Mass Effect has become one of gaming's most iconic trilogies. Players take the role of Commander Shepard, a revered military leader who uncovers an upcoming galaxy-wide purge of all organic life that occurs every 50,000 years.
We put together a list of some of the most despicable decisions that players can make during Commander Shepard's adventure that'll make him feel less like a hero and more like an antihero. This list will be limited to gameplay outside of the many Mass Effect DLCs, and will focus on the version of events that every player can equally experience.
10 Hanging Up On The Council
As a Spectre, Commander Shepard is allowed to use whatever means necessary to preserve peace throughout the galaxy. Part of being a Spectre is also answering to the Citadel Council, which, at least in the first Mass Effect, prove themselves to be a trio of human-hating, old-school extraterrestrials. When talking to them over holographic chat after many important missions, players are given the option of hanging up on them the minute they're through with the conversation. Though this doesn't really affect the gameplay, the Citadel Council will take notice of Shepard's disrespect. Despite not liking the Council's style of leadership, at least hear them out and try to see where they're coming from. Otherwise, you're no better than them.
9 Punching The Reporter
Khalisah al-Jilani is a human reporter that seems to follow Shepard all over the Citadel, giving him a platform to explain his actions to everyone back on Earth. We're sure that some players who've had it with the press will want to punch al-Jilani right in the kisser, and guess what? They can! Across all three games! And while we have to admit, sometimes the press can go too far, Commander Shepard, a trained military soldier, has no business assaulting a journalist. The fact that he can knock her out with one punch tells us that there's some domestic charges somewhere in Shepard's future.
8 Defaulting To Casual Sex With Jack
In Mass Effect 2, after Shepard rescues Jack from a maximum-security prison, Jack slowly begins to open up to him during repeated visits to her cramped living quarters. She tells Shepard how she is always used after she lets her guard down. She's clearly on edge, and it's evident that she's traumatized by her past.
Common sense should tell that Jack, though she won't decline some casual sex, will lose trust with him if he chooses to go this route with her. Though it may not seem like such a big deal to some players, the fact that Jack refuses to speak to Shepard for the rest of the game speaks volumes to how you've only confirmed her internal paranoia.
7 Killing Ashley/Kaidan During Udina's Coup
No matter how you play, you'll have to choose between Ashley or Kaidan during Mass Effect's climax. Right before you complete your mission on Virmire, you'll have to sacrifice one of them to rescue the other. It doesn't really matter which, considering the fact that they've both got the same stick up their asses. In Mass Effect 3, a coup eventually puts you at gunpoint with Ashley/Kaidan, and while you yourself are aware of the truth, they will begin to suspect that you are behind the chaos. Given the player's choices in the past games, they may not trust Shepard, and as a result, he'll have the option of pulling the trigger on one of his first comrades. While most players probably won't miss Ashley/Kaidan, it takes an emotionless jerk to kill one of your allies when you know they're just being manipulated. Ashley/Kaidan had enough talent to become a Spectre, and you just deprived the Milky Way of a great leader at the height of the Reaper's invasion. Nice going.
6 Killing Wrex After Sabotaging The Genophage Cure
The Krogran breed like rats, or at least they used to. Salarian scientists deployed a genophage that dramatically decreased their fertility, causing the krogan's population to dwindle. If players managed to keep their teammate Urdnot Wrex alive in Mass Effect, and deploy a sabotaged genophage cure in Mass Effect 3, Wrex will learn of Shepard's betrayal and will attempt to kill him aboard the Normandy. Left with no choice, players will be able to shoot Wrex down in an act of self-defense. Not only did he have the potential to lead the krogan into an era of peace and prosperity, but lying to one of your most loyal, helpful friends in the entire franchise is beyond deplorable.
5 Shooting Mordin When He Tries To Cure The Genophage
In Mass Effect 2, players will learn that their salarian teammate, Mordin Solus, was actually one of the genophage's creators. Though he felt that it was needed, he is riddled with guilt for what he did to the krogan. By Mass Effect 3, Mordin develops a cure, but this is where things get tricky.
If players opt to deceive the krogan by releasing a placebo cure, Mordin will push back, and if words aren't enough, they can shoot him. The heartless bastards who choose to shoot him can even watch him crawl over to the console in agony in what has to be one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the entire series.
4 Sacrificing The Quarians Over The Geth
After creating the geth as their own personal slaves, the quarians were forced off of their own homeworld after the geth rebelled. In a peculiar turn of events, Mass Effect 3 pits the entirety of the geth fleet with the quarian fleet in the skies above Rannoch. Commander Shepard is left with three choices: save the geth and lose the quarian fleet, save the quarian fleet and lose the geth, or if they played their cards right, they'll be able to save them both. Although most players will find themselves choosing between the geth or the quarians, choosing the geth is downright heartless. After fighting geth alongside Tali'Zorah since the first Mass Effect, you'd have to be crazy to sacrifice her entire people for a synthetic race, no matter how many emotions they've learned to emulate. When her fleet is destroyed, she commits suicide, forcing players to live with this horrible decision for the rest of the game.
3 Helping Morinth Kill Samara
In order to gain Samara's loyalty in Mass Effect 2, players must help her find and kill her daughter Morinth, who's basically on a lust-filled killing spree. When mother and daughter confront one another, players can help either asari murder the other. If they succumb to their lust, they can help Morinth kill Samara. Shepard can then take Morinth on missions in Samara's place! Eventually, Morinth will prompt Shepard to join with her, but because she is an Ardat-Yakshi, her mates die through joining. At least he won't have to live with the guilt for long.
2 Sending The Grissom Academy Students To The Frontlines
In Mass Effect 3, players are introduced to Jon Grissom Academy, where young biotics are trained. After fighting their way through the invading Cerberus troops, players will be given two hard choices: send the students directly to the frontlines of the battle against the Reapers, or move them into support roles.
If Jack is alive and players chose to send them to the frontlines, she's shown paying respects at their graves. Yes! That's right! Their graves! We don't know why some players even thought that these teenagers were ready to face the Reapers when they could barely handle a few Cerberus grunts, but those who did have a sick sense of humor.
1 Getting Your Entire Squad Killed In Mass Effect 2
In Mass Effect 2's final mission, players have the option of getting every single one of their squadmates killed. If they refused to upgrade the Normandy or embark on every Loyalty mission, they stand the risk of losing several characters. Players will have to appoint certain squadmates to specific tasks, like generating a biotic shield or leading a separate squadron for a diversion. If they choose the wrong squadmate for a task, that squadmate will die. You'd almost have to be trying to actually end up losing all 10 of Shepard's teammates by the end of this mission. We know that war has its casualties, but come on! You literally did the Reapers' dirty work for them. Congrats Shepard. We won't forgive you for this one.