Mass Effect: Legendary Edition has been out for about two months now, and BioWare has released some statistics on some of the choices that players made across the trilogy. And honestly, a lot of this seems in line with what players have always done. But there are some interesting things to point out.
The studio released a big graphic on its social channels, and it breaks down a lot of choices made in the remastered collection, from which gender Commander Shepard they played, who they saved on Virmire in the first game, and what characters are most likely to survive Mass Effect 2’s suicide mission. Let’s go down the list and compare it to the last time Bioware released similar stats on Mass Effect 3.
According to the graphic, 68% of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition players created a male version of the protagonist, which is actually a bit less than the studio last reported. For Mass Effect 3, 82% of players chose male Shepard, so that’s at least 14 more percent of people who are choosing FemShep and hearing Jennifer Hale’s performance.
In the first game, players had to choose between saving their two human squadmates, Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams. According to the Mass Effect 3 graphic, Kaidan only made it to the end of the trilogy in 17% of playthroughs (which also accounts for his possible death in ME3), but it seems like more players have taken a liking to the Objectively Best Human Companion in Mass Effect, as the split between Ashley’s survival and Kaidan’s is now 60/40.
Speaking of higher survival rates, Urdnot Wrex, who can die in Mass Effect 1 if players don’t pass a reputation check, only died for about 6% of players in Legendary Edition. This is definitely an upgrade from the original release of Mass Effect 3, where BioWare said a whopping 64% of players didn’t meet him in the final game in the trilogy, which accounts for both deaths in Mass Effect 1, and that the character dies by default for players who didn’t import a save in Mass Effect 2. This has huge ramifications beyond just not seeing one of the best characters in the series, but also means that, as Wrex won’t be alive to lead the Krogan down a gentler path, the future of the species might look completely different.
Some of these choices we’ve not had any publicly released statistics on, such as the choice to spare or kill the Rachni queen in the first Mass Effect. But for Legendary Edition players, the choice was overwhelmingly to save her and allow her to escape on Noveria. However, in Mass Effect 3, when the decision to let her live or die a second time came around, more people chose to let her die in the final game.
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As for Mass Effect 2, the major section BioWare gave us a glimpse into is what characters were most likely to survive the game’s suicide mission. Here’s the ranking:
Knowing the inner workings of how the suicide mission works contextualizes why much-beloved characters like Mordin and Tali would die most often. There are loyalty missions and decisions to make during the course of the final push that can make characters more likely to survive, but in the final segment of the mission, there’s a point where you have to leave everyone to take part in a long firefight while you go complete the job. Depending on who you leave behind, those who aren’t as combat-ready may die in the fight. This includes Mordin, Tali, and Jack, all of which are the most likely to die based on the background math happening. Meanwhile, Garrus is a character who is among the most combat-worthy, so he frequently survives.
Mass Effect 3 has some of the heaviest choices in the series, but the graphic stops short of telling us what decision most people made in the game’s last ten minutes, unfortunately. Which is frankly the statistic I’m still most interested in. But beyond that, it looks like fewer players sabotaged the cure for the Genophage in Mass Effect 3, with only 4% of Shepards choosing to. The previous graphic said that 8% of players chose to ensure the Krogan people were still dealing with the sterility plague by the end of Mass Effect 3, so it’s good to see that more Mass Effect players grew a conscience between 2012 and 2021.
One of the biggest shifts from 2012 to 2021 is that 80% of players were able to broker peace between the Quarians and Geth. The split between peace and siding with either species was more even back in the original release of Mass Effect 3, with 37% siding with the Geth, 27% choosing the Quarians, and only 36% getting the two to kiss and make up. Part of this probably comes with more people playing all three games in the Legendary Edition, whereas Mass Effect 3 likely had more players coming in at the final game in the trilogy, which had a default state for those who didn’t bring over a save from previous games that would ultimately require you to choose between the two, rather than having things in place that would allow for peace.
Also, 68% of people punched a reporter who was just doing her job. So.