Mass Effect 3 is an action role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts. The third major entry in the Mass Effect series and the final installment of the original trilogy, it was released in March 2012 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. A Wii U version of the game, entitled Mass Effect 3: Special Edition, was later released in November 2012. The game is set within the Milky Way galaxy in 2186, where galactic civilization is invaded by a highly advanced machine race of synthetic-organic starships known as Reapers. It concludes the story of Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier who is tasked with forging alliances between species for the war.
Similar to Mass Effect 2, the player can import a completed saved game into Mass Effect 3 that influences the plot by taking previous decisions into account. In general, Mass Effect 3 revolves around increasing military strength by completing missions and gathering resources. As BioWare designed the game to be accessible to both old and new players, many of the series' traditional gameplay elements remain, such as cover-based third-person shooting, but new aspects are introduced as well, such as a multiplayer component. The game's score was written by a variety of composers, who aimed for a balance between the orchestral sound of Mass Effect 2 and the synthesizer-driven sound of the first Mass Effect. Mass Effect 3 also supports a variety of downloadable content packs, ranging from minor in-game items to more significant plot-related missions. Notable packs include From Ashes, Leviathan, Omega, and Citadel.