Video game protagonists certainly do their fair share of violence, and in many cases, a lot more than their fair share. While fans of Mass Effect are likely well aware that Commander Shepard has mastered the art of war, it may still come as a surprise to learn just how many foes the Spectre dispatches throughout the Mass Effect trilogy.
The Mass Effect games largely revolve around cover-based shooting, with players spending a hefty chunk of their time huddled behind cover with their squadmates, poking out now and again to eliminate an enemy. Over the course of even a single campaign, players run into hundreds of enemies that need to be dispatched, between the common alien species of space and the series' main antagonist faction, the Reapers.
A group of Redditors has taken it upon themselves to tally up just how many kills Commander Shepard has earned, with the final number being 1,781 total kills across all three games. A post shared on Reddit by u/TK-576 detailed the process that went into determining the statistic, and as it turns out, 1,781 is a conservative estimate. The group didn't count any kills that Shepard themself didn't make, so any kill-shots from the Normandy or "Shepard debating someone into suiciding himself" don't count.
On top of that, those kills don't factor in any of the games' side quests, so these are purely the kills that players are going to definitely encounter by the time the games are rolling credits. Mass Effect's story missions can turn up the heat, so it's no small surprise that the tally is so high. There are, however, some exceptions to this, as Mass Effect 2 requires players to complete four loyalty missions before the final sequence. The team completed the shortest and least violent of those missions so that it didn't inflate Shepard's body count.
Projects like this take a lot of dedication from the people that create them, especially considering that the Redditors created a video tallying the kills to go along with each game. Seeing the final number is interesting because of how high it is, even though it's the best-case scenario for those that Shepard considers an enemy.
With Mass Effect Legendary Edition releasing later this year, fans may soon have a reason to tally their own kill counts throughout the series. Of course, not everyone that plays will do so passively, so there's a good chance that players will have even higher kill counts by the time they're done saving the galaxy.
For fans of the Mass Effect franchise, today is N7 Day, a holiday of sorts celebrating the beloved franchise. N7 is the military rank protagonist and player-character Commander Shepard carries within the Human Alliance Military in the Mass Effect universe. While N7 Days usually consist of sales on cool merch and amazing art from fans, this N7 Day came with not one, but two major announcements: the long-rumored Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster is indeed happening and that another entry in the Mass Effect franchise is currently in development by BioWare.
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