Google+

Everything you need to know about Mass Effect

Though Mass Effect's interspecies lesbian sex scene will forever be emblazoned in the sensationalist headlines of 2007, the game was much more than sizzling blue vice. If you're new to the franchise, or just can't remember all the details about your snap decisions and their far-reaching consequences, this guide will bottom-line it for you. Our goal is not to be completist, but to make you conversant enough to enjoy the sequel. Up first are brief synopses of the races you encounter in Mass Effect, along with notable characters from each.


Humans

Humans are relative newcomers on the galactic scene, having only recently discovered the technology for space travel and colonization. Upon the discovery of alien life, The Alliance was formed to defend human interests in space. Humans are considered inferior by the older races of the Council, who govern civilized space from a station called The Citadel. At the beginning of Mass Effect, humans are excluded from many political and military roles. Commander Shepard changes humanity's role in the Council over the course of the game, for better or worse.

Council race: Yes

Hated by: everybody, except possibly the Asari and Salarians

-Shepard (that's you!)

As the first human Spectre (essentially the Council's C.I.A.,) it fell to you to prove humans worthy of respect among the Council races. Shepard was given command of the Normandy and sent out to right the galaxy's many wrongs.

-Kaidan Alenko

Kaidan was Shepard's first recruit. He's an Alliance marine with biotic implants and a possible love interest, if you played a female Shepard. He will appear in Mass Effect 2 (if he survived).

-Ashley Williams

Ashley is an Alliance soldier who joined Shepard's team early on. She was a possible love interest if you played a male Shepard, and will appear in Mass Effect 2 (if she survived.)

-Captain David Anderson

Captain Anderson is one of most decorated humans in the Alliance military, and was the original captain of the Normandy. After the attack on the Citadel and the destruction of Sovereign, he took on a more political role.

-Jeff "Joker" Moreau

Joker is the wisecracking pilot of the Normandy.

-Donnel Udina

Udina is a self-serving bureuacrat struggling to raise humanity's profile in the political structure of The Citadel. He frequently chided Shepard for making humanity look bad in front of the Council, right up until Shepard saved the Citadel from the Reaper/Geth attack. 

-Cerberus

Cerberus is a rabidly pro-human splinter group that operates outside of Alliance jurisdiction. It is often accused of being a terrorist organization for its brutal "anything goes" tactics. Cerberus was the focus of several side-quests in the first Mass Effect, in which Shepard destroyed research stations where inhumane experiments were being carried out.


Asari

The Asari are a seductive, blue skinned race that have strong biotic powers and a lifespan of over 1,000 years. All Asari are female, and are capable of mating and reproducing with either gender of any race. They are generally a peaceful and diplomatic people, though Asari Commandos are renowned for their ferocity.

Council race: Yes

Hated by: nobody - you've seen them dance, right?

-Liara T'Soni

Liara was an archaeologist who spent most of her life studying the Protheans until the Geth attacked her dig site looking for info on the Reapers. Shepard rescued her and persuaded her to join the crew of the Normandy. Liara was a possible love interest for either gender of Shepard, and appears in Mass Effect 2.

-Matriarch Benezia

Matriarch Benezia was Liara's mother, and was a highly regarded spiritual leader among the Asari until she was mentally enslaved by the Reaper Sovereign and forced to become Saren's second in command. Shepard had to kill her after she couldn't break free of Sovereign's mind control.

24 comments

  • Just96 - January 28, 2010 11:01 p.m.

    @allthegoodnamesweretaken: nice screen name (:
  • boyverygood011 - January 27, 2010 3:53 p.m.

    Welcome to our website: http://www.wellbbiz.com The website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prada,adidas, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short time. free shipping competitive price any size available We do wholesale and retail! All are extremely CHEAP, please visit: http://www.wellbbiz.com Thank you for your visit
  • boyverygood011 - January 27, 2010 3:33 p.m.

    Welcome to our website: http://www.wellbbiz.com The website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prada,adidas, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short time. free shipping competitive price any size available We do wholesale and retail! All are extremely CHEAP, please visit: http://www.wellbbiz.com Thank you for your visit
  • Smeggs - January 26, 2010 4:24 a.m.

    LOL The human picture looks exactly like Hammond from Dead Space! Like practically a photo-copy of his face!
  • StefanGrey - January 26, 2010 4:20 a.m.

    @farsided I think the goal was to hit the major races in the story and not the minor side races. I doubt that how you helped the Hanar deal with the guy hassling him in the citadel will impact ME2 (though that would be kinda cool). I just want to see if the crazed fan is back, and what options you have with teh reporter chick (I know she's back b/c they showed her in the preview on SyFy)
  • farsided - January 25, 2010 10:50 p.m.

    wow...way to leave out a ton of races. Batarians, Hanar, Elcor, Volus...
  • chrisda - January 25, 2010 3:39 a.m.

    All of the possible paths through this trilogy is going make my head hurt, It's going to be almost impossible to go through them all
  • GoldenMe - January 24, 2010 8:50 p.m.

    I just want Tali back. And she is. Which is great. She was about the only one that I could remotely care about.
  • Xplosive59 - January 24, 2010 3:30 p.m.

    its awesome that they are using save data from the original game to continue the story from where it left off, this could be an evolution in gaming! you forgot small but awesome races such as the Hanar which were usually merchants but im guessing you left them out for not being important. The only team member i lost was ashley so i will still be able to use my team of wrex and garrus in the next game, also i heard that there are more people and races you can recruit in the next game so that will be quite cool, i would love to have a hanar on my team
  • waynski1457 - January 24, 2010 3:03 a.m.

    @everyone: It does relate to the Thorian though because it turned people into forms of Husks called Thorian Creepers. Granted, they didn't do that electrical discharge, but they were basically the same thing.
  • patri0t - January 23, 2010 9:49 p.m.

    @cwf2008 it doesnt matter they explain the story characters, and whats goin on right at the beginning of ME2, or so i've been told lol
  • lovinmyps3 - January 23, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    Couldn't care about Wrex, it's cool that Liara is back but mostly I'm excited about Tali returning!! She was my favorite crew member!! Well, her and Garrus.
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - January 23, 2010 7:07 a.m.

    HAH I don't need to worry U finished it 7 times =)
  • Cwf2008 - January 23, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    Hmm what about if you never played Mass Effect 1 though and want to buy Mass Effect 2?
  • Doctalen - January 23, 2010 4:12 a.m.

    I know you guys have been getting some shit about the picture of the Prothean but honestly that isn't fair. Just because the Protheans are humanoid doesn't make them human or Husk. It is like comparing a chimp and a person just because they are similar doesn't make them the same. Now having maybe two or three images of Protheans does not help at all, but there were several statues at Illos. Though they may be old it is still better then nothing.
  • Yeager1122 - January 23, 2010 3:24 a.m.

    OMG it's so close i have been eagerly awaiting this game for like a year or more it better absolutely blow my mind.
  • JohnnyMaverik - January 23, 2010 2:14 a.m.

    Do the elcor and hanar really hate? I'm not sure myself. As for the Quarians, do they really have the time to hate? Other than their understandable hatred of the Geth. Just throwing that out there.
  • AnonymouZ - January 23, 2010 1:37 a.m.

    lul winston, that's called bad luck. as for the prothean pic... even if it was meant for the thorian, it doesn't fit either. but you gotta admit, the husks, look a lot like them statues in... what's that place. idk about getting the second one. i've only finished the game 3 times, and none of them had the "save the council ending". but other than that... goddamn... i gotta finish my other steam games before this one drops... x(((
  • w1n5t0n - January 23, 2010 1:13 a.m.

    I don't know whether to buy this game or not. I played the first one and loved it, but i bought the "Bring Down the Sky" DLC and then before i could play it i started getting "disk unreadable" at the start screen. The disk was perfect so i paid to have the laser that reads discs cleaned... got my xbox back and still "disk unreadable" i went out and bought another brand new game because the price had dropped to $20, still got disk unreadable...
  • waynski1457 - January 23, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    @Samael I think the picture of the Husk was supposed to go with the Thorian. Anyway, great article! Thanks for pointing out just how some things will play out in 2 without major spoilers for it.

Showing 1-20 of 24 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000

OR…

Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.