VIDEO Mass Effect Series (New Game Announced!)

Discussion in 'Games' started by Valyn, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    One of the things that I really liked about ME3 was the addition of the firing range in the Spectre office on the Citadel - it's a good opportunity to test out weapons and mods without having to save and reload a mission. Gives you a good idea of how things will behave in the field, although I wish they had an option for you to fire from cover rather than just standing up. I never had much use for the Vindicator either - it really needs the recoil damper mod to be effective at range and the ammo's limited. Before I went crazy on DLC guns I stuck with the plain vanilla Avenger until I got my hands on the Phaeston. I still upgrade the Phaeston even though I hardly touch it - not the best punch, but that's about it's only vice.

    Maybe it's because I have the PC version (actions spread out over a keyboard rather than a controller, could never work those things worth a damn) or my preferences in a shooter are a bit different, but for me combat was the one area where ME3 definitively blew the rest of the series away. The cover mechanics, the combat moves (I get frustrated replaying ME1 and 2 about being unable to roll), the weapon mods, the weight capacity system, power combos, and the enemy AI are pretty good. The grenades are my main complaint since I generally can't throw them worth a damn. If enemies are using cover, either use a precision weapon to hit their exposed bits or equip a piercing mod and shoot right through obstacles. Spec a Javelin properly and there's no cover in the game that can stop that bad boy. As for the smoke screens, my best counter to that is a sniper rifle with a scope mod - peek-a-boo, blam you're dead. The Raptor is a glorious gun for that - it's less of a pure sniper rifle than a scoped semiauto battle rifle, two weapons for the price of one.

    My advice would be to try and get the hang of the combat system before progressing too far in the game. Some later opponents (especially Phantoms if your aim is at issue) may well make you scream in rage. I'm fairly good with the guns and I still prefer to fry those biatches with hitscan powers where available. Nemeses are also slippery as hell and about the only time you can line up a good shot on them is when they're scoping you down. Brutes and Banshees aren't hard to hit (well, Banshees can be when they're teleporting around), but they require a LOT of firepower to bring down. The Atlas also can take a beating, but I don't find it that difficult - easier than the YMIR from ME2, since the fire rate is slower and it doesn't move as fast.
  2. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Half to three quarters of the guns in the game are loads of crap, to be frank. At least, that's my experience on my run-through. And unless you're a careful saver you're not going to be able to upgrade all of them anyway, so don't even try. Just go and find the good stuff first. If you like the dakka, do yourself a favour and pick up a Typhoon or a Hurricane toot sweet and just mod the crap out of that.

    Oh, I also thoroughly recommend cheating the game in one respect: the recovery of war assets assignments. Just look up a wikia showing you where every asset is and go and get it direct. It'll save you a hell of a lot of time and bring you a respectable sum of credits. As you will soon see, the mechanic for scanning and "exploration" while avoiding the Reapers somehow manages to be even more annoying and unrealistic than ME2's mineral scanning*. To wit: if you are detected in a star system, Reapers will pursue you. But if you can get to the planet you're looking for before they catch you, you're home free and can scan the planet at your leisure while Harbinger and his buddies patiently wait for you to finish peeking in on people's apartments from orbit. Leave orbit, though, and THE CHASE IS ON AGAIN! Don't give yourself the trouble and frustration, just go and get a list of planets from somewhere on the web and be done with it. It'll get you to the game's good bits a lot faster.

    *Although personally I found the mineral scanning in ME 2 rather meditative. Reminded me a lot of the 'planet lander' minigame back in Star Control 2, showin' my age now.
    Last edited by Saintheart, Jul 30, 2013
  3. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Thanks both. DC's ME1 recs changed that game substantively, looks like it'll be the same for ME3.

    I didn't mind the mining element of ME2 either.
  4. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Generally my stock combat move is to assess the battlefield and move Shepard and the squadmates into defensible cover. Then, shoot until there's nothing left to shoot back. If possible, give your squad a little bit of separation; what you really want to do is make sure you don't get flanked. And the AI enemies will try to do that; worse, they work together. In the case of Cerberus, you'll get Centurions laying down smoke grenades to block your vision, Assault Troopers chucking frag grenades like horseshoes champs to flush you out of cover, Nemeses sniping you every chance they get, Engineers setting up turrets that pin you down or shred you, and Guardians and Phantoms trying to close in for the kill. I find it works to bunker down and try and take out the enemies by threat priority. In the case of Cerberus, Phantoms are straight at the top of the list followed by Engineers for me - one of those running loose can ruin your day. At least Engineers go up in a wonderful explosion if you catch them unpacking their turret and either gun them down or hit them with an overload.

    Another thing is to keep power combos in mind. Setting one of those off in either a mass of enemies or on a heavy will make a big difference - hitting a Cerberus turret with overload and then a concussive shot? Watch the sparks fly, do serious damage to the target, and zap everybody standing around it. Incendiary ammo plus concussive shot, overload, warp, incinerate, carnage, or a grenade will turn that charging Brute into a volcanic explosion of fiery goodness that damages everything around it. Get Javik and Liara on your squad and between dark channel and warp they can spam biotic explosions all over the place. Cryo explosions are also possible, although unlike the other varieties you actually have to kill the frozen target with the detonator power to get an effect. http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Power_Combos

    As far as weapons, I would say very few of them are outright useless (the M-29 Incisor is a very prominent exception). However, you will generally have a more limited set that works for various reasons, and some weapons shouldn't be upgraded because a better one will come up a few missions ahead (the M-23 Katana really suffers here; you get your hands on the M-27 Scimitar on Palaven and the M-22 Eviscerator can be picked up one mission later if you like). Generally it will come down to a combination of damage, ammo capacity, accuracy, fire rate, and weight. Your preferences may vary there. For instance, some people swear by semi-automatic "battle rifles" like the M-96 Mattock and M-99 Saber; me, I'll take a bullet hose like the Phaeston or M-76 Revenant in that category. You'll also vary your loadout. For instance, on my soldier I tend to equip an assault rifle, shotgun, and scoped heavy pistol for fighting Reapers and Geth. The assault rifle does most of the work, the shotgun is kept in reserve for close combat, and the scoped heavy pistol fills the sniper role of picking off enemies at range. For Cerberus, I equip a lightweight, semi-automatic sniper rifle with a scope mod (to counter smokescreens) instead of the pistol and leave the shotgun or assault rifle behind depending on the circumstances. The result is I have enough guns and ammo to do the job and have the power recharge boost to frequently use adrenaline rush, concussive shot, and whatever my bonus power is.
  5. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The Mattock is a decent gun if you want RSI in the fingers unfortunate enough to draw trigger duty on your controller. The Cerberus Assault Rifle is basically a full-auto Mattock with a much smaller clip, but if you mod it sufficiently and practice a little at short, controlled bursts it's a terror in multiplayer or single player alike. You'll be looking for ammo every five seconds, but for sheer stopping power there's little better in the full auto or semi-auto range to match it.

    Fully upgraded, the Phaeston is a very nice auto rifle, good workhorse sort of a gun. Trust the Turians to make **** that just works. And make sure you run at least one mission with Garrus toting the Krysae. It's basically an RPG launcher and Garrus cleans house with it. My playstyle is poles apart from Cane, I don't tend to switch guns at all -- I'm either toting a Typhoon and nothing else to keep the cooldowns low as possible, or at worst my sidearm is an Executioner pistol which is like Dirty Harry's 44 on steroids. As Stalin once said, quantity has its own quality, and with full mag upgrades Banshees don't last long. I don't have a lot of options for close-in work, mainly because if anything does get close in I'm doing something wrong. :D

    EDIT: Honourable mention to the Revenant which actually sounds like a beefy full-auto rifle and has the kick and muzzle flash to match; you really feel like a full metal jacket ************* when you're carrying it. :D
    Last edited by Saintheart, Jul 31, 2013
  6. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    The other option with the Cerberus Harrier is to add a recoil damper and forget having to manually compensate for the muzzle climb, although I find it more useful to extend the clip and add a piercing mod. I've pretty much left that one by the wayside too, now that I have the M-7 Lancer which sacrifices a little punch for being able to put a lot more bullets downrange.

    As far as switching guns, I just like the "bag of tricks" approach; plus for some of the missions where you're clearing a building or cluttered area you don't have a lot of long-range options and it helps have a shotgun handy (the U.S. Marines like to say there's nothing better for close-quarters combat than a shotgun except a flamethrower, so I think they'd approve of a full-auto shotgun that essentially fires napalm rounds). Sniper rifles are also a favorite of mine; as much as I love unloading a few hundred rounds of exploding incendiary ammo that'll turn the nastiest unit in the game to ashes in seconds there's something about headshotting mooks from across the map. It's really fun once you have the thermal scope mod (or get the Javelin). A couple times I've had my infiltrator just snipe Cerberus and Geth on the other side of the wall, then open the door and walk through when everyone's been blown to bits by what is essentially a miniature version of the Normandy's main gun. :D

    If anything, the plain vanilla M-6 Carnifex is the 22nd-century descendant of Dirty Harry's .44 S&W - it hits harder than some of the lower-end sniper rifles like the M-97 Viper and unless you put in an extended magazine it even works with the "Did I fire six shots or only five?" question :cool: . The Executioner is more like the great-great grandchild of the old howdah pistols - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howdah_pistol
  7. vypernight Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 2
    For those who've played the ME3 Citadel DLC, is the Arena similar to MP mode, but with AI teammates?
  8. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    I've never played MP, but it's broadly similar. You have just three waves of enemies and can select one of three levels of enemy - Foot Soldier, Elite, and Super Elite. All four enemy factions - Cerberus, Geth, Reapers, and Collectors - are selectable. There's also the option of a "Mirror Match," where you face off against Shepard clones from all six classes - one wave with a Soldier, Engineer, and Adept, one with an Infiltrator, Vanguard, and Sentinel, and a final wave of all six at once. Great fun if you want to know how your enemies feel about getting hit with a charge/nova combo, or ducking simultaneous carnage/incinerate/warp attacks all at once.

    Your objective is to eliminate all three waves, with bonuses given for capturing spawn points, completing the match in under 5 minutes, and enabling handicap modifiers such as enhanced enemy shields or no medigel. If available, you can bring any ME3 squadmate, Wrex, or any of the following ME2 squadmates: Miranda, Jacob, Kasumi, Zaeed, Grunt, Jack, and Samara. Scores of 1-2999 merit a Bronze prize, 3000-5999 a Silver prize, and 6000+ a Gold prize. Prizes can be used to buy ally licenses (required to get Wrex and the ME2 squadmates), new maps, new enemy levels and types, and score modifiers; alternatively they can be exchanged for multiple lower tier prizes (i.e., exchange a Silver for three Bronze) or cashed in for credits (900, 3000, and 10,000 credit value). As a result, you can pretty much just play a crap-ton of arena matches and get unlimited credits. Also, racking up a score of over 9999 in the arena rewards you with your choice of specialized Cerberus Phantom armor - there are three varieties tailored to soldiers/infiltrators, vanguards/sentinels, and engineers/adepts; all of them have cumulative bonuses of 80%. Good stuff if you don't mind running around looking like a helmeted palette swap of the Cereal Ninja or a Phantom, which I do [face_phbbbbt]
  9. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    As much as I hate talking about the ending - *snerk*
    Darth_Invidious likes this.
  10. vypernight Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 2
    Cool thanks. I liked the gameplay of ME 3, but I got sick of the unskippable cutscenes. I also got annoyed with MP since you're by yourself if you play solo. At least Arena sounds like you can shoot and toss things around without worrying about all the cutscenes. Sounds good to me. Thanks again.
  11. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    There are also some challenges you get in the Arena, which if completed will award extra credits, reputation points, and/or weapon mods. For example, the "Unusual Scores" challenge has you first tackle a Super Elite match and then a match with all player handicaps (no medigel, no placed ammo, enhanced enemy shields, enhanced enemy damage, and one-shot player shields) enabled. The final match surprises you by having you select a certain map with Elite Geth opponents; instead you get a new map and start off by fighting a Super Elite wave of Collectors, followed by Super Elite waves from the other three factions, and then a fifth wave consisting of a couple of Geth Primes, an Atlas, a Banshee, and a Possessed Praetorian.
  12. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Far, far too late for that now.

    IF you have excellent dexterity on both left and right hands and able to coordinate both quickly at the same time, you might be OK with ME3.
    IF you can also think in 3D relative to your surroundings and enemies - you might be OK.
    IF you can deal with an overloaded X button, you might be OK.
    IF you can deal with the game's auto-aim regularly sabotaging your efforts, you might be OK.

    I can't do any of this well, so I'm giving up - clearly this is not the game for nor are of any of Bioware's "efforts", though the term requires an assumption they gave a damn, the evidence of the game is that they really did not. Poor lines of fire, useless radar you have to bring up manually, crap guns - in a shooter? Really? Yes! - it all stinks of a fat, corporate company sitting on its arse. Strategy? There's bugger all to it.

    I desperately wanted to like it, but in retrospect, both its predecessors also frequently infuriated in ways other RPGs did not, Bioware's "easy" setting? Nothing of the kind, especially it seems in ME3. The frequency and speed with which your shields collapse is quite offensive in itself - hero? Nah, you're no hero, you die in 5 shots from enemies that are super-accurate while you have to do everything manually. The powers wheel? Opaque, unreliable and counter-intuitive - I want to use frag grenade, does it work? No, not first time, not easily and that's been the problem across all 3 games. Powers? Can't use due to the interface.

    It's not limited to the Mass Effect games either, Uncharted 3 similarly committed ritual suicide with its own idiotic design. Clearly game "design" - a term I'm sceptical of now - is headed in a direction not for me. PS4? I really don't know now.

    Oh but if I'm getting hugely hacked off with a game that's good, right? No. No, it really isn't where I'm concerned - game discs have previously ended up being destroyed with a steak knife due to said "positive" effect. I've got a little better on that front I suppose - the bugger gets sold instead.

    So yeah - that's where the saga ends for me - dead due to game designer stupidity. Feel pissed off I bought the DLC as I can't sell that.
  13. Auditor Dredd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2005
    star 4
    I'm more curious on your thoughts on the endings.
  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Clearly you've missed the bit where I never got anywhere near that. Like Uncharted 3 I decided to draw the obvious conclusion: %^£$ this $£"! I'm cutting my losses and ceasing playing.

    Turns out they went and screwed with the difficulty settings, Normal in ME3 is Veteran in ME2, thus Casual in ME2 doesn't exist in ME3! EXPLAINS A LOT.

    In principle, I don't object to games being harder so long as they are up-front about it. Switching the levels while retaining the same names? Whichever you slice it, that's bad form.

    It was a side mission that killed the game, I'm in this Cerberus lab and in ME2 side missions were fun, not here. Difficulty spikes with a stupidly nuts firefight that tells me all I need to know about the game - it was designed by a bunch of idiots. Oh but there's narrative mode? Oh. Right. So because they went and nerfed the damn combat the only option is to opt-out. Pillocks.
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Aug 2, 2013
  15. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Hmm, just been doing a bit of scooting around and maybe Story mode is the way to go for me. But sounds like I have to restart?

    Not that I've got far in any case.

    Had thought story mode automated the conversations, which I don't want, along with skipping combat, but apparently it doesn't.

    Suppose I may as well give it a go.
  16. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    The way I heard it, there were various modes to attempt to appeal to the various factions (RPG fans, shooter fans, etc.). I think RPG mode made combat easier so you could get to the RPG elements (conversations) faster, something like that, just check the options I think. But the game itself just got annoying for me after a while, probably why I haven't bothered with it for a while. In ME2 I had a fun time sniping Collectors, but here the sniper rifles aren't that useful. Well, haven't gotten around to upgrading them yet, but still, compared to an assault rifle, not really worth the extra hassle carrying one around. Especially since more weapons just mean slower powers (sure the Soldier can carry around all weapons... but no point to actually doing that).

    Especially given Reapers will swarm you, and Cerberus Centurions drop smoke grenades every 10 seconds. And then there are the later Reaper enemies that will literally soak up bullets while you wait for your useless shields to regenerate. Having endless Marauders with all their shields surrounding your squad gets annoying. I suppose I should learn to play better, but then there are the occasional unwinnable boss fights that are basically just dragged out. And the story is ok, I know the whole theme of the trilogy is Shepard dragging everyone else kicking and screaming into doing something sensible but its kind of boring by now.

    And that's not even going into the required multiplayer to get a "good ending". Raised war readiness another way, saw it, don't care that much anymore. Certain story moments are still fun, except for the ending of course (you can't even save while you're talking to your squadmates one last time I think?).
  17. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Well, isn't this interesting?

    Just booted it up with the idea being to switch modes or restart and guess what I find in the options menu?

    Despite my repeatedly setting it to Casual, it's decided to set combat difficulty as Normal! Probably been that way since the start as it casually decided to over-ride MY settings!

    So, yeah, no surprise that I'm looking at the game and wondering where the difficulty spike came from compared to ME1/2!

    Despite this out-right underhanded douche-baggery, it gets a reprieve of execution..... for now.
  18. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Time to give Mass Effect 3 some due credit as I've gone through:

    Palavan's Moon: Killed my first Brute and seen a Harvester and, oh yeah, Marauder Shields. Quite smart stuff - great to have Garrus back.

    Sur-Kesh - Not quite as irritating as on the demo but still not all that - highlight was Mordin.

    Grissom Academy - Mostly fun, save for them screwing up with the Atlas mech - that should have been far more epic than it was. Very clever pick-up from the ME2 Overlord DLC too.

    Benning: Rogue Cerberus faction at work so Javik, Garrus and Shepherd slaughter the entire company present - and it WAS a slaughter. With the squad kitted out with Plasma Rifles, it only amped up the humiliation for them.

    Tuchanka - Turian Scouts - Killed Cannibals, Marauders, Husks oh and A Harvester or two! This was quite smart - save for the Harvesters buggering off before they got killed.

    The Rachni - Highpoint of the game, wonderfully creepy design, great Aliens vibe, excellent linkage to ME1 and Grunt kicks an incredible amount of arse and lives!

    Oh and I duffed up the reporter!

    Now I've that pesky difficulty fixed, it's much more consistent with the feel of ME2 in terms of what you can and can't get away with.
  19. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4

    To me Normal is fairly easy, but again - I play the series on PC. Never got the hang of game controllers; in my college days I'd relegate myself to tactical adviser status while my roommates tackled Halo or a CoD-type shooter. It's one of the reasons I like the ME series - I can pause, think over my next move, and then execute it. It's the main reason I haven't tried multiplayer - I'm sure without that my reaction time would stink.

    It's probably a preference thing, but I find the sniper rifles work a lot better in ME3. The variety allows you to pick and choose, and the mods give you some flexibility (scope mod rendering smokescreens useless, and concentration mod giving any class the infiltrator's time slowdown when scoping and dropping). Granted the weight can be an issue, although the Viper and Raptor are pretty easy to pack with a shotgun or AR once upgraded (and with the Raptor you really don't even need an AR). If you want to be a soldier or infiltrator specializing in sniping, carrying a gun like the Black Widow becomes a joy when a power combo blows the barrier off a Banshee and then one bullet in the brainpan finishes the thing. If you don't have the weight capacity or the 225,000 credits to buy that monster, the bog-standard M-92 Mantis is just as powerful (albeit with a slower fire rate and less ammo), dirt-cheap to upgrade, and once upgraded even an adept can run around with that and an ultralight SMG and not sacrifice much in the way of cooldowns or firepower.

    Overall, the stated intent with the enemy AI in ME3 is to punish you for not using your squad's full abilities or assuming you can charge pell-mell into a firefight and survive (well, sometimes you can, but that's beside the point). Can it be frustratingly hard? Yes, but when you get the hang of it you feel like you have some skill. If you can use powers, mods, squadmates, and some careful thinking Normal is a one-sided massacre.
  20. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I suppose it was inevitable.....

    Bioware sticking in crappy, bug-ridden side quests that deny me war assets! Why? Oh I have to do the Hanar Diplomat quest in 1 go! Never mind that the "map" in ME3 is useless, no the Terminals are not sodding marked, the Journal is absolutely useless for indicating what you have and haven't done and there is no indication that it has to be done in one go!

    Then there's a fetch quest for which the system isn't even available yet!

    And this is somehow deemed acceptable?
  21. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Just as a hint before you get really frustrated, there are some sidequests that have to be done before you tackle Priority: Tuchanka.
    http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Priority:_Tuchanka

    And yes, there are fetch quests that come up long before the system they're in is available. Again, I'd advise checking the ME Wiki; it makes hunting things down so much easier and gives you some tips (for instance, you can find and recover fuel pickups in the Galaxy Map without using your scanner).
  22. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I got lucky! Had a prior save that was immediately after the 2nd Terminal hit, the 3rd was working. Only had to re-do a small set of mini-quests too.

    Result? Batarian, Hanar/Drell, Salarian, Alliance war assets and a bunch of Shadow Broker operatives! Was fun seeing Barla Von again, his comment about the Broker backing my efforts against the Reapers being particularly amusing.

    Have been hitting the net for exactly that reason DC, haven't yet done much exploring though. Did the 2 Tuchanka missions of Bomb and Cerberus presence - was near enough total carnage... for Cerberus! Did seem to be an infinite stream of enemies at times. If they've decided to mimic that CoD / Killzone mechanism I'm not happy about it, didn't care for it in those games either.
  23. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Not familiar with the Killzone mechanism, but yeah - the Bomb and the N7: Cerberus Attack missions turn into slaughters. No wonder one trooper on Mars shouts "HOLY ****! IT'S SHEPARD!" when you turn up. The end of Tuchanka: Bomb offers you some chances to frag entire fire teams of Cerberus troops in one go; simply wait for the shuttle doors to open and waste them all before they land (power combos, automatic weapons fire, explosive weapons or grenades, and the biotic flare bonus power work wonders). I think in that one there is an infinite stream of troops until Lt. Victus gets the bomb disarmed, but again - you can pretty much run from LZ to LZ killing everyone as fast as possible and it's not too hard. And when Mr. Fatlas shows up - my word, I wonder why that Hydra missile launcher is sitting over in the corner!
  24. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Killzone 2 has a couple of sections where the enemies info-spawn unless you kill this one guy or get to some specific point - it's dead irritating.
  25. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    And without the awesome character options. How I long for a Geth Juggernaut in the Arena