Mass Effect is an action role-playing video game developed by BioWare and originally released for the Xbox 360 video game console in 2007. It is the first game of the Mass Effect series, taking place within the Milky Way galaxy in the year 2183. The player assumes the role of Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier who must stop a rogue agent from opening a portal for a highly advanced machine race of synthetic-organic starships that are believed to eradicate all organic civilization every 50,000 years. The gameplay requires the player to explore a galaxy map to find and complete quests. Most of the game's main quests are combat missions, while secondary quests generally involve the player gathering items or interacting with non-player characters.