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I've not played Mass Effect 1 or 2, and during character creation in Mass Effect 3 I'm asked to choose what experience of combat loss I have. This makes little sense to me, I don't know who the people mentioned are. What difference does it make to the game?

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Several decisions made during Mass Effect 1 and 2 have outcomes that affect the story in Mass Effect 3 -- in particular, it's entirely possible to finish Mass Effect 2 while losing almost your entire crew, including your party members.

This Mass Effect Wiki page contains a complete summary - or at least, we think it's mostly complete.

The "combat loss" it's alluding to is a shorthand way of asking whether you want a fabricated ME1/ME2 backstory where none, some, most or all of your crew survived.

It'll still assume suboptimal outcomes for various side missions and/or DLC that you never played, though; the only way to get those is to play through ME1 and ME2 yourself and complete them.

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  • All of your crew survived is not an option. You have to choose Ashley, Kaidan, or multiple losses.
    – bwarner
    Mar 12, 2012 at 13:09
  • Ah. Personally, I had a preserved 1->2->3 save lying around so I didn't run into the option. Mar 12, 2012 at 14:33
  • Yeah, if you remember, you have to sacrifice either Kaiden or Ashley on Virmire in ME1, so at least one of them will be dead.
    – RESPAWN
    Mar 12, 2012 at 15:05
  • Yeah, I remember. It's been more than a few years, though. Mar 12, 2012 at 15:14

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