Mass Effect 3 is coming out tomorrow in North America and gamers will finally get the chance to see how their decisions from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 shape the final battle with the Reapers and the end of Commander Shepard’s story. To celebrate that, we here at VGutopia have banded together to come up with our top 10 list of the most important Mass Effect decisions. These decisions are the ones that we’re hoping will pay off for us one way or the other. We took into account how much of a story impact it would have and the gravity of the actual decision in making this list. Without further ado, here is our list.

10. Playing Mass Effect 2 as a Renegade, Paragon, or Something in the Middle.

Mass Effect 3 Renegade Paragon

Mass Effect 2 was all about building a team that could head through the Omega 4 relay and do the impossible together. To make that team strong, Shepard had to win over all of the squad members by doing a little favor for them in the form of a loyalty mission. Many of these missions involved a moral dilemma that Shepard had to make a decision on that could make the squad member non-loyal.

However, Shepard could do almost whatever they wanted and still gain the squad member’s loyalty if they had a high enough intimidate or charm factor. Miranda and Jack squaring off, Zaeed wanting to let the civilians die to get to Vido, or any number of other dilemmas could be skirted around if Shepard had a high Paragon or Renegade score.

Why this is important:

Squad loyalty had a factor in the survival of some squad members at the end of Mass Effect 2 and could have some effect on Shepard’s ability to re-recruit these squad members in Mass Effect 3. Will Jacob or Miranda be as willing to help Shepard now that they’re back with the Alliance if they didn’t gain their loyalty? This might not have the biggest impact on the galactic war but it could possibly have some repercussions for side quests in Mass Effect 3 that feature the Mass Effect 2 squad members.

9. Quarian-Geth War

Quarian Geth War

The Quarian people and the Geth have been at odds since almost the beginning of the Geth’s existence with the Quarians using the Geth as cheap labor and the Geth wanting to have independence as self-aware entities. The Geth and Quarians fought a bloody war that ended with the Quarians fleeing their homeworld and living on a massive migrant fleet of ships.

In Mass Effect 2, it’s clear when Shepard visits the Flotilla that many Quarians are sick and tired of being away from their home planet where they didn’t need to live in enviro suits and weren’t constantly on the run. There are rumors of war abound, especially among the Quarian admirals, and Shepard can either urge war or peace for the time being.

Why this is important:

With the discovery of Legion and the fact that the Geth are in two different groups, there is a lot more grey area with the Geth. They might be allies against the Reapers that Shepard could use.  The Quarians and the Geth have a complicated situation going on but with the Reapers invading, a full-scale war between the two could leave both sides too weak to help Shepard or themselves when the Reapers appear.

8. Maelon’s Genophage Data

Maelon Mass Effect

The Salarian people created a genetic sterilization virus called the genophage that was meant to quell the numbers of the Krogan after the Rachni Wars. Mordin Solus led up a team to re-vamp the genophage after the Krogan population began to show signs of resiliency to the effects.

Maelon was on Mordin’s team and his conscience began to bother him to the point of heading to the Krogan home world of Tuchanka so he could find a cure for the genophage. Mordin calls out Maelon’s research methods as unacceptable and chases him away from the facility (or kills him, depending on Shepard’s interference or lack thereof)

Why this is important:

The genophage is one of the defining characteristics of the Krogan people and curing the genophage is something that many Krogan would like to see so their numbers can begin to swell again. More importantly, that data could be used to convince the Krogan people to help Shepard in retaking Earth. If Shepard holds a trump card like that for the Krogan, he could offer it up as a token of goodwill or use it as a ransom for their help. If the data is destroyed, there could be trust issues if the Krogan should ever find out that you destroyed the data. Convincing them to destroy Saren’s cure would be a lot easier than convincing them that destroying the data Maelon collected was the right thing to do. It could make an alliance with the Krogans even more difficult.

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