This article is for the Mass Effect 3 version of the enemy. The Mass Effect version can be found here, while the Mass Effect 2 version can be found here.
Husks are the aggressive, mindless foot soldiers of the Reaper armies. They are created by impaling either living or dead humans on mechanical spikes that rapidly extract water and trace minerals and replace them with cybernetics. These cybernetics reanimate the lifeless flesh and tissue, transforming the bodies into horrifying killing machines.
The Reapers use large groups of husks to overwhelm the enemy. The husks' inability to feel pain, as well as their tendency to attack in groups, makes them particularly deadly adversaries.
Husks are humans who have been found genetically unsuitable for harvesting, and converted into autonomous drones that can be used as shock troops or to carry out manual labor.
To transform a human into a Husk, the human in question is impaled on Reaper devices called Dragon's Teeth, which fill the bodies with nanomachines that quickly and violently rearrange and replace most of the organic tissue. This results in increased strength, speed, and stamina while causing a severe drop-off in intelligence.
Husks are the basic shock troopers of the Reaper forces, produced by the millions and used to overwhlem embankments. They are relatively fragile, but in groups can overwhlem any fighting force.
Husks in the single-player campaign are generally much less common than they are in multiplayer, and are greatly outnumbered by both Cannibals and Marauders. Husks, as in previous games, are relatively fragile, and setting your squadmates to attack them usually frees up Shepard to handle the real threats.
Husks in multiplayer are a more serious threat. In the waves where they begin to appear, they appear en masse and tend to make a bee-line for the nearest squadmae.
On their own, Husks present very little danger; their melee attacks do precious little damage, and any class can beat a Husk to death with standard melee attacks long before it becomes a legitimate threat. However, Husks present a problem for players in these respects:
- Husks will moan loudly at irregular intervals, but are silent the majority of the time. They have a tendency to attack from behind when fighting characters who guard single lines of sight, like sniper-based Infiltrators.
- A group of Husks, together, can effectively pin a squadmate against a wall and stagger them perpetually with repeated melee attacks. If a player is unlucky and doesn't have any close-range powers to speak of, they can be killed by as little as three Husks this way.
- A Husk's grab attack is one of the most frustrating in the game. It's often instant, does not have to be preceded by a melee attack, and can take a long time to break out of. If the player is within an enemy's sightlines when a Husk grabs them, they can often count on being taken down before they finish killing the Husk.