Since we’re running through some of the most difficult decisions players have to make across the whole Mass Effect series, there are obviously major spoilers ahead!
Save Ashley or Kaiden – Mass Effect
Although Mass Effect players already had to make plenty of tough decisions leading up to this moment, this was the first that would directly influence a major part of the entire Mass Effect trilogy narrative. With both squadmates under heavy fire and in need of immediate support, the player had to choose whether to save Ashley Williams or Kaiden Alenko. Only one could survive.
This choice was especially difficult because it hit on two fronts. While there was plenty about both characters not to like – Ashley was an army brat with racist inclinations, and Kaiden’s niceties felt like a facade hiding something darker – both had been with Shepard since the beginning of the game. There was a kinship between the three characters, a bond which made it tough to say goodbye to either of them.
Not to mention, players had devoted skills points to both characters by the time this decision reared its ugly head. Losing a squadmate meant writing off all the XP either character had earned and all the useful skills that might come in handy later in the game. Ashley was a competent mid-range fighter who could keep enemies off Shepard. Kaiden could use biotics to change the enemy layout on the battlefield, as well as tank a decent amount of hits.