If you look at the statistics from Mass Effect 3, apparently only 35.5% of players took the renegade route, while a whopping 64.5% chose paragon. I was a little surprised at this result, considering how many videos there are out there showing renegade actions, but I suppose it makes a certain kind of sense, given that the supposed “best” results for the finale included paragon choices.
But I digress. My preference?
Out of the many playthroughs of the Mass Effect series, I can count on one finger how many times I played as a full-on renegade. There are certain parts of the games that I prefer the renegade response, like when you’re on Thane’s loyalty mission and you freak someone out by yelling that there’s a bomb on the Citadel, but for the most part, I just don’t like the asshole responses that Shepard gives when they’re a renegade. That is, until you get to the third game, and it’s more, I don’t know, sarcastic and edgy than it is mean or callous.
My ultimate playthrough was with a primarily paragon Shepard, with about a 1/3 renegade bar filled, which I felt was a good mix. After all, I’m a fairly flexible person who can see the benefit of a not-so-nice response to something, but ultimately, I’m all about helping the whole, not the one. There were a lot of times I chose the renegade side of things because I just wanted a scene to end; on Mordin’s loyalty quest in ME2, the Weyrloc guy who just keeps taunting me with visions of the great krogan expansion made me irritable enough to blow him up with the fuel tank, for example. I also chose to kill the rachni queen in the first game because of the payoff in ME3. Like I said, though, as a general rule, I stayed on the paragon path so, at the end, it really is the entire galaxy coming together to throw whatever they have at the Reapers, instead of a soldier just going around and bullying people into it. It just seemed, to me, to be a better approach, and apparently, nearly 65% of everybody agreed with me. So there. I win.