The Mass Effect series is a series of sci-fi action role-playing video games developed by Canadian company BioWare and published by Microsoft Game Studios and Electronic Arts. The trilogy centers around a player-created character named Commander Shepard, and his/her mission to save the galaxy from a race of mechanical beings known as the Reapers.
All three games have been major successes, receiving critical acclaim for their storyline, characters, romances, voice acting, choices, tolerance of diversity, and the depth of the galaxy. Video game website GamesRadar called the franchise "a high-water mark for video games as a story-telling medium." The story is often cited for its cinematic nature and its emotional resonance, and has been compared to Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings.
Each game of the trilogy has been released for Xbox 360 and PC, with the second game also being released for PlayStation 3. The third and final game was also released for the Wii U.
The first game in the series was released on November 20, 2007 in the US and Canada, November 22 in Australia and New Zealand, and on November 23 in Europe for Xbox 360. The game was re-released in summer 2008 for the PC. The game revolves around Commander Shepard, who is the main protagonist, and his/her mission to stop the rogue 'spectre' Saren Arterius from leading an army of geth to conquer the galaxy. The game received acclamation from critics and casual gamers alike. GameInformer gave it a 9.75 out of 10, stating its "the next big franchise for science fiction junkies to latch onto" and "a huge step forward for video games." A limited edition of the game was available through pre order from retailers GameStop, Electronics Botique, Amazon.com, and Best Buy within the United States.
A sequel was released due to the major success of the original. It was released on January 26, 2010 in North America, and January 29 in Europe. The game is set two years after the events of Mass Effect. After human colonies are being attacked and their colonists disappearing without a trace, Commander Shepard, the game's main protagonist and player-controlled character, sets out on a 'suicide mission' to stop the Collectors, who are suspected as the attackers. The game was a critical and commerical success, receiving extremely positive reviews from video game publications, and selling more than two million copies within the first week of its release. It received many Game of the Year awards from review sites, including IGN, AIAS, BAFTA, and the Golden Joystick Awards.
A third and final game was released on March 6, 2012. The Reapers have returned in force, and have begun their purge of the galaxy. They have been attacking the human home world of Earth. The game's main protagonist, Commander Shepard, must race against time to rally the advanced races of the galaxy to make one final stand, not only to save Earth, but also to break a cycle that has continued for millions of years. The final installment to the trilogy was released to critical acclaim like the previous two games. GameInformer awarded it a perfect score of 10 out of 10, stating that "BioWare has delivered one of the most intricately crafted stories in the history of the medium." Mass Effect 3 shipped 3.5 million copies during the month of its release, and has grossed over $200 million. Tom Francis of PC Gamer US asserted that "...the end of the series is a mixed bag. Satisfying in some ways, nonsensical in others, and ultimately too simple. But the sheer scale of the adventure its ending - and the music, which is gorgeous throughout - gives it an emotional impact that goes beyond its plot payload."
The following are all the species of aliens that appear in the Mass Effect franchise.