This article contains Mass Effect Legendary Edition spoilers.
BioWare has published an extensive report about player choices in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, and they reveal (among other things) that a lot of you really don’t like Kaidan and felt that he needed to be the one to die on Virmire.
Before we dive into that part of the report, though, it should be said that the entire infographic breakdown is actually quite interesting. For instance, this section reveals that the average player-created Shepard is a male soldier who was an Earthborn survivor. Based on what we’ve seen in other RPG character creation reports, none of that information is that surprising.
There are a few surprises found throughout the stat sheet, though. For instance, a shocking 93% of Mass Effect players chose to save the Rachni Queen and then ally themselves with the Rachni Queen in Mass Effect 3. It would be interesting to see what those stats looked like when the original Mass Effect was released and players had no knowledge of how that decision would affect the events of later games.
Equally interesting is this breakdown of the “Suicide Mission” choices from Mass Effect 2‘s most memorable moment. According to the report, the character most likely to survive that mission, based on player choices, is Garrus. While these results could be based on how your squadmates are potentially used in that mission and how their mechanics and assignments alter their survival rates, there’s certainly an argument to be made that survival rates in this instance have as much to do with the popularity of certain characters and how willing players were to ensure they lived.
That brings us to Kaidan. In recent looks at Mass Effect‘s best and worst romantic partners as well as the game’s best and worst squadmates, we were pretty hard on Kaidan. In the former, I noted that, as a romantic partner, Kaidan was like a “piece of toast with no butter. It’s not really what you want to see in the morning, but you’ll live with it if it’s your only option.” Some felt that was a pretty harsh assessment.
However, it turns out that the majority of Mass Effect Legendary players seem to have little love for Kaidan. For instance, this look at the original Mass Effect‘s most popular squadmates reveals that Kaidan is the least popular companion choice for the majority of players. While it doesn’t say how much of a difference there is between Kaidan and the most popular ME squadmate, Garrus, we’re guessing that it’s a fairly notable gap.
What about ME‘s legendary Virmire mission, though? You know, the one that asks you to choose whether Ashley or Kaidan survives? It’s one of the most difficult and famous choices in the history of the franchise, and there was a time when it divided franchise fans everywhere. Surely, Mass Effect Legendary Edition players are just as divided now regarding which of these major characters they chose to save, right?
Granted, 60/40 isn’t the most dominant victory we’ve seen in the history of two-party choices, but it’s interesting to see how the Kaidan support that seemed to be growing in response to the character’s initial negative reception does not seem to have inspired significantly more players to save him this time around.
Again, though, it would be fascinating to see what the percentages for these choices would have looked like if they were thoroughly recorded at the time these games were first released and it wasn’t so easy to see how individual decisions would ultimately affect the outcome of later parts of the game as well as future installments. We’re also talking about a group of players who are likely playing through Mass Effect again and have intimate knowledge of the immediate and long-term fallout of certain choices.
Having said that, some things really do never change, and when it comes to Mass Effect, it seems like Kaidan just can’t catch a break.