Today, publisher EA released its annual “Year in Gaming” report, which details player behavior from across its portfolio of games. Most of the data are relegated to the realms of sports games, Apex Legends, and The Sims 4, but there are some juicy tidbits for Mass Effect fans, too—specifically, the survival rates of team members in Mass Effect 2’s infamous “suicide mission.” The figures are, not to accuse any of you of questionable behavior, suspiciously high.
Mass Effect had a resurgence earlier this year, when EA published the BioWare-developed Mass Effect Legendary Edition, a compiled remaster of the first three games in the original trilogy plus all associated DLC (well, save for one straggler). Throughout the year, BioWare published infographics detailing how players play the game, shedding light on revelations both shocking (some players never recruit Garrus) and not-so-shocking (everyone basically makes the same broad choices).
The data about Mass Effect 2’s final mission, however, is somewhat eyebrow-raising. At key junctures during the mission, you have to make decisions as to who in your party you’ll assign to certain tasks: about, say, who will cover your rear, or who will sustain a space-magic barrier to protect you from a horde of interstellar locusts. Depending on who you assign to complete specific tasks—and depending on whether or not they’re fond of you, a status attained by completing an optional character-specific side quest—party members are more likely to survive.
In Mass Effect Legendary Edition, here’s the survival rate breaks down across the whole team, a lineup that includes the original 10-companion roster plus the two members who were added via downloadable content:
Garrus (98 percent)
Grunt (97 percent)
Jacob (97 percent)
Miranda (97 percent)
Legion (95 percent)
Kasumi (95 percent)
Thane (94 percent)
Samara (94 percent)
Jack (93 percent)
Zaeed (93 percent)
Tali (93 percent)
Mordin (90 percent, poor Mordin, last in the stats but at least, like, fifth in our hearts)
Yup. Most characters appear to make it out alive from the so-called suicide mission. In a mission that functions by design to have you lose some party members—one that’s so maze-like in its possible outcomes you basically need a byzantine flowchart to properly navigate every key decision.
Of course, there are some very logical explanations as to how basically everyone made it through with a full team. Mass Effect 2 is nearly a decade old at this point. It’s no stretch of the imagination to think that players just know the game in and out by now. Mass Effect Legendary Edition also allows you to juggle multiple save files. Players could very easily be save-scumming their way to an amenable outcome here. And, again: that flowchart.
EA’s data is a bit foggy in detailing its methodology, so it’s unclear whether that 90 percent covers those who may have deployed any sort of funny business. Representatives for EA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Am I just salty because I cannot for the life of me seem to finish Mass Effect 2 with my team intact? Pffft, of course not.
This is from the original, not-legendary Mass Effect 2.
OK, fine, fine, you caught me.
I’m still hoping to get everyone out alive someday. For what it’s worth, in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, I’ve been sitting on a save file posted up right before the “Suicide Mission” for, oh, two months. What if I screw up again?! I want Garrus and Tali in my Mass Effect 3 party! Yes, I could just refer to the aforementioned flowchart, but this is also my first time playing through the trilogy in one shot, so it feels wrong to have such a resource handy. That’s clearly some second- and third-playthrough material.
Anyone who loves poring over data should check out EA’s report in full, as there’s some fascinating stuff in there across the board. Just don’t expect to see anything from November’s Battlefield 2042, notably one of the year’s most turbulent releases. In a statement provided to Kotaku explaining the omission, a representative for EA says the publisher plans on including the multiplayer shooter in next year’s roundup, when players will have had a whole year to play it.
Correction: 11:52 p.m.: A previous version of this story postulated an incorrect percentage of players who finished the suicide mission with zero deaths.