1 Of 5 Mass Effect 3 Gamers Play As A Woman

Dear 82 per cent of Mass Effect gamers,

I'm tempted to tell you that you're doing it wrong.

According to The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3, the superb iPad app from journalist Geoff Keighley, the people who make Mass Effect say that only 18 per cent of gamers play as a female Commander Shepard.

And that's not even the worst of it.

Look, I've only played as BroShep during some demos of these games that were given to the press. Maybe he's awesome. Maybe he deserves to have been the face of BioWare's series since day one. So what if Jennifer Hale's voice-acting performance is hailed as one of the most wonderful things in the series! It's not like the New Yorker chose to write about her, not the guy who voice-acts for BroShep.

Fine. I'm in the 18 per cent. We play as FemShep. We reverse our Mass Effect 3 box covers.

But even if you play as FemShep, it doesn't mean I'm not shaking my head at you. I play as a FemShep engineer.

Look at that chart from Keighley's app. 64.59 per cent soldiers!

What is with all of you soldier players? Did someone tell you that the Mass Effect games are shooters or something? If you play as en engineer, which it seems that almost none of you do, you get to send little flying minions out into the battlefield to kill the bad guys for you. Who doesn't like having minions to do their dirty work? Or is that just my inner-editor-in-chief talking?

I'm checking with Geoff Keighley to find out if these stats are pulled just from Mass Effect 1, 2 or from some platforms or all. Whatever the case, they make me a little sad even as they satisfy my not-so-inner snob. Almost none of you play Mass Effect the way I do, which means that I can now feel that my experience in this branching, malleable series is all the more special, all the more personal, all the more mine.

But, really. If you're not playing as a FemShep engineer, you are missing out.


Stephen Totilo

Mass Effect Gender-Bending Minion-Commander


    I would wager that a decent enough number to a male playthrough then a female playthrough that will balance out this figure more. Also 87% customised the face...because BioWare screwed the 54% that imported a ME1 character. I would also assume that the majority pick soldier because it is a more clearly defined role for new players.

      Also, Adrenaline Rush with a heavy pistol and cooldown-reduction buffs is pure hax.

    Look chief,

    I just don't get you people who play a "non-standard" Shepard. Why are you so hell bent on telling us how we (yes I love my manly male soldier Shepard to death) should be playing. Isn't the key promise in ME that it's YOUR Shepard and you play him YOUR way. You want to play your awesomely non-conformist female engineer Shepard: good for you, I take my hat off to you.

    All I ask is that you shut up and let me enjoy MY Shepard played MY way.

    That is all

      I think the writer of this article had his tongue firmly in his cheek. I'm pretty certain there was little seriousness to the writer's suggestion that you're playing it wrong

    i played as a girl in bioshock 2s multiplayer im awsome

    i should say WOMAN not girl sorry ladies

    I liked the marriage of biotic powers and gunplay in the Vanguard class. As I looked over the tech-focused classes, I remember getting the distinct impression they would be strong against robotic adversaries, but not so much against everyone else. If I just made a point of having one tech person on side (T'ali was already my favourite character), then I was still able have robotic enemies crippled on my command. Then I could biotic charge and blast the poor schmucks into the ground with my shotgun.

      Tech players are able to remove shields, freeze and burn all opponants. I’ve never worried about an enemies shield, armour or barrier because it disappears instantly.

        This is what makes the ME3 engineer the best class all around. Overload for both barriers AND shields, with incinerate for armor means there's literally no enemy type who you can't hit incredibly hard.

    Don't tell me that I'm playing the game wrong. It's my Shepard, my choices. Good for you if you chose something nobody else is playing as, you unique little star, you.

    Ugh, the amount of smugness in this article. All this amounts to is "You're not playing the game the way I do. What is wrong with you?" Great journalism there.

      It's because the majority have gone with the most generic options (ie. male shep soldier) and thus are copping derision from the minority for being so dull and unwilling to try something different from your typical Gears style shooter when presented with the options to do so.

      I want to play as male engineer Shepard, with the default face actually (cos I reckon it looks better than any possible customized one) but his voice acting is so dry and unsatisfying that I've given up a few hours into ME3 and I'm going back to Femshep...as an engineer no less!

        I sort of get that, but it completely ignores why some people might be choosing the soldier class. It just assumes they want Gears gameplay and that they're bro's or whatever.

        I've played with a male soldier Shepard through all three games. I've experimented with the other classes but I'm not really good with them, and I'm not the best gamer so I tend to die a lot. Soldier class was easiest, and although I still die occasionally I am able to make my way through the games and enjoy myself. I also actively use my companions abilities, so I usually have a biotic with me. I'm not ignoring the other classes, I'm utilizing the options available to me as a soldier. It's not always about raw firepower, I've found.

        But none of that seems to be considered. There's an automatic assumption that anyone who plays as a soldier is a lazy and uninterested loser who just wants to plow through the game with as many big guns and explosions as possible.

        As for the voice actors, I'll save my opinion on that for another day. Just started an ME1 femShep playthrough, so it's a bit soon to form an opinion of her.

      Tech players are able to remove shields, freeze and burn all opponants. I've never worried about an enemies shield, armour or barrier because it disappears instantly.

      Infiltrator headshot, shields matter very little lol

    I think the main point he's trying to make is that there's a lot of different ways to enjoy and play the game yet everybody just skips the intro and plays the game like CoD/Gears of War and could probably find that the game has a lot more to offer if they take the time to look into an experiment.

    Besides, as a level 50 Female Engineer the geth and all robots (including the huge Atlus) are no threat to me with maxed out Sabotage.

    Femshep looks ugly by default and has terrible voice acting. I know many say it's better than the male Shepard but i find it the other way around.

    Most people I know have a FemShep play through and a BroShep play through. In addition, at the EB games I work at, the guys I work with reversed most of the covers to FemShep before I even got there (cos I was always going to do that). I exclusively play FemShep, simply because there are few enough games where I get to play as my own gender as it is!

    FemShep > MaleShep purely because the voice acting isn't an ordeal to listen to. Might I even suggest that FemShep's voice acting is........ good? *gasp*

    It makes no Sense!!!!!?!!! Wait... Wrong thread... ;(

    It would be interesting to find out more about how the information was collected & calculated - maybe I'd better turn that setting back on that allows Bioware to collect my usage data...
    Or not - I don't want anyone making unauthorised purchases from the Spectre Requisitions store ;).

    Bioware wanted the Call of Duty audience and they got it.

    64.59% use soldier.....and that right there is one of the reasons why Bioware continues to go down the shooter route more than rpg lol.

    Interesting to see the male vs female players and the amount of people who use the default face though :)

      Yep. I know I'm the only girl I know who plays as default ManShep because he's hot, why the bloody hell wouldn't you?!

    I haven't played ME3 yet (still going through 2) but...

    I play as BroShep because I'm a guy who wants to play as a guy. Is that so hard to relate to?

    I play as soldier because I like having more health, regeneration and a variety of guns. I never really cared about the other classes.

    well i am part of the 87% that customised my 'male' shepard. tbh i never really realised how good the femshep was until ME2 and by that time i really didn't want to go back and create a femshep game in ME1. i am surprised at the low rating of vanguard though. i think because the game sets soldier as default (first on list) then people just don't want to mess with it. plus ME3 would have a lot of newer players and just don't understand how awesome the other classes are ;)

    i do wish we could mix and match different skills though. need to go play as a sentinel or engineer on next playthrough :)

    I love my custom, sentinel femshep.

    my biggest surprise was 64% of ppl playing as the soldier class....

    soldier is honestly the most boring class in the game. 3 out of the 6 active abilities are ammo types. You don't even get the chance to experience with different strategies/combos that biotic abilities can offer.

    stupid COD run-and-gun influence...

    I also play as a Femshep engineer!

    Love it, Drone for anything, Overload for synthetics and Incinerate for buuurning, plus lvling additional warp or other powers, everything's covered! The only downside is EDI is rendered largely redundant and for a minority of missions I'll sub her for the Prothean or James(he's hot really is all), but you know what, I still kick ass with EDI, myself and Liara in Femsquad

    My first ME3 playthrough was as a male soldier, but I'm almost done with my second playthrough as a female engineer (combat drone + sentry turret + defense drone = MINION OVERKILL MWAHAHAHA).

    Though, I now have to wonder: am I the only one who plans to play through the game as every class? I played at least one playthrough as each of the six classes in both ME1 and ME2, and I intend to do the same for ME3. I certainly look forward to playing as a vanguard!

    Oh, and about half of my playthroughs are male, half are female. And none of them use the default appearance.

    Everyone has the right to play whatever the heck they want blah blah but common! 64% are soldiers?! Soldier is the dullest class of all time! Like, how can you even begin to tolerate not having any biotic or tech abilities up your sleeves? Also, I can't imagine the Mass Effect universe having anything other than FemShep the Adept. But then everyone feels that way about their Shepard. It's why the series as a whole is so awesome.

    I am surprised it is only 18%, the way people harp on about how awesome FemShep is, I would think that it would be close to 60%. I perfer BroShep to FemShep voice acting, I may be in the minority in that regard. I am still on my first play though as a soldier, I wanted to use all the weapons first time round. 2nd play through I will be going Engineer BroShep.

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