The mass effect the universe is vast, but what some might not realize is that the tradition doesn’t end with games. Comics, novels, and even an animated film all work in tandem to flesh out an incredibly complex universe far beyond the cumulative credits of the game series. With the Legendary Edition remaster on the way, there’s plenty to be excited about with franchise newcomers and loyal N7 fans, an excitement that can be further celebrated with the galaxy’s extended lore.
The Mass Effect games themselves are extended to an impressive degree with the comics published by Dark Horse, filling in those empty spaces between each release. With Mass Effect 2, fans watched in horror as their own Commander Shepard heroically sacrificed himself for the safety of their crew. After Shepard’s last breath, a period of two years passed before they were resurrected by Cerberus; a human terrorist organization that flew into depravity with its goals of putting humanity first. But how did Shepard’s body and life itself become Cerberus’ preoccupation? Mass Effect’s very first extended universe comic book is called Redemption and it follows Liara’s quest to get Shepard back and give them a second life for the good of the galaxy. It’s here that fans first meet Feron, the drell who betrayed her only to help her on her journey, a debt she later pays off in Mass Effect 2 with the Shadowbroker DLC.
Following the release of Redemption, eleven comics have been published to expand the massive universe that is Mass Effect. After exploring Jack Harper’s mercenary roots before transforming into the illusionary man and the head of Cerberus with Evolution, explore smaller stories like Aria’s first encounter with collectors; there are so many untold stories that the comics develop which makes the whole situation even bigger.
Mass Effect: Foundation is arguably one of my personal favorites due to its connection to the Citadel DLC from the third game. Foundation is made up of 13 parts with three volumes, each linked to the DLC while exploring the stories of even more teammates like Thane and a much younger Kaidan Alenko and the horrors he faced as a student at Jump Zero. The first volume also featured an interesting character to learn more about: Rasa. Rasa is a mysterious agent of the illusory man, a character we meet (and fight) later in the Citadel DLC. With that as a focal point, the series follows Agent Cerberus’ task to explore these events in the lives of Urdnot Wrex, Ashley Williams, Kaidan Alenko, and more to learn more about what made them who they were. are when we meet them in games.
There are also four novels in total exploring the trilogy, with three additional books further exploring the universe of Andromeda. In Mass Effect: Revelation, fans learn more about the developing relationship between David Anderson and Kahlee Sanders, which has been hinted at several times throughout the games, and how the Alliance Man came to hate the Turian Specter Saren, a character who acted as a villainous catalyst in Mass Effect 1.
Of Revelation, the books further explore the stories surrounding Cerberus, such as the biotic prodigy Gillian Grayson and their escape from the clutches of the organization, as well as Punishment and Deception which follow more stories about the growing influence of the illusory man.
Mass Effect Lost Paragon
With the Extended media Andromeda, the books themselves explain what happened to the Arches as the various races disastrously made their way to a new home, including what happened to the Quarians and learning more about Cora Harper and her past with Papa Ryder before the deployment. .
The games themselves are impressive with in-depth world-building and characters that feel like family. Extended Media takes what we love about the BioWare story and tells it in a way where it feels real and fully realized.
Books and comics aren’t your thing? There is also an animated film called Lost paragon which delves deep into what happened to a pre-Shepard James Vega and how he learned the hard way that the mission comes first – always – with his first encounter with collectors at the request of the Reapers.
If you love Mass Effect or are looking to immerse yourself in this wonderful fandom, we cannot recommend this franchise’s expanded lore highly enough. With the original editorial team that penned these extended stories, the spirit of Mass Effect is vibrant, whole, and ever-expanding as we look to the future of what is to follow.
Want even more Mass Effect in your life? Perfect! I went really deep While exploring the BioWare trailer dropped at last year’s Game Awards with a frame-by-frame breakdown of the little details hidden in plain sight. You can check it here!