There are many reasons why BioWare’s Mass Effect stands as my favorite game series of all time, but one huge element comes down to the rich, dense fictional universe where it all unfolds. While it’s only been around for a fraction of the time, the Mass Effect universe is as well conceived and packed with storytelling potential as the worlds of Star Trek and Star Wars. I recently ran across a very cool competition hosted by CGHub about a year back, which challenged fans to put their 3D modeling skills to the test and design original characters who would fit right into BioWare’s future of Spectres, Reapers, and of course the lovable Volus.
It’s amazing how much talent and passion fans will inevitably direct toward their favorite fictional realities, and here’s hoping some of these folks get to use those talents for more than just amateur projects. Some of the entries were members of the game’s officially known alien races — the asari, the krogan, the turians, and so on — while others were new alien creatures. These are particularly interesting, since the challenge is to design something that is both visually interesting and which “fits” within the look and feel of the Mass Effect universe. You can poke around the forums to see all the submissions, but I’m highlighting a few of my favorites below.
Mass Effect is set in the 22nd century, after the discovery of technology created by the ancient and extinct Prothean race has gifted mankind with the ability to expand beyond our own solar system…and into the galactic community at large. The trilogy follows the adventures of Commander Shepard, the first human Spectre (think part Jedi, part James Bond) as he — or she — investigates ancient mysteries that suggest all life in the galaxy is about to face off against a threat most dismiss as simple myths or hearsay. The core trilogy was completed with 2012’s Mass Effect 3. BioWare is known to have a team working on the next — and next-gen — installment in the franchise, but no official details have been released or confirmed.