Mass Effect series
Group DescriptionMass Effect is a series of science fiction games developed by BioWare. The games merge role-playing game mechanics with squad-based third-person shooter combat. Mass Effect games are set in the same futuristic universe, and are united by an overarching storyline and a common protagonist, the human Commander Shepard.
Setting and StoryMass Effect games are set in the end of the 22nd century. A discovery of a cache of technology on Mars, supposedly built by an advanced but long-extinct race called the Protheans, allowed the humans to travel beyond the limits of the solar system, establish colonies in space, and encounter alien civilizations within the galaxy. Many of these have been accustomed to space travel longer than the humans, utilizing artifacts known as Mass Relays to travel instantly across vast stretches. The most advanced races established a conglomerate body of governments known as the Citadel Council; other races (including humans) are represented by ambassadors sent there. The overarching story of Mass Effect games involves a new threat to the galaxy: a race of ancient non-organic predators known as Reapers, whose goal is to exterminate all organic life.
The universe of Mass Effect is populated by many alien species, each with its own culture, history, and peculiarities. The three that occupy permanent seats in the Citadel Council are the unisexual asari, who resemble blue-skinned human females; salarians, distinguished by their fast metabolism and short life cycles; and the fierce, honor-bound turians with raptor-like faces. Other alien species seen in the games include the environmentally suited humanoid quarians; the reptilian krogans, often engaged as mercenaries; the methodical, monotonous-voiced and quadrupedal elcor, and many others.
GameplayIn Mass Effect games, the player takes the role of Commander Shepard, whose gender, appearance, and abilities are customized by the player. There are six character classes in the games, distinguished by their proficiency in firearms, tech abilities (sabotaging enemy defenses) and biotic powers, which are similar to magic in other games. Experience points are awarded for defeating enemies and completing quests. When a character levels up, the player can invest accumulated talent points to develop his/her skills (mostly combat-related) and passive abilities.
Combat implements cover-based third-person tactical shooter mechanics, similar to Gears of War. The player directly controls only Commander Shepard, but can position his/her two companions simultaneously, and pause the action to issue more specific commands to them.
The player will be presented with choices during the course of the games, many of which would influence subsequent events. The morality system in the games allows the player to tend either towards the values of the law-abiding, honorable Paragon, or the rebellious, self-centered Renegade. Relationships with companions play an important role in the games; the protagonist can also become romantically involved with a companion, provided the player has chosen the right actions.
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Front cover for Mass Effect 3: From Ashes
Front cover for Mass Effect 3 (N7 Collector's Edition)
Front cover for Mass Effect 3
Front cover for Mass Effect 3: Groundside Resistance Pack
Screenshot from Mass Effect 3: From Ashes
Screenshot from Mass Effect 3 (N7 Collector's Edition)
Screenshot from Mass Effect 3
Screenshot from Mass Effect 3: Groundside Resistance Pack