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Official Site: Bioware
Mass Effect is a military science fiction media franchise created by Preston Watamaniuk, Drew Karpyshyn and Casey Hudson and owned by Electronic Arts. It is based on the third-person role-playing shooter video game series developed by BioWare (which EA acquired shortly after the release of the first game) and released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows, with the third installment also released on the Wii U. The fourth game was released on Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in March 2017.
The original trilogy largely revolves around a space navy soldier named Commander Shepard, whose mission is to save the galaxy from a race of powerful mechanical beings known as the Reapers and their agents, including the first game's antagonist Saren Arterius. The first game, released in 2007, sees Shepard investigating Saren, whom Shepard slowly comes to understand is operating under the guidance of Sovereign, a Reaper left behind in the Milky Way 50,000 years before, when the Reapers exterminated all sentient organic life determined to have met or exceeded a threshold of technological advancement in the galaxy as part of a recurrent cycle of genocide for an unknown purpose. Sovereign's purpose is to trigger the imminent return of the Reaper fleet hibernating in extra-galactic dark space, restarting the process of extermination. The second game takes place two years later and sees Shepard battling the Collectors, an alien race abducting entire human colonies in a scheme to aid the Reapers' return to the Milky Way. The final game of Shepard's trilogy centres on the war being waged against the Reapers. The fourth installment takes place in the Andromeda Galaxy and features a new cast of characters.
The original trilogy was all met with commercial success as well as universal acclaim. The series is highly regarded for its narrative, character development, voice acting, the universe, and emphasis on player choice affecting the experience.
The Mass Effect original trilogy takes place in a fictional version of the Milky Way towards the end of the 22nd century. In 2148, humanity discovered an alien outpost on Mars, and learn that Charon is actually an alien artifact known as a "mass relay" that enables faster-than-light travel to other mass relays located across the galaxy. Humanity comes into contact with numerous other space-faring alien species, some far more advanced than humans. Humanity's first encounter resulted in the First Contact War, but the Council, a ruling body for the galaxy, intervened to achieve peace and welcomed humanity. Among the main species humanity meets include: the Asari, a race of monogendered beings closely resembling blue-skinned human women; the Salarians, an amphibious species with considerable technological prowess; and the Turians, a heavily militaristic race of raptor-like humanoids who fought humanity in the First Contact War. The center of the Council's governing power is the Citadel, an artifact that, like the mass relays, were made by a race known as the Protheans believed to be the progenitor race for all species but long since disappeared. Over the next few decades, humanity is given access to new technology, allowing them to colonize new planets, and they are made part of the Citadel Security (C-Sec) forces, a highly regarded position that other species had been long waiting for and take resentment over. Numerous other inter-species conflicts remain active at the time of the first game, results of past wars and conflicts.
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