BioWare’s Mass Effect is, hands down, my favorite video game series of all time. Even with the controversial ending, it’s as if BioWare hacked into my brain, Inception-style, and designed a series specifically targeted at my joy centers. And it’s not just that I love the stories or the characters, the Mass Effect universe itself is one of my favorite fictional realities. As such, I love to see what sort of creations it inspires in talented and like-minded fans. And this art by a dude named Andrew Ryan is so damn good BioWare really ought to hire him.
In fact, Ryan’s work was actually featured on BioWare’s blog a while back. He explained how his love for Mass Effect inspired him to get back into drawing and set him the path to the School of Visual Arts in New York City. During his senior year, he began using Mass Effect as an excuse to practice his skills. Initially, unhappy with the ending(s) of Mass Effect 3, he began creating representations of his own ideal endings for the game: Garrus and Tali exploring Rannoch; Wrex, Eve, and Grunt leading the Krogan into a new age; or Kaidan returning to the wreckage of the Citadel to search for Shepard.
Where things get really fun is when Ryan begins using BioWare’s worlds as a launching pad for his own new creations. Mass Effect 3 introduced a ton of new enemies in the form of Reaper-upgraded husk versions of the game’s various species, so Ryan applied that same idea to some of the other races we didn’t see getting the Reaper treatment in-game, such as the hanar, volus, and drell. They’re pretty badass, if you ask me.
My personal favorite idea of Ryan’s, however, is his dual Mass Age/Dragon Age works, which drop characters from Mass Effect into the swords-and-sorcery world of BioWare’s Dragon Age, and vice versa. Which gives you the image up top, the crew of the Normandy as filtered through the brain of George R.R. Martin or J.R.R. Tolkien. (Bonus points for the brilliant idea of turning the Normandy itself into a dragon.)
That same sort of thinking is applied in several cases where a direct 1:1 translation of characters doesn’t work. No robots or A.I.s in the Dragon Age world? No problem, now EDI and Legion are golems.
Honestly, I just love this guy’s work. If BioWare’s listening, I would totally pay for a DLC pack of Mass Effect-ed Morrigan and Isabella.
BioWare’s next Dragon Age game, Inquisition is due out in the fall. A new next-gen Mass Effect game is also in the works, but details are scarce. Hopefully more will be revealed at E3. You can see more of Ryan’s work on his DeviantArt page.