5 games like Mass Effect to satisfy your epic space opera needs
Mass Effect is a series of video games that tell an epic story set in space. The three titles in the series follow the life of Commander Shepard, a soldier in the Systems Alliance Navy who stumbles upon a looming threat to all life in the galaxy.
Developed by BioWare, the original games in the series were a much-loved experience for players who enjoy incredible sci-fi stories and space exploration. With a new Mass Effect game seemingly in development, fans are getting hyped for more news regarding this upcoming title.
While they wait for a trailer or release date announcement for Mass Effect 4, players can try out some other exceptional games set in space, which might give them a similar experience. Here are five games like Mass Effect that can satiate the players’ thirst for a great space adventure.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinion.
5 games to play if players enjoyed the Mass Effect series
Aside from Mass Effect, the other most well-known game series with an epic space opera story is Halo. Or, more specifically, the first three Halo games that Bungie developed. The series started in 2000, with the first game, Halo: Combat Evolved, which featured the nine-foot-tall Spartan soldier, known as Master Chief, as the protagonist.
Chief’s fight with the theocratic Covenant Empire continued in Halo 2 and Halo 3, with the games adding in several interesting characters, enemies, and even some surprising alliances. These three games ended the first arc of Halo’s saga and saw developer Bungie take leave of the franchise.
The next couple of mainline games in the series were developed by 343 Industries, although they could not fully capture the essence of the original titles. Still, in 2021’s Halo: Infinite, the developers managed to return the series to its roots, earning themselves some good credit from the fans along the way.
2) The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is a sci-fi RPG set in space, developed by Obsidian Entertainment. The game harkens back to the developer’s Fallout: New Vegas days, as it functions pretty similar to it, with a first-person perspective and emphasis on exploration. It was released in October 2019, with a sequel currently in development.
The game is set in a fictional world in the star system known as Halcyon. It has similar RPG elements seen in Mass Effect, such as character decisions, the choice to recruit certain NPCs to the player's crew, and a ship that serves as the base and home for them.
Players can visit certain locations in the star system, although not all worlds are available for exploration. Each location has its own unique design and style, with specific areas serving as marketplaces and quest hubs, while others have large open spaces that players are required to explore.
3) Destiny 2
Another suitable title for those wishing to immerse themselves in a large-scale galactic conflict set in a fictional world is Destiny 2. Developed by the same people who were behind the first series of Halo games, Destiny 2 takes a similar approach to its gunplay, which serves as the main appeal of the gameplay.
Fans of Mass Effect will enjoy the threat of an otherworldly force trying to take over the galaxy, as that is more or less the plot for most of the story expansions in Destiny 2. The plot is equal parts sci-fi and fantasy, a blend that works surprisingly well for this MMORPG.
The combat and gunplay are far superior to the original Mass Effect games, which is a definite plus point, although the characters will not hold up to the exact expectations. Still, playing Destiny 2 with a couple of friends is always a gratifying experience, while players cannot say the same for Mass Effect, which is a single-player game.
4) No Man’s Sky
Despite a troubling launch and a rocky few years, No Man’s Sky has evolved into quite an enjoyable experience. With numerous free updates, patches, and expansions, the game has become one of the best space games to play in recent years, where players can freely explore this fictional galaxy.
Even at launch, No Man’s Sky was similar to the Mass Effect game with the resource collection element. In Mass Effect, players can visit various planets wherein the primary goal is only to collect resources to upgrade the spaceship. This was one of the few features that No Man’s Sky originally launched with.
However, currently, players can do tons more in the game, such as build bases, participate in ship battles, use tools and gadgets such as jetpacks, etc. Players can also commandeer large space vessels that may serve as mobile bases of operation. It is almost comparable, if not a better version of Sea of Thieves, but set in space.
5) Elite Dangerous
Frontier Developments released this massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in 2014, and it remains one of the best space exploration games, even today. Elite Dangerous is an open-world game where players can explore the Milky Way and be a part of an extensive narrative built by the players online.
Like in Mass Effect, players have the freedom to explore any location they want. However, travel and space flight have to be manually controlled in most aspects. Partying up with other players online and joining in on large-scale space battles is one of the game's key features, although players can choose to live a peaceful life and opt out of such battles.
The expansion DLC, known as Odyssey, adds first-person shooter elements to the game, which players can access when on planetary surfaces and inside bases. This addition made the title even more like the Mass Effect games, a point that is surely appreciated by fans of the BioWare developed series.