probably means that in Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard will need to recruit a host of allies, each complete with a character for the party, in order to stand up for the galaxy.
There are some very clear targets: the Geth, which are either unified as a race or diminished in power but can provide some serious firepower; the Rachni, the insect-like singing species that could have been taken out in Mass Effect 1; the Krogan, which could get a cure for the genophage in order to be persuaded to help; the Humans, now possessing the technology from the Collectorts; the Asari, the Salarians and the Turians, as the main Council races; the Quarians could also be brought in, with their huge fleet, and maybe even the Volus and the Elcor could play a role.
It would be a truly epic quest as long as BioWare allows for choices to actually drive away some of the possible races while also offering a relevant plot related directly and personally to Shepard and his role as humanity's best.