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Casey Hudson, Drew Karpyshyn, and Preston Watamaniuk created the science fiction media franchise Mass Effect. The film series shows an alternate reality in which humans and many alien civilizations have invaded the Milky Way galaxy utilizing technology that was apparently left behind by a more evolved civilisation.
The franchise began with a series of video games published by Electronic Arts and developed by BioWare. The game is a third-person shooter with role-playing aspects in each iteration. The first three games are part of a trilogy in which the player character, Commander Shepard, tries to preserve the galaxy from the Reapers, an ancient species of sleeping robots. Mass Effect (2007), the series’ first video game, follows Shepard as he investigates one of the Reapers’ operatives, Saren Arterius. Mass Effect 2 (2010) picks up two years later, with Shepard’s troops facing off against the Collectors, an extraterrestrial civilization that kidnaps human settlements in order to enable the Reapers’ return. Mass Effect 3 (2012), the last installment of the original trilogy, portrays a conflict between the Reapers and the rest of the galaxy. Mass Effect: Andromeda (2017), the fourth game, features a fresh scenario and cast of characters, and a fifth is now in production.
The first trilogy was a commercial triumph as well as a critical success. The game’s narrative, characters, voice acting, world building, and emphasis on player choice were all praised by critics. Mass Effect 3’s ending was widely panned as an unsatisfactory conclusion to the trilogy, prompting Electronic Arts to release an expanded cut with additional cutscenes. The reviews for Mass Effect: Andromeda were divided. The game’s aesthetics and fighting were praised, but its technical difficulties and narrative were panned.
The show has drawn a lot of attention and criticism because of how it portrays same-sex couples and sexual minorities. It also popularized the dialogue wheel, a feature akin to dialogue trees that allows players to dynamically guide dialogues by picking from a list of predefined options. The video game series’ success created a larger universe, which included novels and comic books.
The original Mass Effect trilogy takes set at the end of the 22nd century in a fictitious depiction of the Milky Way. Humanity found an extraterrestrial colony on Mars in 2148, and discovered that Charon is an alien device known as a “mass relay,” which allows faster-than-light travel to other mass relays around the cosmos. Humanity interacts with a variety of different space-faring extraterrestrial species, some of which are far more evolved than humans. The Initial Contact War ensued after mankind’s first contact, but the Council, the galaxy’s ruling body, intervened to bring peace and welcome humanity. The asari, a peaceful monogendered race resembling blue-skinned human women; the salarians, an amphibious species with considerable technological and intellectual prowess; and the turians, a heavily militaristic race of raptor-like humanoids who fought humanity in the First Contact War, are among the main species humanity encounters. The Citadel, another relic and a vast space station built by a race known as the Protheans thought to be the progenitor race for all species but long since vanished, lies at the heart of the Council’s controlling authority. Humanity is given access to new technology over the following few decades, allowing them to inhabit other worlds, and they are assigned to the Citadel Security (C-Sec) forces, a highly esteemed post that other species have long resented. Several more inter-species conflicts exist at the start of the game, the result of previous wars and conflicts.
Commander Shepard (whose gender and personality are decided by the player) is a prominent Special Forces soldier in Earth’s Systems Alliance space army, the Systems Alliance Navy, in the first three games. After an unknown spaceship attacks an Earth colony after it finds a new Prothean relic, the Council appoints Shepard as its first human SPECTRE (SPECial Tactics and REconnaissance), an elite agent with associated authority and impunity, to investigate the event. When Shepard comes into contact with the artifact, he sees conflict and death all around the galaxy. Shepard discovers that the strange craft is one of thousands of artificial lifeforms known as Reapers, and that every fifty thousand years, the Reapers scour the Milky Way and eliminate all higher forms of life, leaving the younger species to advance and thrive until the next cycle, in order to avoid constant war and chaos, which the Protheans had left behind along with their artifacts. The arrival of the Reapers in this cycle is being exploited by a number of forces, including the Illusive Man’s Cerberus terrorist group, which believes it can control and use the Reapers for humanity’s good. Shepard and his friends learn that the Citadel is crucial to halting the Reapers’ cycle and determining the galaxy’s fate.