So when Mass Effect 3 was first announced, the guys at Bioware made it a point to mention that, if your Shepard died in the Suicide Mission in Mass Effect 2, you wouldn't be able to import your save. "This is a continuation of Shepard's story" and yadayadayada, bottom-line is that it makes sense why you wouldn't be able to import that save because it would be a major league plothole.

But, thinking about everything that happened in Mass Effect 3, you tend to get the impression that, if that really happened in Mass Effect 2, if Shepard really did die, the galaxy is screwed and doomed.

Or would it?

My title is a reference to the recent DeadRising 2: Off The Record, the reimagining of DeadRising 2 with the original zombie-slayer Frank West set as the protagonist, instead of Motocross champ and survivor Chuck Greene. It was a fresh and bold concept, and from what I've seen and heard, it worked out very well, almost better than the original depending on who you talk to.

What if the same thing happened to Mass Effect 3?

Now, I'm not saying I'd WANT this to happen or that it ever would happen, this is just a though-provoking question that I had when reviewing the events that took place in Mass Effect 3. Frankly, I don’t have anyone to discuss this with, so this is me reaching out for intelligent discussion.

So, for starters:

Shepard gave his/her life to defeat the Collectors, the 103rd Marines Division was decimated in the Alpha Relay Incident, and now the Reapers have finally arrived. Who would step up to fill Shepard’s shoes and lead the galaxy to either victory or doom? (Most likely doom, since Shepard was such a superhero.) Would we have played as a pre-existing character/bad*ss already established in the Mass Effect Universe or create a whole new character with a benevolent surname similar to “the Shepard?” Or would we be controlling the actions of several characters, instead of just one?

Since all of Shepard's "dirty dozen" would have to die in order for him/her to fall to his/her doom, an obvious con (speaking for myself) would be the lack of Garrus or Tali in whatever team you assemble. But because they were spared the chaos of the Collector Base Assault, Lt. Commander Williams/Major Alenko, Liara and Lieutenant Vega would most likely make it back as squaddies.

I imagine that some, if not most of the storyline would be condensed to one similar in the “New Game, Numerous Deaths” option, again, because of the upturned suicide mission. You wouldn’t be able to establish peace between the Quarians and Geth and would have to choose between them, or could you? Would Joker, EDI and the Normandy abandon Cerberus and return to the Alliance? Would Anderson still lead the resistance on Earth? Would the Synthesis (Green) Ending still be available, since it was only an option because Shepard was partways cyborg? What would take its place, or would we be confined to Red Versus Blue? WOULD anyone other than Shepard be able to make it that far?

I admit, this concept would be interesting, but I don’t think I’d ever buy it for anything more than twenty dollars, thirty if I'm bored. A lot of the major plots would remain, but what could be added to freshen it up and make it feel like the new PC’s own chapter in the Mass Effect arc? If something like this came out, would you buy it?

Thoughts? Additions? Rejections (SO BE IT!)? Sonnets to toast?