Commander Shepard saved the galaxy from the Reapers at great expense in the conclusion of the venerated Mass Effect series, but with the way BioWare left the ending open, where can it possibly go in the future?

Whatever story it tells, it will no longer relate to its original protagonist, as confirmed by writer Mac Walters.

"Well, I can't get into details, but the idea is that we have agreed to tell a story that doesn't relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all, whatsoever," Walters said in an interview with Complex. "That's what we've been deciding for a while. But throughout it all, one of the key things is that it has to be Mass Effect. It can't just feel like a spin-off. It has to feel like a Mass Effect game at its heart, at its core. Just without the Shepard character or the Shepard specific companions."

Throughout its run, Mass Effect told the grand tale of a galaxy on the verge of war and destruction, but the connection from game to game was the player's will imbedded through Commander Shepard. To remain a true Mass Effect game, a customized avatar will obviously be needed, and I doubt BioWare will be overlooking this fact.

I would much rather avoid another generation of FemShep debates again, so please keep it civil, Internet.

Beyond Shepard, how else can BioWare possibly move forward? The series had four varying endings, each with huge repercussions that could affect the entire universe in any sequels or spinoffs. Should BioWare attempt some form of continuation, or should it just start totally from scratch with a new conflict?

If anything, BioWare should take its time in creating a brand new and engaging series. Mass Effect was a highlight of this past console cycle, and enough time needs to pass before we take to the stars again so as not to feel exhausted by the wild sci-fi ride. Development is currently underway at BioWare Montreal using the Frostbite 3 engine to power its graphics for next-gen consoles and PCs.

Take your time, folks. Please!