Science fiction games are great. Pretty much everyone loves them. The most popular games are Science Fiction - but what the hell is ingredient that make them so damn appealing?
Theres something fantastical and extremely appealing about the whole "Man meeting alien. Man meeting bad alien. Man ally with good alien to kill bad alien".
Maybe its interesting because theres a numorous mindless moraless swarm you don't feel guilty killing. You just don't get the same satisfaction destroying an advanced civilization.
Which is why all internet veterans, and gamers alike have a zombie plan. Everyone has a zombie plan. We want to slaughter without guilt, and do humanity (or all sentient life) a favor. Zero. Guilt.
So, then why almost every super-popular sci fi game so..successful? Observe the recipe for awesome:
HUMANS - Humanity is usually the fledglings just reaching out to space, where most of it has already been explored centuries ago by all powerful war-like aliens.
In general, humans are as pathetic, socially awkward and flaccid as every Michael Cera character, but give them a powersuit, and they're Scott-fucking-Pilgrim (in a power suit). Then ends up saving all sentient life by engaging in a shaky alliance with the all powerful, all knowing aliens (whose ass humans kicked several times).
All Powerful Aliens - For some reason, these powerful, all knowing aliens, can fucking warp whenever they want, cloak themselves whenever they want, use psychic abilities - yet they LOVE using wrist blades, melee combat, and love to fight.
EVERY all powerful Alien needs to go melee for some reason. Oh and they're almost all digitigrade (wiki that shit if you don't know what it is). Elites from Halo? Sword, use it like wolverine. Predators? Use their mechanical claw like wolverine. Protoss? Use them wrist-light sabres like wolverine. Eldar from 40k? Hell they use nothing but swords and claws.
And even from their all knowing, all powerful, all advanced super-civilization. They get their asses HANDED to them by humans, because their tactics involve "bravely" and honorably charging and gutting you.
Oh, and when they realize theres a bigger threat than humanity by steroid chugging space ants, they decide to join in a very loose alliance with the humans. To take on the REAL threat to all sentient life. (Its their excuse to not get their ass kicked by humanity anymore).
They remind you of Samurai.
The real threat - The real threat, are always a massive swarm of...of something..something that appears mindless and in the end reveals to be a very smart creature...but unfortunately spawns HELL DEMONS as children.
Not the best diplomat
Anyway, this creature that would be called the...Queen...are known as the [insert word]Mind. Gravemind, Overmind, Hivemind.
These creatures are bent on...for some reason...destroying all sentient life. They're all organic, and can infect people, turning them into gross, tentacle-zombies with claws. Oh- and they can fly in space.
But you know what? I bet that moment when you found out the evil swarm is actually capable of advanced and abstract thought, the game got slightly less fun. And killing the mindless swarm momentarily got ..weird..
They have head crests that make you think of Triceratops.
Yes Mass Effect is a pretty popular Sci Fi RPG, and I won't leave it out, but IT TOO follows the pattern. However, they don't just limit themselves to THREE races, but many races that encompass different aspects of their category, but not alone.
The Humans - we save the entire goddamn Citidel from destruction. The very intergalactic center of interspecies interaction. And I'll be damned if we didn't practically momentarily save all the known sentient life.
The Advanced Aliens - Turians look like a mix of Elites and protoss. And they make up most of C-sec and defense of the Citidel. In the first contact war, Humans killed more Turians.
Oh, then there are the war-loving Korgan. Who are itching to fuck your shit up by butting you in the face. And some crap about honor or whatever.
The real threat...? - Alright, so here we have several. FIRST there are the Rachni, the zerg of M.E, the game spends some time making you think they are complete hell, mindless..bugs... you then learn its very peace loving and wants to be free. Well, shit...
Then theres the Geth, this is it - swarms of emotionaless robotic - what? There are good and bad Geth?...They can think and make decisions too?...damnit.
The Collectors - They are fucking. Bugs. And there are a LOT of them. Enough said.
The Reapers - This is the real threat to all organic life. And how will its hordes of robots and drones be defeated? Ahem* Humans ally with smart aliens, and fuck their shit up.
Are they as successful as the 4 mentioned? No? Then what about them?