The sheer level of detail that BioWare has put into the world-building of Mass Effect is one of the main reasons the game is universally loved. The number of systems, species, cultures and different technologies perfectly create a galaxy full of life. But these pillars also create the perfect framework for a strategy game in space.
That’s perhaps exactly what the Binary Helix mod group thought when they created a massive mod that essentially layered a Mass Effect cosmetic over Stellaris. Dubbed Beyond the Relays, the mod introduces the entire Milky Way galaxy from the Mass Effect series to Stellaris (thanks, PC gamers). These include “381 custom solar systems taken from the in-game galaxy map, references from lore via in-game email, Specter terminal messages, newscasts, the books, comics, fanfics, Mass Effect: Paragon Lost and the Specter expansion, and -Expands Galaxy mods for ME3.”
In addition, Beyond the Relays introduces a fully functional mass relay network with primary and secondary relays. The exhaustively detailed mod also includes all the major species from the series and even obscure ones from spin-offs and related material.
Finally, the mod features three unique game modes: “Traditional Stellaris sandbox where each empire starts on an equal footing, a “Canon” game mode that starts just after the First Contact War, where each species starts with their lore-accurate colonies, technologies, and fleets, and a third hybrid mode that allows players to play as empires that are primarily event-driven on the Canon map.”
While the mod was launched in November last year, it received a new update in May of this year. This update is the first step in the mod’s massive Eden Prime update. It introduces Prothean dig sites to the incipient empires, which include the Alliance, Asari, Turian, Salarian, Batarian, Hanar, Volus, and Elcor.
“Something less visual, but hopefully just as eye-catching is our AI overhaul,” the patch notes read. “As we began testing our internal builds of the mod, it became clear that we would need to heavily overhaul them to get the AI to work the way we envisioned. When this is complete you should be able to see the AI empires in your games more consistent with how they appear in the lore.”
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