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Spoiler Warning S4E9: Stairway to Heaven

By Mumbles
on Friday Dec 10, 2010
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Good morning everyone, it’s Mumbles. Did you know that you can’t buy whiskey and eggnog before 6AM in California? So much for the Christmas spirit, law makers!

Link (YouTube)

So, the show is called Spoiler Warning and we typically try not to give anything away before it happens. But, do you have any idea how difficult that is? In the early Bioshock episodes, I was this close to just blabbing who Atlas was, even if it didn’t really mean anything to the viewer at the time. I was bursting with truth, good viewers, but I could not share.

With that said, there’s a big surprise in this episode. As you know, Rutskarn has not played the game and is experiencing it for the first time. It’s really too bad that before the recording, I accidentally told him Archangel’s identity and gave him ample time to work on some puns. Whoops. My bad.

Comments (235)

  1. ToastyVirus says:

    Oh you Mumbles :’)

  2. Deadpool says:

    Small detail, but I can’t remember Josh ever ordering his teamates to use their powers… It’s a helpful lil feature.

    Anyways, yay Garrus and his inability to lock shutters! Oh, and this part killed me rather often too…

    Oh, and the whole “speed up, go back to normal speed for one small comment and back to hyper speed” thing? Awesome!

    • Ringwraith says:

      I think the implication is that they managed to hack open the shutters and you need to get down there and hit a manual override.
      That pyro is very well placed, he’s a nightmare to kill, due to the flailing panic effect of being set on fire.

      Also, the stop for random comments things was hilarious, first one in particular, as it was just so random.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Its a renegade option because its not your rifle,and you are using garrus’ bullets without asking him about it.

    Why doesnt garrus autoheal like every other time you take him with you into battle?

    Shamus,are you talking about shockwave?

  4. Retlor says:

    Thw shutter part on insanity difficulty (hey, I’m an achievement hunter, ok?) made me want to kill myself.

    I’m pretty sure the krogan regen their health almost as fast as the assault rifle can take it down. Even being on fire from incendiary ammo doesn’t seem to have he effect you might think it would.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Incendiary ammo doesn’t stop their regeneration dead consistently. Only incinerate can do that.

    • Deadpool says:

      Most of this game on Insanity is ridiculously boring. Pop out of cover, shoot for a milisecond, take two shots and lose all shield/health, hide behind cover until you regen, repeat…

      It’s more or less taking every battle in the game and making them 10 times longer and more boring…

      • Ringwraith says:

        It does describe itself as being woefully unfair to be honest, not like it forces you to do it on that difficulty anyway.

        • Retlor says:

          Like I said, I was doing it for the gamerscore!

          Still, Shepard becomes the only person in the galaxy who can’t survive a burst of gunfire to the face. All the mercs are much, much tougher than you are. Every single last one of them, even the vorcha mooks.

          • Kian says:

            In all fairness, once you get some of the good weapons it stops being so unfair. Played on Insanity as well, as an Infiltrator, and the big sniper gun that you find in the collector ship (the one that would shatter a normal guy’s arms if they held it to fire) can kill all lower tier mooks in one shot. That’s satisfying.

            • Nentuaby says:

              Playing on Soldier, with Adrenaline rush, you can both amp up the damage of that rifle AND pop every single one of its slugs directly in the enemy’s face on the run. It’s pretty hot.

              • Aldowyn says:

                I play on Insanity because anything else is just too easy. The first time as a Vanguard was annoying, particularly the part where you have to activate the giant turret and fight off the waves of bad guys , but my second Insane playthrough as a Soldier went much better.

  5. Aelyn says:

    “This episode’s going to end with me dying, isn’t it?”

    Perfect. Just… perfect.

  6. Irridium says:

    Well, at least they tried to get Garrus. Better to try and fail then to just sit there and stair.

  7. Piflik says:

    Why are you even awake before 6AM?

  8. Cybron says:

    I like the fast-forward then stopping for comments thing.

  9. Deadpool says:

    Btw, I know you guys are primarily PC WRPG players, but there’s a nice little SNES JRPG that actually explains why one of your party members is weaker when he joins you: Chrono Trigger.

    How I miss that game…

    • Ringwraith says:

      He still loses a massive health bar and all of a sudden deals lots more damage than he did. Though that’s down to the quirks of the battle system, as your party can only have 999 HP and deal 9999 damage max, therefore enemies tend to have whoppingly large health bars and piddly attacks compared to yours, yet remain about as deadly.

  10. swimon says:

    This part right here where you go down to the lower levels of the hotel is easily one of the low points in the game IMO (the other major one is the ending). It’s difficult, frustrating and feels unfair.

    Partly it’s the level design which seems to have a whole bunch of parts that are just impossible to defend. Like the corner with a flamethrowing vorcha or the part which the episode ended in which is just a maze of things that you can’t take cover behind with enemies coming from every direction. It’s bad level design since it makes it impossible to take cover which is the core of the gameplay (the level might have worked in ME where there were less emphasis on cover). The other part of the problem is that it’s an infinite enemy spawn. They are never fun, no not even when Valve do them (Ant lions were easily the low point of HL2).

    Edit: also I wanted to add that the editing of this episode was really good but I forgot, so now I have to edit my post…

    • Someone says:

      Interestingly I was having a blast going through those sections (except the parking lot thing in the end, this one can die in a fire). I had to think strategically, quickly change my position, order my team to hold the chokepoints, use all of the powers at my disposal and so forth. Although, this may have something to do with the fact that I play ME games with more of an “active pause RPG” mindset, so I constantly hit pause, consider the situation, give out move orders and use powers.

  11. Hitch says:

    When you have the obligatory fight against future allies before recruiting them, they have huge health bars and awesome skills because they’re in “Boss” mode. They are the star of the fight on their side. As soon as you recruit them, you demote them to “Minion” status. They can’t be awesome anymore. They have to let you shine.

    • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

      Also there’s the reverse ninja law. When they’re a boss they’re usually fighting alone, but when they join you they’re part of a group.

      Edit: right as I clicked the button I came up with an idea. What if a game was to embrace the Reverse Ninja Law properly? Whenever the PC has to go somewhere either alone or with less people they’d get a power/health boost.

  12. Nyctef says:

    Aargh! That fscking cornercamping pyro is an absolute bitch on Insanity. And yeah, Garrus will take your shields down if you stay too long on the bridge.

    Anyway, great episode as usual :)

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      Actually, also when you’re at that point where he’s sniping people during the sabotage sequence – if you dramatically step up and stand straight up next to the cover, he can hit you after some time.

      Though he only drains your shields, no Elmo Mode.

  13. Adalore says:

    Soo… How much longer till we get the awesome resource probing? :D

  14. Hey Josh, I’ve noticed you tend to miss/forget the items that has a yellow/orange box marker on them.

    Shoot them and they should explode, reduces reloading/saves ammo, cause some nice burning enemies, and besides 1 shot = big boom is a nice trade off for 1 sec of aiming, right? :)

    • Amnestic says:

      As to whether Garrus will shoot you: He will. If you stand around the barricades in his line of fire before the Cathka conversation, he’ll occasionally shoot you, and indeed, only drop your shields.

      Edit: Gah! Silly blog. You were meant to be a new post, not a reply.

  15. eri says:

    Hey guys, remember the part in Mass Effect 2 where you had to shoot a hundred people in the face to wait for the plot to progress? Yeah me neither.

    Okay, honestly, Mass Effect 2 is pretty good. But it’s just not entertaining to watch and not really even all that interesting to talk about.

    • Blanko2 says:

      well theyre not talking too much about it, and theyre fast forwarding through most of the sloggy fights, too!

      i been playing too much new vegas cuz i keep wanting josh to use vats.

  16. Someone says:

    I don’t understand why Josh insists on using the SMG. It’s the crappiest weapon in the game – the spread is bigger than the goddamn shotgun (but the damage is lower) and the clip is tiny!

    • Ringwraith says:

      Not played engineer, adept or sentinel have you?

      • Someone says:

        I have played the sentintel (or whichever one has the bionic powers) and I never used this piece of garbage. I guess you can pimp it out with upgrades, but I spent all my resources on weapons that didn’t suck. I think the SMG you get later at least has a large magazine, but this thing is completely outclassed by the shotgun at close range and pistol in any other situation.

        I guess the console players may have found it useful, as shooting on consoles is less about scoring precise headshots and more about accurately spraying your target.

        • Ringwraith says:

          The SMGs are brilliant at chewing up shields and barriers, which is their primary purpose after all, as well as usually having loads of ammo.
          I used mine all the time.

          • Veloxyll says:

            The SMG is still the best short- to mid-range weapon, so when you’re fighting in battles where there’s a lot of storming around, the SMG is very good.

          • Someone says:

            If you have to rely on SMG then you are an engineer or a bionic so you have special powers to deal with shields.

            • Ringwraith says:

              Biotics have no way to deal with shields, techs have no way to deal with barriers. As such, they still need the SMG. Sentinel perhaps doesn’t so much as they can cover all the bases but you couldn’t leave them completely unarmed, being able to dink health bars in between powers would be needed instead.

              • Someone says:

                …which is a job for another weapon because the SMG wouldn’t hit the broad side of a barn if it was inside the barn.

                And for dealing with shields out of your specialization you have your party.

                Not to mention other weapons. Pistol works great, I think headshots do additional damage to shields and it shoots as fast as you can tap fire button.

    • Irridium says:

      Well the SMG you get from Kasumi is just fantastic.

      But I don’t know if he has Kasumi installed, so yeah.

    • Josh says:

      Right now my SMG is my highest DPS weapon at mid- and close-range. It doesn’t have the burst damage of the shotgun, but that thing’s a pump shotgun and the damage falloff for shotguns in this game is absurd so I’ve been avoiding it unless I’m going charging (and I remember to use the pause menu to switch to it because fuck mouse scrolling). As soon as I get the auto-shotgun upgrade (I don’t remember where that is, isn’t it in Grunt’s recruitment mission?) I’ll probably switch to that for closer fights.

      • Audacity says:

        Wait a minute, the laser shotguns of the future are still pump-action? Since they don’t fire shot/slug from shell casings, what is there to eject?

        • Ringwraith says:

          Heat sinks.
          Besides, it isn’t a laser shotgun, it fires small chunks of metal sped up and given extra mass by mass effect fields, like pretty much any other weapon.

          • Audacity says:

            But then why do the projectiles glow red instead of blue like the X-Men powers do? And how do they light people on fire?

            Not that I don’t believe you. It just seems as though the devs thought up a reason for almost everything and I like reading them.

            • Josh says:

              Normally they do glow blue, but I’m using incendiary ammo.

            • BanZeus says:

              He’s using incendiary ammo.

              Edit: GAH! NinJoshed…

            • aegof says:

              Weapon mods. In the first game, you could put a thing in any weapon to get it to shoot explosions or turn people into green goo or whatever. In ME2, these have been reduced in number, turned into individual character abilities, and made generally more interesting and useful. If you need a narrative explanation, then imagine that modern weapon mods are complicated enough that learning to use them in modern weapons takes a significant investment of time and energy, so most people don’t bother.

              • Ateius says:

                I dunno, I’d have to disagree on being “more interesting.” Incendiary bullets light people on fire, cryo bullets freeze them, just the same as in the previous game. Trying to pass off ammo types as skill trees doesn’t make them more interesting than as a weapon mod.

                More useful? Oh yes. Especially when you max it out and get the burst damage one. Now my bullets not only set you on fire, they make you explode and set your friends on fire too. Party in the burn ward for survivors! (there are never survivors)

        • ulrichomega says:

          They eject the connection between the game designers and the art team.

          • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

            I thought they eject sanity? And any illusion of trying to be serious sci-fi despite what some fanboys claim.

            I’m looking at you, TVtropers! “Shown their work” my ass. Can’t be that difficult to get info on modern guns/military protocol.
            Here’s a sample (IIRC, though): Rk 62, an assault rifle based on the AK-47, can be used to fire accurately at least to 200m (YMMV though). Wikipedia mentions effective range to be 400m. Why does a space age assault rifle have the spread of a WW2 Thompson shot from the hip? Why is a military personel, who isn’t a driver or similiar, trained specifically in pistols? Why the hell is the sniper rifle at best an overhyped battle rifle?
            — tl;dr: You know me. “Bitch, moan, whine. Inaccurate data based on inadequate information pool. Narf.”

            • Jarenth says:

              In Mass Effect 2, the sniper is, at best, a tool for indiscriminately murdering any living thing within sight range, regardless of gravity, armor or weather conditions.

              I guess Your Mileage May Vary, though.

              EDIT: Poit.

              • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                My point wasn’t that. It’s that the range limit for bullets in game is too short to justify a sniper rifle. At least in ME1. I have a friend who was trained as a sharpshooter in the military. He shot in one game (can’t remember the name) to 2km and hit the target. And the game had bullet drop.

                Conversely I tried sniping to, IIRC, over 300m in ME1 and the bullet disappeared into the air. So I just can’t shake the feeling that a good quality modern assault rifle could do the job just fine. Set it on single fire, use a scope and off you go.

                Not that this is limited to Mass Effect games in any way. And it’s most annoying in games where the amount of weapons you can drag around is limited. Not that it really eases the chafing when you then have four separate skills just because the designers felt like following video game tropes. And a rifle that’s less precise than a pistol feels unnatural. Why do developers feel like they need to justify the pistol? Either the player thinks the rule of cool is enough to overlook its shortcomings or they don’t.

                • Jarenth says:

                  Point taken.

                  Also, the most recent ‘sniping’ game I heard of was Sniper: Ghost Warrior, though any of the Delta Forces have also always been sniper-heavy.

                • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                  I’ve heard the Sniper series is heavily scripted, which sounds suboptimal. Especially since those scripts apparently spawn enemies. And at least in the old ones you can’t get into proper positions, such as inside buildings.

                  Not that the problem is “no proper sniping” as such, it’s acting like there is when there isn’t. And in order to form this illusion, and justify sniper rifles, they ruin other weapons’ precision. Assault rifles and SMGs tend to be horrible in games compared to reallife counterparts.

      • Blanko2 says:

        do you have the geth shotgun? that one is a game breaker, the shot power hardly decreases with range and its ridiculously accurate. by far the best weapon except for the slow fire rate and low ammo amount, but thats par for the course for shotguns, anyway.

      • Specktre says:

        Semi-auto shotgun is Samara’s recruitment mission. Use that and Ice rounds. Works very nice. Well, on un-armored opponets at least (the ice bit).

      • Kdansky says:

        I usually change my mouse-scroll as follows in most modern games where you have very few guns to choose from.

        UP: Ranged gun (Example: Pistol)
        Click wheel: Medium range gun (example: Shotgun)
        DOWN: Short Range gun (Example: Wrench)

        That makes scrolling to switch incredibly practical, as you cannot scroll too far anymore. You just need a fourth button somewhere for most Xbox games, but then, you usually only use 3/4 guns to begin with, as there are always redundant guns (SMG + Shotgun).

      • Jarenth says:

        There’s a button somewhere that allows you to switch to the last weapon used; X in my game, though I may have remapped that. Basically allows you to switch between two weapons quickly.

    • PurePareidolia says:

      I think he’s using the Claymore which is two shots and reload – SMG is just faster

    • Halfling says:

      He seems to be fairly effective with it, way more effective then I ever was at least.

      Especially since poor Vanguard as such weak long range choices. When I did my max difficulty play-through as one I thought I would never finish. I cursed that SMG and wished I could use its clips for my pistol and shotgun instead.

  17. Exasperation says:

    There’s a simple explanation for why Garrus’ vital signs bar is so huge but doesn’t auto-regen right now. It’s not measuring how much health he has left, but rather how much patience for cover-based combat he has left. When it runs out he leaves cover, charges into the middle of a pack of enemies, and gets instantly gunned down.

    He probably forgets to switch from the sniper rifle to a close-up weapon like a shotgun before he charges in, too.

  18. So Josh, whom are you planning to get next? Tali I assume. Not sure if you got the DLC’s or not, Kasumi is kinda cool, but that other merc guy (forgot his name) is kinda boring.)

    Also, the question is whether you want to save half the Normandy’s crew or not, if you don’t mind loosing half the crew, then trying to get Legion as early as possible and then do Tali’s loyalty quest etc is just pure gold with him along, pretty fun to drag him along on other missions/loyalty quests too as his view on things are rather neutral and logical. One of the DLC’s deals with an AI which should also be fun to drag Legion and Tali along with on.

    I preferred lineup was Tali and Legion. Legion also has a special sniper weapon that is probably the most powerful sniper weapon in the game. And Tali kicks ass with her engineer skills + shotgun.
    The both kinda overlap in some skills, but that’s ok since you do run into a lot of mechanicals so they do support Shepard nicely in that respect.

    Also looking forward to see Samara, which for me was a dilema as I at times wish I could have had Shepard + Tali + Legion + Samara in the squad. I’m kinda hoping Mass Effect 3 will allow 4 in the squad but I doubt it since it’s been 3 in a squad in ME1 and ME2 though.

    It will also be interesting to see the endgame as there is a lot of random (seemingly at least) triggers as to whom is where, or get hit by what and whom saves Shepard in the dramatic escape.

  19. Specktre says:

    If you talk to the mercs before the attack, they tell you that Archangel basically planted bombs in the lower levels forcing a cave-in. So their plan of attack goes something like this:

    Mercs throw freelancers at Archangel to wear him down, then send in their actual guys.

    While doing that they’ve got diggers clearing out the lower tunnels–a process that takes a few days (if I recall). That’s why the doors were unlocked–the tunnels farther down were caved in.

    Then there were the mechs and the gunship (which was being repaired because Archangel knew exactly where to hit it to disable it the first time ’round). With Archangel tired and surrounded, they hoped to overwhelm him with numbers from multiple positions (with the tunnels cleared in theory) and use the gunship to drop guys in on the upper level, as well as blow crap up and stuff. So yeah.

    It’s like Rutskarn said an episode back or so–textbook siege.

  20. Eli says:

    like most, I don’t read the part that says who wrote the article, but I noticed the change in tone about two words in.

  21. SpammyV says:

    I sort of figured who it was from Mumbles’s hint and knew for sure when I saw him. I was like “Hey, it’s the team’s… uhm… I’ve never played Mass Effect so I don’t know what they’re called, but they look like cat people! That guy!” Also: They do look like cats. It’s the lip thing. They look more like cats than Juhani does(next person who calls Juhani a cat person or a catgirl gets smack).

  22. albval says:

    After nine episodes and their comments that I couldn’t watch in fear of spoilers I just couldn’t take it anymore. I went and ordered the game just two minutes ago (and not just a silly license but a real physical DVD). I wonder what I now buy myself for christmas…

    Damn you, people of the Internets, are you happy now?

  23. I’m surprised you didn’t mention that you can use the sniper rifle perfectly in the cutscene, but can’t so much as carry one around during gameplay as a Vanguard.

  24. darthrex says:

    i dont know if its just my harmful addiction to mass effect but i figured it was garrus as soon as i heard the discriptor “turian sniper”

  25. Zaxares says:

    … You know, I had NEVER considered until that moment the fact that Cathka’s helmet was obscuring one of his pairs of eyes! O.o Good catch!

    And yes, if you hang around in the line of fire long enough back when you were talking to the mercs (but before you actually head out onto the bridge with the rest of the distraction team), Garrus WILL shoot you. He doesn’t shoot you twice in a row though, so I doubt you can actually die from doing that since your shields will recharge before the next shot comes in.

    And no, there’s no achievement for going through the entire game without firing a single shot. Alas. ;)

    That ground-blast power you’re talking about is Shockwave, Shamus. It’s actually not as helpful as you think it is, though. It mostly just knocks people off their feet and sends them flying, but it does very little in the way of actual damage. That explosion you saw was Shockwave hitting an explosive canister and detonating it.

    About NPC’s mysteriously becoming weaker after joining your team: Another annoying one that was very prevalent in 90’s era JRPGs was the NPC who uses some super-awesome-kickass ability when they first show up, and then will never ever use that ability again for the rest of the game. XD

    On the shutters: Actually, if you talked to the mercs beforehand, you learn that they already know about the subterranean passages leading to Garrus’ base. However, at the start of the assault, Garrus blew up all the tunnels underground, meaning they had to bring in mining teams to clear the rubble. They only JUST cleared the rubble, but Garrus had yet another bunch of emergency shutters to seal the passages.


    But yes, that Vorcha Pyro is notorious for causing many, MANY deaths among the ME2 player community. He was actually voted THE most annoying enemy from both ME games in a poll on the Bioware forums recently. XD

  26. Kdansky says:

    As someone who couldn’t stand to watch the last Spoiler Warning seasons, I have to say: This is awesome. Brutal editing and fast-forward helps so much with the boring duck & shoot parts, especially when done twice due to death. Those are mediocre to play oneself, and REALLY boring to watch. And I adore the frequent short stops for funny comments. “Hehehe” after blowing some dudes up with blue explody power was great.

    On another topic: Am I the only one who is bothered by the amount of killing of dudes you have to do as a player? If there was a decent reason to kill everyone, okay, but quite a few of them aren’t even evil or dangerous, just annoying. I am a bit troubled by playing mass-murderers in “role-playing games” all the time, especially with “moral” choices. That one scene a few episodes back where you decide to shoot the guys and safe the other’s ass, and then he complains about it. I mean: We’ve murdered about fifty others to get there, and another fifty going back. After 100 deaths, the importance of two more is really negligible.

    • Jarenth says:

      +4 Renegade points for you.

    • BanZeus says:

      “‘Death happens,’ as we like to say. ‘And when I get paid for it, death happens more often.'”

      -Zevran, Dragon Age: Origins

      Daniel takes idealism a little far for someone who’s lived on Omega for any length of time.

      Shepard, being a military (wo)man, would need to be a little more pragmatic. Killing enemy combatants in a firefight is a possibility you need to accept if you’re going to pick up a gun. That choice was made when Shep signed up with the Alliance, and by the player when they started the game. The fact that you can’t play the game without killing anyone is an intentional limitation in the design, just like you can’t play the game without cooperating with Cerberus and you can’t play the game wearing a foam rubber dinosaur costume. Well, you can but Shepard is never given the option.

      That said, attacking someone who has already surrendered is hard to justify ethically. If/when you convince them to release Daniel, you can choose to let the batarians go (the heroic, or ‘paragon’ route) or kill them (the bad ass, ‘renegade’ route).

      I seem to remember reading somewhere that it’s possible (though probably not easy) to play through Fallout: New Vegas without killing anyone. It might be worth a look if that’s the kind of experience you’re craving.

      • Someone says:

        Well, the batarians (the ones outside their home territories) are known to be terrorists, brutal ruthless opportunists and killers. Even more so if you consider that it’s Omega.

        This particular group of batarians held a civilian doctor who was trying to help them hostage, just because he was a human.

        When I played the game I killed them with nary a second thought.

        • BanZeus says:

          This is gonna sound like trolling, but I’m legitimately interested so please give it some thought.

          Do you think you would have acted differently in that situation if it was Turians threatening a Salarian? What if a group of Asari had a Krogan at gunpoint? What if they were all human and/or you hadn’t met Mordin yet?

          • Deadpool says:

            Can’t speak for anyone else but… In Fallout 2, I walk into a bar and realize that on my way in, some 8-10 year old girl pickpocketed some useless ammo off of me. I ask around and find out several street orphans have taken to pickpocketing people for some black marketer in exchange for room and board.

            So I killed them all. The black marketer and every pickpocketing child.

            Hey, I was roleplaying a badass. My entire family was starving to death and the kids were costing me valuable supplies…

  27. Galad says:

    I haven’t played the game myself, and I didn’t get that from the last two episodes: Why did those mercenary companies have a problem with ArchGarrus to begin with?

    • krellen says:

      He’s been screwing with all their operations on Omega – hijacking shipments, killing couriers, breaking up protection rings. The Mercenary groups have a gang-like role on Omega, each controlling a bit of territory and extorting the people living there like you’d expect gangs to do.

      You actually can go around and talk to the leaders of the three companies to get more information on why they’re after Archangel; Josh skipped that part when he said “don’t care about these guys” and went on to sabotage the mech.

      IIRC, Eclipse’s big problem (Salarian leader, first wave) is that Archangel killed his brother in a raid.
      Blood Pack’s big problem (Krogan leader, second wave, we haven’t seen them as of this episode yet) is that Archangel almost killed the leader (“toughest fight of my life”, the leader growls).
      Blue Sun’s big problem (Batarian leader, gunship, final wave, also haven’t seen them) is that Archangel’s just been a pain in their butt for months, and the Omega leader’s getting pressure from his bosses to perform better.

    • Jakey says:

      That’s because Shamus & Co skip out on a lot of secondary conversations that have little do to with the plot and waste show time, but provide a shitload of backstory. Before they even got to the bridge, they had a chance to speak to the boss of each gang about the history of the gang and their hatred of Garrus. Anywhoo short explanation:

      They’re not mercenary companies as much as criminal organisations with some mercenary fronts. Garrus in ME1 is generally portrayed as a disillusioned C-Sec officer who goes in detail about how bureaucracy leaves him tied up and how he admires Shephard for his ‘do whatever’ Spectre status. A Dirty-Harry-esque vigilante cop in the making, you can either encourage his ethics or tell him he should respect the rules.

      Sometime between ME1 and 2, Garrus snaps and assembles a whole team of vigilantes like him and goes to Omega, starting to wreck shit up. They disrupt drugs deals and shipments, kill gang members and cause general havoc, pissing off all of the warlords. Eventually he and his team prove so goddamn problematic that the three conflicting factions actually join forces to try and take him down together, which is a good indication of how goddamn badass Garrus is. First ambushing and slaughtering his team(more on that later in his loyalty mission), they eventually chase him down to his hideout and lay siege for days as he slaughters hundreds of merc ~ which is where Shephard comes in.

      Hope that cleared things up. :)

      Edit: Oh bugger, someone beat me to it. :D

  28. Jarenth says:

    I like how Rutskarn is smoothly trying to play it off as if he’s figured out Garrus on his own.

    Your lies have no effect on us, Rutskarn.

  29. Wolfwood says:

    Pretty sure someone has mentioned this but anyone else thinks maybe Josh should lower the sensitivity for his aim a bit. Just seems like a lot of the crosshair over shooting the target at close range. just saying \o.O/

  30. Ateius says:

    “We had the skills to hack this robot, so now it’s killing them for us.”

    Sadly, character skills having a dynamic effect on the gameplay like this is no longer something we see in ME2. Any character class can hack the robot. Unless you meant Josh had the skill to solve the minigame.

    • Shamus says:

      ^This sad face is for the loss of character diversity:


      And this one is for me not noticing even though I’d been through the game twice:


      • Van Tuber says:

        Although I generally dislike the simplified RPG elements in ME2, this is one change that I thought was for the better. It was a pain bringing along tech guys for hacking if you didn’t have the right class in ME1.

        • krellen says:

          Never a problem for me. Garrus, Tali and Kaidan all get the skills (and Liara has one of them), so it’s pretty darn easy to have the skills in your group.

          • RTBones says:

            Wasn’t a problem for me either. In some respects, I actually liked having to have other characters along for certain skills. It gave the feeling that Sheppard was less of a superhero and actually did need assistance now and again.

            Admittedly, from a game play perspective, it is a bit of a pain.

      • BanZeus says:

        You wouldn’t have noticed unless you were playing Adept, Soldier or Vanguard AND at some point had neither Miranda (Diet-Sentinel), Mordin, Tali (Engineer 0), Kasumi, Garrus or Legion (Infiltrator Lite) on your team. That’s half your team roster.

  31. NonEuclideanCat says:

    The trope you guys are looking for with Garrus is either “Cutscene Power to the Max” or “Overrated and Underleveled”. And it’s a frustrating trope every time it shows up.

    You watch a badass wreck the ever-loving shit out of rows and rows of dudes, a feat which you and your character are suitably impressed with because there’s no way you could have managed that. Then he joins your party and he’s poorly equipped, his skills are underleveled and/or crap, and is just generally not an impressive character.

    • Blanko2 says:

      this is ME2, in a nutshell.
      you cant say its with garrus alone.
      i guess mordin does live up to his hype, but mostly his skills are behind the scenes: “develop this thing.””i have developed the thing””yaaaay”

    • krellen says:

      Shepard suffers from this too, especially in Mass Effect 1, if you take the “War Hero” background. While a high level Shepard can easily be seen to hold off an entire invasion single-handedly, a low level Shepard cannot.

    • BanZeus says:

      My favorite example is Jack taking out 3 YMIR heavy mechs single handed in less time than it takes you to go down a flight of stairs. She then proceeds to spend the rest of the game eating rockets to the face every time you run into one.

      • Irridium says:

        As well as just tearing through a huge space station like its butter.

        • Dude says:

          I think she deliberately holds back from unleashing the asskicking later on. She might join up with Cerberus, but she sure isn’t gonna help ’em in battle! This makes a lot more sense if you take Miranda along with her everywhere.

          I did it the first playthrough, excepting tons of delightful smacktalk back and forth. Got nothing. That’s basically ME2 in a nutshell: it builds up all these wonderful things in your head that ought to happen but never do.

      • Blanko2 says:

        my favourite example is jacob. when he goes all- oh wait. jacob is just crap. i forgot.

  32. Chong says:


    That’s what she said.

  33. Ryan says:

    Out of curiosity, why haven’t you guys downloaded Zaeed?

  34. Aldowyn says:

    Since everyone wants to talk about weapons, here’s mine (discounting end-game things like the Revenant and Widowmaker)

    Pistol: I use the Carnifex, the slow-firing one.

    Shotgun: Eviscerator, all the way. So much better than the starter, and rapid fire shotguns? No thanks!

    Sniper Rifle: Mantis. Rapid fire sniper rifles even worse than rapid fire shotguns!

    Assault Rifle: Vindicator. Better range, better damage. Burst > auto, for me anyway.

    SMG: Whatever the second one was, it’s been a while.

    Anyways… isn’t it kind of a bad thing that we fast forward so much? I seem to remember Shamus saying something about trying to pick a game where you have plenty to talk about, even during combat.

    On the topic of Garrus, I think I was spoiled by the pre-release hype and stuff. Kind of like the ME3 launch trailer… massive spoiler.

    ME3 discussion below

    Pray, tell, why the heck did all of the Reapers look like Sovereign? Are we retconning the Terminator Reaper? Also, my prediction for the solution is that there will be a fail safe built by whoever built the Reapers (someone had to, right?) designed to wipe out all MECHANICAL life. (Like the Haloes) Sadly, this means the Geth have to die as well, and Legion ends up leading the fight against you, as well as whatever the Reapers come up with.

    • Blanko2 says:

      dude. strike tags? use em.

    • guy says:

      The terminator reaper NEVER HAPPENED, okay?

      The trailer strikes me as kind of nonsensical in universe. Why are they taking so many Reapers into the gravity well? If the Destiny Ascension or the size-inflated Turian fleet, whichever fits in context, were to show up they’d pretty much die. It’s not like they have a huge technological advantage anymore; regardless of the decision at the end, the Thanix cannon is Reapertech.

      • Aldowyn says:

        … whoops, sorry guys, forgot to check after I posted. I put the strike tags in, and they’d been working for me… Hey, is there anyway someone can put them back in now?

      • Avilan says:

        I am not sure what you mean? Since we stopped all their other options, the Reapers HAVE to attack in person. (And no I do not consider this a spoiler).

        Also… If you look at the reapers at the end of ME2, they all look like different versions of squidzilla with various body shapes and slightly different arm placements. It seems to me the obvious conclution is that that’s how the outer shell looks. The Human Reaper would not be big enough anyway to be a full size reaper, it must be meant to be inside the outer shell.

        • guy says:

          No, I get that they have to attack in person. But nothing stops them from attacking in person from orbit. It seems like they would be at risk of being ambushed by the council fleets. They might not be up for protecting earth at great risk, but a bunch of reapers diverting a lot of energy to not collapsing under their own weight instead of shields or their main guns, would be too good an opportunity to pass up.

          • Avilan says:

            (Again, I don’t really see this as spoilers)

            Reapers have a MASSIVE Mass Effect field. Even when dead. I don’t think supporting their weight in gravity is a problem.

            Plus, they are utterly arrogant.

            • guy says:

              They use their mass effect fields to support their weight in gravity. They also use them for shields, their main gun, and to help with maneuvering. After the Turians salvaged Sovereign’s main gun, they presumably need all the power to shields they can get when fighting dreadnoughts, and their heavy laser batteries are probably largely ineffectual against dreadnoughts at extreme range.

        • Jarenth says:

          Sidenote: how the hell did the Reapers in that trailer get to our corner of the galaxy? Wasn’t the whole plot of Mass Effect 1 to stop them from using the Citadel to get to us? Why would they ever go along with such a stupidly fail-prone plan if they have the capacity to just mosey over here in the first place?

          Note to Krellen: replying “the Mass Effect 2 and 3 writers are hacks” does not constitute an answer. I know it’s true, but still.

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