[ Disclaimer, 01/11/2014, 15:02: The entirety of the article is speculation and is by no means an assertion of what the title of the next Mass Effect game could be. ]
[ Note, 01/11/2014, 14:37 GMT: This article’s title is not its original. ]
Needless to say, my title prediction for the next Mass Effect was inspired by a comment left on the previous article I wrote last week, the one about Halo 5 being in trouble because of its affiliation with the “ Halo ” name. The commenter themselves proposed the idea of parallel recognition, referencing how Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor parallels The Lord of the Rings without actually mentioning the franchise in the game’s title, which in turn connects the game to the same universe.
The Lord of the Rings franchise has been around for a good long while, so anything relating to the universe–Mordor, Gondor, The Hobbit , Rohan, Frodo, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas and so on–is immediately recognizable and related to the same universe, thanks to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, the movies, and the expanded lore behind the universe itself.
It’s been said repeatedly that the next Mass Effect won’t be called “ Mass Effect 4 ”, or even include “ Mass Effect ” in its title. We also know that, despite the title drop, the game will still be set within the Mass Effect universe, so the one of the only things that’s still ambiguous about the next Mass Effect is its title.
While Mass Effect does have lore behind its universe, the commenter expressed that they didn’t think there’s a recognizable thing within the lore that would identify the next Mass Effect game with the Mass Effect universe, which got me thinking: like how Mordor identifies Shadow of Mordor with The Lord of the Rings , could there actually be something within Mass Effect that the next game to the series could identify with?
Then, after a couple of minutes of thinking, it hit me: “ Element Zero ”.
Element Zero, or “eezo” as it’s referred to in-game, is a rare material that is used in a lot of the technology featured in Mass Effect , and the “ Mass Effect ” title itself also references the process of what Element Zero actually does, which increases or decreases the mass of all objects within a mass effect field depending on a negative of a positive charge.
Using Element Zero to create a mass effect field can generate artificial gravity, manufacture high-strength construction materials, and can even be used to accelerate starships to faster-than-light speeds, which is a big thing for spacefaring species. So, Element Zero is an extremely useful, versatile substance that’s granted the various civilizations within the Mass Effect universe to thrive and prosper.
Because Element Zero is such a big deal within Mass Effect , and considering “ Mass Effect ” itself refers refers to Element Zero, it seems to make sense–at least to me–that the next Mass Effect should be titled as “ Element Zero ”.
The story of the next Mass Effect could also revolve around Element Zero. Take this as an idea: as the substance is extremely rare yet frequently used among several, high energy-consuming societies, the next addition to the franchise could be about an increasing shortage of Element Zero, and frictions and conflicts, monopolies and power struggles could sprout as a result.
Or, alternatively, it could be used to relate to adepts and biotics, and how Element Zero is used to catalyse the presence of biotics in certain species in Mass Effect , like in humans.
Of course, BioWare have the final say on what the title of the next Mass Effect will be, but I feel that Element Zero is a likely candidate for distancing the next game from the original Mass Effect trilogy but still keeping it tied to the Mass Effect universe.
But what do think? Do you reckon the next Mass Effect will still be called “ Mass Effect ” regardless of what BioWare has said about naming it as such? Or do you think the game will be parallelled after something within the Mass Effect universe, like Element Zero? Let us know in the comments below!
[ Much thanks to the commenter who inspired me to write this article! Their identity will be omitted until requested otherwise–for identity protection reasons. ]