With all the buzz centering around the upcoming Mass Effect 3 (due early 2012), it’s easy to forget that the now famous series is just a few years old. The first game was released in 2007, and shelves were lined with the image of Commander Shepard and company bravely staring down the cover below the now-recognized arc-style logo of the game. While it’s a classic image to us now, several mock-ups were considered as BioWare prepared to bring their new player, Commander Shepard, into our galaxy.

Game Informer went into the Edmonton-based BioWare studio for a different purpose, but ended up coming out with some fantastic shots of the alternative Mass Effect covers by the end of the day.

When the first game of an entire series is placed on the shelves, it needs to have an eye-catching quality that is sure to get noticed by consumers. Picking a cover is a pretty high-pressure task, and it’s really interesting to think about what could have been the Mass Effect cover as we know it.

Without further ado, here’s our cutouts of the posters for your viewing pleasure:

You can certainly see why the spot for top image was a close race: each cover has their own special kind of highlight. The Reaper Hand, for instance, brings up a very Alien-esque feel and certainly attracts attention, but alsoreveals a lot about the plot of the first game before players even get to bot up their Xbox.

Various placements of Shepard, his companions, Saren and the actual logo of the game were considered, so apparently completing the design for the final version took several rounds at the drawing board. While some of the proposed alternatives focuses on the cold blue colorization and some on the orange heat, the finished Mass Effect cover balanced the two by placing a central piece of orange surrounding by the blue confines of space.

At the end of the day, The Mass Effect cover never seems to be a source of complaint from fans, and BioWare is certainly doing well with the series today. As the series grows and continues to have more depth to the story, it’s nice to sit back and appreciate details from the very beginning of the franchise.

What do you think of the potential Mass Effect original covers? Which one is your favorite, and why? Tell us your thoughts!

Be sure to check out some more breathtaking Mass Effect artwork if you’re in the mood for some fantastic imagery!

Source: GameInformer