Mass Effect is contingent on choice — or at least the illusion of it. Turns out, in playing (or replaying) Mass Effect Legendary Edition, a lot of you who played the remastered trilogy made pretty much the same decisions. That’s according to an infographic BioWare posted on Twitter today.
Spoilers follow for the Mass Effect trilogy, which is about a decade old by now.
The data isn’t perfect. It doesn’t account for whether or not these stats are from first-time players or from those who’ve run the trilogy a dozen times. It doesn’t even clarify whether or not the dataset is aggregated from multiple playthroughs of Legendary Edition that any given account may have undertaken. The figures are nonetheless revealing, and further affirm the notion that most people who play Mass Effect end up making similar choices.
For example, in the first Mass Effect, 94 per cent of you navigated conversation options so Wrex, the krogan, survived that Virmire mission. A further 93 per cent of players saved the Rachni queen. Politicians could only dream of these figures.
Mass Effect 2 followed similar lines. While addressing Tali’s treason charge, 96 per cent of you successfully convinced the quarian admiralty board to pardon her. Garrus, no surprise here, is broadly the most beloved companion. The even-keeled turian was the most likely party member to survive Mass Effect 2’s climactic suicide mission. (Guess I’m an outlier.) He was also the most-used squadmate in the first Mass Effect.
In Mass Effect 3, a whopping 96 per cent of you cured the genophage — the biological weapon that restricts krogan birthrates, condemning their society. But BioWare didn’t share any stats regarding the notorious ending choice of Mass Effect 3.
So, how do today’s stats stack up against history? In 2013, BioWare released a comprehensive infographic detailing player behaviour in Mass Effect 3 for those who rolled the credits. It doesn’t offer an exact corollary to today’s stats, of course, but still sheds light on some fascinating shifts.
During Mass Effect 3’s original run, the number of Shepards who sabotaged the genophage was twice as high: 8 per cent. Liara was the most-used squad member, suggesting Garrus has grown in popularity over the years. Back in 2013, 82 per cent of players played as male Shepard, compared to 68 per cent for Legendary Edition. In 2013, during the showdown between the geth and the quarians, 37 per cent of players sided with the geth, while 27 per cent saved the quarians. Those figures plummeted to 11 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively. (Yes, 80 per cent of you negotiated peace.)
But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite years of trial and error proving that Vanguard is obviously the best class, both now and then, about 40 per cent of you decided to save the Milky Way as a Soldier. You know there are plenty of third-person shooters without badass space magic, yeah?