May 17 2014, 12:36pm CDT | by Forbes
As we wait for Bioware to announce a Mass Effect sequel, prequel, spin-off or complete remastering of the trilogy for PS4/Xbox One (the most likely option), they’ve given us a new infographic to distract us from a lack of actual franchise news.
Bioware poured over Mass Effect 3 player data to deduce what the most popular “Shepard” names were for each gender. In addition to being able to select your character’s race, sex, backstory, orientation and disappointing ending (heh), you could also give them a first name throughout all three games.
The name didn’t particularly matter, as in every conversation you’re only known as “Shepard” due to voicework constraints, but it still helped identify the character as your own, if only in your own mind. You really only read your first name in your emails, or as a way to differentiate your various save files.
In any case, here are the most popular Shepards out there:
I can’t say I’m too terribly surprised at the number ones. Sarah Shepard has a nice alliterative ring to it and Jack Shepard makes sense because practically every other pop culture hero is named Jack these days, including Lost’s Jack Shephard (with bonus “h”).
Neither of my names made the cut. My main Commander was Ethan Shepard, a blue-eyed Asian man who was the nicest guy you’d ever meet. Unless you were a Husk, Cerberus Agent or Reaper, that is. 82% of players in Mass Effect 3 played as a male Shepard, with 65% going the Paragon route. I guess that makes me something of a follower, but I did have an alternate character to go down the exact opposite path, which apparently involved getting as much of my crew killed as humanly possible. My female Commander was named Sonya Shepard, a full-blooded Renegade the New York Times editorial board might describe as “brusque” or “pushy” (I think she literally pushed a guy out of a window once).
No matter what Bioware plans next for the Mass Effect universe (and I sort of hope they jump straight to a new game rather than devoting a lot of resources to a re-release), it probably won’t contain your old Shepard. The trilogy wrapped up that arc pretty conclusively, and short of a prequel where you play as teenage Shepard trying to navigate the perils and heartbreak of System Alliance High School, I can’t see him (or her) returning.
Rather, I think it would be great for Bioware to go full-RPG next time around, offering the ability to be other species, rather than just different human races and genders. Turian, Krogan, Asari, Drell, Hanar. Alright, maybe not the last one, but you get what I mean.
So, was your name on the chart there? And what do you want to see next out of the Mass Effect universe?
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