Living in constant fear.
Not of the repercussions of her generally distasteful actions, but of the dangers of the (aptly named) Insanity difficulty level. Which is why I should never let achievements dictate my chosen difficulty level. I had expected that it would be a considerable challenge, but I hadn’t considered how favouring Renegade dialogue choices could exponentially hasten her demise. And they easily could. Because many of those dialogue choices have significant repercussions, which don’t become fully apparent until they’ve changed the events of both Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3.
And those changes are rarely pleasant.
However, due to the nuances of the Paragon and Renegade dialogue choices, it isn’t practical to solely favour Renegade, so she won’t be unequivocally iniquitous. Just despicable and cantankerous. Much to the chagrin of those that find themselves floating on a wayward asteroid.
Sordid Shepard is an honorary Octogenarian, and her build will approach the majority of the content in Mass Effect Legendary Edition with as much disdain for humanity as Murderous Mabel had in Fallout: New Vegas. I’ve wanted to revisit the Mass Effect series for some time, but I’ve always been unsure as to how (or when) I’d revisit it, so the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition proved fortuitous. Conceiving the build (and its absurdities) was fairly simple, too. I’d (mostly) favoured Paragon dialogue choices when first experiencing the trilogy, so favouring Renegade dialogue choices in the remaster felt appropriate. The difficulty level became obvious when skimming through the achievements. And her character class, the high risk Vanguard, was the only choice that could satiate my clearly masochistic tendencies.
Because I don’t know how else to describe that choice. Vanguards are, however, incredibly powerful, but they either decimate the opposition or are decimated themselves. They can bolster their defences with Barrier and Shield Boost, but they’re still surprisingly susceptible to the deadly precision of snipers. They’re also reliant on their shotguns. Meaning that they’re usually forced into close quarters combat, which doesn’t always end well for them. Prior experience suggests that this is (mostly) due to increasing the difficulty level and that it won’t be as concerning soon.
That’s usually what happens.
Hence why the non-linear nature of Mass Effect will undoubtedly be crucial to my success. As I’ll be able to freely explore planets and gather new equipment as required, but also develop party members towards their preferred role in combat by completing various Assignments.
I’m enjoying the heightened difficulty level, though. It’s (ironically) encouraged me to be more aggressive in combat, and to utilise abilities (such as Warp and Overload) in creative ways to overcome difficult encounters. I’d never considered overheating weapons to be as decisive as it actually seems to be. I’ve been prioritising flexible party members (such as Kaidan and Wrex), too. As their abilities allow them to be effective in a wide range of situations, and that balances their inability to specialise. Sordid Shepard also exhibits remarkable flexibility. She can confidently switch between dealing ludicrous damage with her shotgun to supporting her squad by utilising abilities from afar. I’m just hoping that, either by levelling up or acquiring new equipment, she eventually gains substantial survivability to complement that flexibility.
Have a nice weekend, all!