BioWare has confirmed that Shepard will return to the Citadel in Mass Effect 3, and revealed that you'll be able to tackle Citadel missions originally slated to appear in Mass Effect 2.
A cherished Mass Effect 1 environment, the Citadel was accessible to a very limited degree in the sequel. According to Mass Effect 3's lead writer Mac Walters, BioWare considered adding more Citadel quests but decided against it. Mass Effect 3 will revive at least one of those lost plot threads.
"There was a Mass Effect 2 plot that was a kind of callback to the first Mass Effect that was going to be on the Citadel, and we cut it. But now it's made a resurrection in Mass Effect 3, so I'm happy, but I can't say what it is. That's the nice thing about trilogies, sometimes you get a second chance."
Mass Effect 2's premise and possible endings were a headache to write around, Walters admitted, particularly given the need to prepare the ground for a threequel.
I don't think I'd call it 'trapped'," he explained, when asked how he felt about having to accommodate several possible player decisions at key plot junctures. "They're more hurdles. Sometimes they're hurdles that we've given ourselves, so we kind of smack ourselves in the head and say 'What the hell were we thinking? Why did we do that?'
The classic example is 'Hey, let's make the ending of Mass Effect 2 a suicide mission where all your henchmen can possibly die, and Shepard can even die!' Oh right... and then we're gonna do another game after that. What the hell are we gonna do with all those guys?"
With three Mass Effects under his belt, Walters is ready for a change of scene. "I definitely have some writers who want to try something else, to move on. For me, personally, it'll be over seven years of Mass Effect - I have a soft spot for the universe, but it's easy to get a little weary.
"But I'd be much more sad if someone said "yeah, you can never do anything Mass Effect ever again," and no one's ever said that to me specifically. I'd rather take a break, then come back to revel in it again and enjoy it."
Read our last Mass Effect 3 preview for info on the game's Galaxy at War co-op component. And pick up a copy of OXM 80, even now riding a Mass Relay route to subscribers, for more from Edwards. It's on shelves tomorrow, 30th November.