Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Intergalactic Renegade (Pt. 10)

On the precipice of extinction.

Everything depends on these fleeting moments and the decision that Sordid Shepard makes. Which would be terrifying under normal circumstances, but these circumstances are far from normal. She also has a personal stake in this decision. So she may, for the second time in her life, make the right decision, rather than the one that awards Renegade alignment. But I guess that we’re going to have to wait and see. Prioritising her own egocentric ambitions over millions of innocent lives would not only be her greatest betrayal, but would also be a fitting end for her.

She’d be nearly as selfish as the salarians.

But events in the Mass Effect trilogy are rather subjective. So it’s difficult to say which is the best or the worst outcome in any given situation. Making decisions solely because it is the Paragon or the Renegade approach is not advised, as the repercussions of those decisions might surprise you.

Hence why I’ve always praised the concluding events of Mass Effect 3. They’re fairly controversial, but I’ve always appreciated being able to make the decision that best suits the character that I’ve built, and not the decision that best suits the choices that I’ve made. Choices that I may not even remember making. Or that I failed to realise the significance of at the time. I’ve meticulously fumbled through key events to arrive at this perplexing conclusion, and while these events may not have dictated her decision, they could easily result in an immensely underwhelming decision being made for her. Citadel would make for an absurdly enjoyable alternative conclusion were events to unfold that way. But they don’t. So it’s probably best to accept what actually happens instead, even if the wounds are still fresh.

Walk towards the light…

Revisiting the Mass Effect series through Mass Effect Legendary Edition has been a pleasure, though. It’s an exhilarating one-of-a-kind narrative-driven adventure that takes you on a truly unforgettable journey. One that explores one of the most fascinating and diverse RPG franchises in recent memory, which still holds its own even after all these years. Mass Effect 2 was easily the most frustrating of the three. And that was (mostly) due to the sheer absurdity of Insanity difficulty, which wasn’t at all necessary, but did inspire a tremendous amount of profanity.

I honestly didn’t know that I had it in me.

Maybe that’s why Insanity difficulty is usually reserved for those with considerable experience with the Mass Effect series, as it was only available after completing the main campaign(s) prior to Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Now it’s immediately available to any reckless enough to attempt it.

Of the changes made in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, and there are many, none seem to significantly affect the experience, making me wonder whether it’s best considered a remake or a remaster. Not that this makes any difference to its content. I’m just curious as I believe it leans towards a remaster and not a remake, but it isn’t either entirely. Which is oddly fitting as the original trilogy was difficult to classify, too. But I’ve always felt that was part of its charm, as there wasn’t anything like it before it and there hasn’t been anything like it since. Being able to revisit Mass Effect in (arguably) its best form has been one of the highlights of my year. Which is why I highly recommend Mass Effect Legendary Edition, as it allows those who have never experienced this outstanding trilogy to embark on an incomparable adventure.

Have a nice weekend, all!


Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Intergalactic Renegade (Pt. 9)

Whispers from the deep.

Reverberating in the minds of those affected by their treacherous indoctrination, which should (but doesn’t) include Sordid Shepard. Her mind is filled only with her own egotistical self-importance. She does need to address this situation, though. Lest more innocents be led astray by these ancient behemoths. So unto the depths of the ocean she goes with nothing more than a rickety old diving suit, as these creatures may be the last hope that the universe has for winning this war. They may also try to murder her once she’s confined to their undersea domain.

But that’s understandable.

And it’s still better than revisiting Omega at the behest of Aria. I can’t pretend that I was entirely committed to that excursion, as I wasn’t. And that was before the developers brought back the worst combat mechanics of Mass Effect 2 for its sparse (but monotonous) combat encounters.

Monotony that was only bearable because she is now able to use Flare (inherited from Aria), and that allows her to tear through barriers with ease. Meaning that she is no longer terrified of Banshees because of their barriers. Just because of their erratic movements and surprising deadliness in close quarters combat, which are arguably greater concerns. But those can be solved by simply running away. Not that there’s much sense in running if you can’t fight back, as even bullets empowered by Incendiary Ammo are ineffective against their formidable protections. Hence why they’re so terrifying. Insanity difficulty has undoubtedly made them more aggressive, but aggressiveness is inherent in their design, as Mass Effect 3 boasted considerably challenging combat on every difficulty level. Which I couldn’t be happier about.

And thus her synthetic army was born.
No excursion was more embarrassing than agreeing to meet Joker for lunch, though. Not only because she fell through a fish tank in a sushi restaurant, but because she had to fight her way back to her newly acquired apartment with nothing but a silenced pistol. She then had to suffer through the worst boss encounter in Mass Effect 3. One that seemed conceptually interesting but failed spectacularly in its execution. Fighting an enemy Vanguard should be an exciting prospect, and should demonstrate how proficient you’ve become with your character class.

But it was just constant Nova spam.

Which makes no sense whatsoever, as the enemy Vanguard didn’t have a barrier- they had a shield- so they shouldn’t have even been able to use Nova. As it exhausts your barrier when used, and requires your barrier to be intact before use, so they definitely shouldn’t be able to spam it.

However, as ridiculously frustrating as that encounter was, it did result in Sordid Shepard being able to go to the best party in the universe, so it was (mostly) worth it. I believe that this was a post-release DLC brought together specifically for the fans, and was meant to serve as an affectionate goodbye to those enraptured by the trilogy. It certainly felt that way to me. And I believe it probably felt that way to the talent that brought these experiences to life, as it’s not possible to be involved with something for so long and not grow attached to it. I know that I’ll miss Mass Effect Legendary Edition once Mass Effect 3 draws to a close. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it, as I’ve completed the Mass Effect trilogy before, but I suppose it never gets any easier saying goodbye to experiences that you have fond memories with.

Have a nice week, all!


Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Intergalactic Renegade (Pt. 8)

The thundering rhythm of war.

War that might have been avoided had those in authority listened to Sordid Shepard and her warnings, but such is the cost of their denial. Denial that has resulted in the loss of millions of innocent lives. Denial that has rendered the entire universe impotent against seemingly invincible opposition. Which is why they deserve to watch their civilisations be extinguished, as they failed to acknowledge the staggering severity of this threat. Which would definitely befit one such as her. But the main campaign implores her to attempt to broker fragile peace instead.

So broker fragile peace she will.

Even if the salarians are repeatedly testing her patience, making her committed to their inevitable demise as they refuse to cease their scheming. The krogan have suffered long enough. They deserve to be freed from the shackles that have tightly bound both them and their future.

But those that have bound them would need to realise that greater issues than the ones they face exist, and that isn’t likely to happen in this universe or the next. Her adventures wouldn’t be nearly as eventful were she not required to navigate the confusing landscape of political aspirations, though. And their idiocy does afford a wealth of content. Hence why I’m not bothered by their incessant objections, but I am wondering how these civilisations ever managed to achieve anything but constant regression. You’d think that the lingering threat of extinction would inspire them to bury old grudges. But all that the salarians seem interested in burying is the bodies of their own people, as bleak as that is to envisage. It’s inconceivable how selfish they are. But maybe this is closer to existential commentary than I’d like to admit.

We should never have been alone in the fight.

Now that her revitalised character class has become far more formidable than it ever was in Mass Effect 2, I’m trying to decide which bonus ability best suits her approach. Notable considerations have included: Slam (inherited from Javik), Carnage (inherited from James), and Barrier (inherited from Kaidan). She’s currently using Reave (also inherited from Kaidan), as that significantly improves her biotic damage potential, but I’d prefer an ability that deals devastating damage to barriers. Not that I’ve found any matching that specific description thus far.

Besides Warp (which she can’t inherit).

Were I able to tear through the barriers of Banshees (and their accursed ilk), I could then repeatedly shoot the exposed flesh inside with a semi-automatic assault rifle empowered with Incendiary Ammo. A description that makes them sound like a horrific biotic space crustacean.

I’m definitely not buying one of those for her cabin. Unless it will latch onto the faces of her enemies (or their equivalent) and lay eggs inside them. Eggs that nourish themselves inside their fleshy chest cavity, and then burst out as baby biotic space crustaceans. I’m reasonably certain that’d be copyright infringement, though. But imagine if her space hamster could do that. There would be hundreds of furry friends crawling into the crevices. Henceforth, Sordid Shepard is no longer concerned with brokering fragile peace, and instead will endeavour to unearth the ancient Prothean technology that allows her to clone thousands of space hamsters. Such a thing must have existed. If it didn’t, it’s fairly clear why their civilisation was extinguished. They didn’t pay their adorable overlords enough respect to be deemed worthy.

Have a nice week, all!