Giving Mass Effect 3 a rousing finale is more important than paving the ground for Mass Effect 4, according to creative director Casey Hudson, though BioWare does have "a few ideas" for future Mass Effect titles already.
"I think with each game we throw forward a few threads, so we know where we're going, we have lifelines to hang onto," Hudson told OXM during a preview event you'll read about in issue 81. "But with everything else we went right ahead and made things difficult for ourselves! And even more so for this.
"We want to end the trilogy really strongly, and that's the most important thing, and then we have a few ideas for things we can think about doing in the future. But we're okay with making it difficult for ourselves, because the most important thing is giving people a great ending.
"We want to do more stuff with Mass Effect, of course, and I'm sure we will," he added later. "But we're not really thinking about that right now. We want to make sure we give people the best ending to Mass Effect 3 that we can."
"And we have an idea of how to do that - let people have the maximum impact and the maximum fun with this playground. We've always envisaged this as three really good games, and this one is the story of all-out galactic war."
Mass Effect 3 sees Shepard defending Earth and the galaxy at large against Reaper invasion, trekking out to other worlds in search of aid. Besides stuffing it to Cerberus forces, Reaper husks and their giant sentient spacecraft overlords, you'll be able to decide the fates of entire races. Check out our first look for details.
The game also sports a multiplayer mode, Galaxy at War, in which players defend areas against AI assault to earn War Assets that can be used to unlock the best campaign endings. You aren't required to play online to see everything the story has to offer, however. Playable races include Krogans, Asari and Turians, and there's a multiplayer-exclusive unlocks tree.