February 12, 2010

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Mass Effect 2 on first playthrough – Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently beat Mass Effect 2. Today I wanted to talk about a few things, what I liked/disliked, my end game team, guns, and lastly what the “bonus” was for beating Mass Effect Galaxy (the iPod Touch/iPhone game).


  • The improved combat system
  • The upgrade system — no more pausing mid-fight to adjust ammo types as necessary, or installing an upgrade for one weapon and moving your upgrade into another, etc, etc
  • The planet scanning instead of taking the Mako down to run around the planet
  • The heavy weapons
  • Three different versions of Barrier: Fortification (for more Armor), Geth Shield (for more Shield), and Barrier (for more… biotic Barrier).
  • No achievement/bonus/incentive for having one particular squadmate(s) for most of the game. This encouraged me to try out everyone.


  • New weapons weren’t always better than the old ones. Specifically, I went from the semi-automatic sniper rifle to a bolt action (that looked like an M107). It did more damage, but the constant reload was annoying. More on this below.
  • Only being able to use one “power” at a time. In the previous game, I enjoyed being a biotic because I could fire off multiple abilities at a time.
  • This one comes from Jon: no measure of what your squad is composed of; in the previous game, you had 3 bars letting you know how much Tech, Combat, and Biotic prowess your chosen squad had. This goes inline with your squadmates not really having classes in this game (thought it was fairly obvious what they were in most cases).

End Game Team:

When you begin your assault on the collector ship you need to pick a Tech Specialist and a leader for the second team (Fire Team).

I used Tali as my Tech Specialist (though I’ve heard Legion works as well).

Miranda as my Fire Team Leader (heard that Jacob or Garrus also work).

For the next section you need a Biotic to shield you, a Diversion team leader, and an escort for the survivors.

I used Samara as my biotic (I’ve heard Jack works as well).

Miranda once more headed up my second team.

I used Jacob to get everyone back to the boat.

Since everyone in my party was loyal, I suffered no deaths.

Guns, guns, guns! Someone over on the bioware forums had this to say about the effects of guns on resistances/armor/shields/barriers: Mass Effect 2 Gameplay Data. Useful bit (of course I didn’t find it till AFTER I finished playing). Basically, if an ammo/gun type says it is good at something it does at least full damage to that (usually 1.5x damage though).

Now, far and away this is the most useful bit I have found, a Weapon Chart by Arthelinus which shows weapon stats for… EVERY weapon in the game, including the guns that came in other editions (Collector’s and Digital Deluxe). It also points out the gun that is only available if you are playing on Hardcore or Insane difficulty.

Last, but not least… Did you play and beat Mass Effect Galaxy? Wondering what the bonus is? I finally found the answer via a post on the IGN Forums:

Not too far from the entrance to Afterlife in Omega, you bump into a Salarian named Ish who asks for some help finding a pair of datapads. If you have Jacob and/or Miranda with you, you get some dialogue that references their dealings with Ish in Mass Effect Galaxy.

I didn’t realize this was the “reward” before because I never had Jacob or Miranda with me while completing his mission.

That’s right, the bonus is some random conversation about an NPC. Congratulations.

So yeah, it happens toward the beginning of the game, after you have gotten Archangel and/or Mordin, you see him outside Afterlife and he asks you to find him some datapads. If you have both Miranda and Jacob they will talk about it. Seems pretty darn lame to me, but such is life.