What's the game about? Commander Shepard dies at the end of Mass Effect 2. At least, in one of the game's endings he does. See, Bioware wants to continue Mass Effect's tradition of characterization playing a critical role in gameplay and storytelling. So, it is possible to die, permanently at the end of Mass Effect 2, although you don't want to do this. Why not? It's fun to kill off your guys in RPGs, right? Well, primarily because you'll be able to import your stats, your reputation, and the effects of the decisions you've made in Mass Effect 2 into Mass Effect 3, but only if you survive. Likewise, you'll be able to import this same info from Mass Effect into Mass Effect 2, a feature rarely seen in today's RPGs, but one that was the fantastic norm back in the late 80's and early 90's.