Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Intergalactic Renegade (Pt. 5)

We can rebuild her.

Mechanically, that is. Not literally. That’d be absurd and incredibly costly. Not that I’m suggesting that anything terrible would ever befall Sordid Shepard. That’d also be absurd. Her heinous actions have led to the loss of countless innocent lives, but never her own. Mostly because of the miraculous regenerative properties of the F9 key. Which is why she can allow herself to be consumed by the intoxicating rhythm of seemingly endless conflict while facing supposedly insurmountable opposition, as her mistakes can be rectified just as easily as they were made.

And she’s made many mistakes.

But then so have I, and the most egregious of those may be the decision to carry her forward as a Vanguard. Not only is she missing several crucial biotic abilities, but her base weapon selection is underwhelming, and so she lacks any semblance of the versatility that she once had.

I’m not sure if there are any discernible differences between armour, shields, and barriers but having to tear through those protections significantly hinders her biotic potential. What little potential she now has. Gaining Fortification (from Grunt) has made her noticeably tougher, but she still can’t take more than a few hits before she’s bleeding out and cowering behind cover again. It also doesn’t help that biotic abilities no longer affect enemies with armour, so if they have armour, and the majority do, then she becomes reliant on her weapons. Weapons that now require Thermal Clips. Thermal Clips that were introduced (but simultaneously don’t seem to exist) in Mass Effect 2. Because, despite what the loading screens might suggest, enemies with similar weaponry don’t consistently drop fresh ones. Or Thermal Clips.

A salarian after my own heart.

Medi-Gel is also ridiculously scarce, so I can’t rely on squad members taking hits and being able to recover from them. While the suggestion (also made by a loading screen) to wait for a break in enemy fire is useless, as there’s never a break in enemy fire. I don’t know how much of this is due to (or is being altered by) Insanity difficulty, but if I ever wanted to satiate my masochistic tendencies, and it would seem that I do, then this is the way to do it. This is going to be an experience. One that may see Sordid Shepard outlive my patience for these mechanics.

It’s already begun to wear thin.

Mordin has provided ample inspiration during this adjustment period, though. As I’ve begun to appreciate that I’m not the only one who desires to make things as difficult for themselves as they can be. But then he thrived in the situation he found himself in, whereas I’ve willingly invited it.

Which is far worse as I have no-one to blame for my suffering but myself. Sacrilegious as it would be, I could easily lower the difficulty to something that wasn’t so annoyingly tedious. But I didn’t- and I wouldn’t- because I’m committed to being constantly outmatched and losing hours of my time to enemies literally appearing out of thin air. Which is as frustrating as it is frequent. It is an incredibly effective strategy, though. You can’t shoot that which doesn’t exist. Nor can you predict which cover is actually useful, as you never know where they will appear next. You also never know when your squad will wander aimlessly into imminent death, as they leave cover once the encounter has concluded, but encounters sometimes immediately begin again, leaving your fleshy bullet sponges exposed as they’re now out in the open.

Have a nice week, all!


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