Mass Effect invites players to take the role of Commander Shepard as they set out on an adventure to save the galaxy from imminent destruction. Wrought with treachery, heroism, difficult decisions and a universe filled with unique and colorful species, Mass Effect delivers a truly compelling storyline.
Mass Effect is set in the year 2183 AD. Thirty-five years prior, humanity discovered a cache of technology built by a technologically advanced but long-extinct race called the Protheans. Studying and adapting this technology, humankind has managed to break free of the solar system and has established numerous colonies and encountered various extraterrestrial species within the Milky Way galaxy. Utilizing alien artifacts known as \\\"Mass Relays\\\", the various space-faring species are able to travel at faster-than-light speeds.
The game takes place primarily in two locations: the frigate SSV Normandy, and the Citadel, a gigantic space station purportedly built by the Protheans and which currently acts as the center of galactic civilization. Throughout the game, however, the player may navigate the Normandy to various planets, moons and other destinations.
Within the game, humanity has formed the \\\"Human Systems Alliance\\\", one of many independent bodies that make up the collective of \\\"Citadel space\\\". Citadel space, as a whole, is ruled by a body of government known as the \\\"Council\\\", which is made up of the three prominent alien races: the asari, salarians, and turians.