The ins and outs of Mass Effect 2

BioWare kindly sent Destructoid a breakdown of stats they accumulated for Mass Effect 2 which was titled ‘Fun Facts’ but in reality are likely to impact the development of the third game. The data shows that the majority of players used a male Shepard, 82% to be precise, leaving only 18% to experience life as a female commander. I wouldn’t use that as an indication for male to female player ratio as I know one lass who opted to play in the masculine form and doubt she’s alone. It’s not really surprising when you think how the series has always been promoted with a male lead.

But the poster-boy looks of BioWare’s Shepard clearly didn’t cut it for a lot of people since 83% created a unique version, possibly altering his face to something vaguely representative of their own (Mass Effect doesn’t have the most robust facial creation system). I did but then I carried over the appearance of my ME1 character because hearing that voice from another face just seemed odd. But only 50% of other gamers did the same. I do regret not choosing a Soldier class for my Shepard though was one of a few that didn’t. It was the most popular class accounting for 65% of choices. When you think that your other team mates can be armed to the gills (quit literally in some cases) with biotic power it makes sense to focus Shepard’s efforts into pure firepower.

There are also a third of gamers who like to play that bad guy and chose the Renegade option at the end of the game. I went for Paragon as I did for pretty much the whole of the game and do for everything I play. The idea of being an arse isn’t so appealing especially when you have a harder time or miss opportunities for dialogue or missions. A friend of mine was a complete git on his first play through which meant he had to work extra hard in order to romance his crew mate of choice. Second time round he was the purest of beings and had the ladies clambering for him!

Back in September, IGN received a similar set of stats about Mass Effect 2 with quite possibly the most shocking one of all; only 50% of players finished the game. Wha? So half of the people who started never managed to finish? Very peculiar. Mass Effect 2 was a worthwhile investment that took me less than 30 hours to complete and never left my Xbox 360 until is I did. However, clearly there was something about it that lost a scarily large proportion of players and by combining all the stats at their disposal, BioWare will no doubt be trying to figure out just what that was in order to address the problem for Mass Effect 3. As a contrast however, there were two PC gamers who completed ME2 a whopping 28 times and four Xbox 360 players who beat the game 23 times. Now that is dedication. Or is it obsession? The full list of stats from both September and November’s readings can be found after the break.

September’s stats:

November’s stats

  • 83% of players created their own face for Shepard
  • 82% play as male Shepard, 18% as female Shepard
  • The Soldier class is far and away the most popular class at 65%
  • <Archangel> was among the most popular squad members selected for missions
  • 10% of players never let <The Krogan> out of <his/her thing>
  • Only 50% of players have fully upgraded the <Ship> by the end of the game
  • 14% of squad members die in the end-game, on average
  • 36% of players chose the <Renegade choice> in the end-game

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