About the Author
Mass Effect
Final Fantasy X
Batman:Arkham City
Borderlands Series
Weekly Column
Champions Online
World of Warcraft
DM of the Rings
Good Robot
Project Frontier

Mass Effect EP12: Grab That Shotgun, We’ve Got Zombies!

By Shamus
on Monday Nov 12, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I forgot that we spent this episode with Shepard and Wrex dressed in apricot armor. I guess it’s good that it isn’t pink. This is one place where I think Mass Effect 3 has a great advantage over the original: You can customize your armor piecemeal to suit your playstyle. These choices have a clear visual impact. On top of this, there are a lot of cosmetic pattern and coloring options.

Comments (83)

  1. MrGuy says:

    I really like the touch of the actual colonists having names that pop up when you target them. Makes it much easier to know where to send the flowers.

    What’s that you say? We’re out of flowers? Oh, well.

  2. Ateius says:

    On the downside, while ME2 and 3 give you more customization for Shepard’s armour, it takes away your ability to alter what your companions are wearing. Some of whom really, really need to put on a shirt.

    • Amnestic says:

      You do get alternate outfits either via (PAID!) DLC or from their loyalty mission. Jack’s loyalty mission is notable for the fact that it does give her a shirt.

      Also the only way to fix Garrus’ armour in ME2 is to buy DLC. :|

      • Ateius says:

        I know about the alternate outfits, but it doesn’t actually fix the problem. Jack may get a shirt, but Samara leaves her armour unzipped (still don’t understand how that works) for strategic bust exposal, Miranda continues to wear a skintight jumpsuit with plunging neckline, and Garrus’ armour still has a big hole in it.

      • Klay F. says:

        I’m ashamed to say that I bought the armor DLC purely for Miranda. I was never really bothered with Jack’s outfit because it fit her character. Miranda actually gets (IMO) much more tolerable when her absurd ass is covered in armor. I was actually shocked that I didn’t automatically hate her (as much) with the armor.

    • ? says:

      Knowing Jack, telling her to put on a shirt would only result in her not wearing her belt-bra or pants or both. That’s why you have to win her loyalty before she puts something on her back. OR you can pay for some juicy DLC wink wink nudge nudge.

      In principle though, I’m happy that I can’t customize appearance of my companions in DA2 for example. They are grown up people and I’m not their nanny picking out their clothes. If that means Fenris will charge into battle bare feet so be it. At least designers could design a signature look for him and he does not look like a clown because armor I got for him has awesome bonuses but is pink and avocado.

      Edit: Damn ninjas!

    • Luhrsen says:

      “On top of this, there are a lot of cosmetic pattern and coloring options.”

      I wouldn’t say Shepard actually gets that much more customization. True you can piecemeal out your armor bits and pick from a dozen colors; but only two colors at a time. Also there are only two armor patterns, three if you count blank as a pattern. You may not have been able to customize colors before, but you had dozens of actual armor models in multiple colors to choose from. More total models than in 2 & 3, the only downside being too much loot.

  3. Klay F. says:

    Yes, I will concede that some of the armor looked stupid. As a counterpoint, the best armor in the game, the Colossus Armor was absolutely badass looking. As a corollary, yes, you look pretty dumb and/or generic for most of the game, but Josh spent all of ME2 and so far all of ME3 in equally stupid and ridiculous armor.

  4. MrGuy says:

    Mass Effect 3 has a great advantage over the original: You can customize your armor piecemeal to suit your playstyle. These choices have a clear visual impact. On top of this, there are a lot of cosmetic pattern and coloring options.

    Face it, Shamus. You DO want it to be pink…

  5. Cupcaeks says:

    Wait, is Shepard actually pumping his AMMO FREE shotgun, or is that just a weird recoil animation?

  6. james says:

    Did you just give a complement to ME3? I think the internet nearly imploded.

  7. Jingleman says:

    On the plant thing, it’s not so uncommon for sci-fi worlds to postulate sentient life evolved from plants. A lot of the time, the difference is only apparent at the microscopic level (the key difference between animal and plant cells being the presence of a cell wall). Farscape comes to mind in this regard. It just underscores the alien-ness of the life form. It never bothered me, here.

    And on shotguns, semi-automatic shotguns have been around for a while, yes, but pump-action shotguns still have a lot of modern applications, even in tactical environments. They have fewer moving parts and are generally thought to be more durable and reliable than the semi-automatics, they are cheaper to produce and maintain, and they are less prone to an accidental follow-up discharge. Now, why the pump itself has become shorthand for shotguns in videogames is an open question akin to the ubiquitous red explosive barrel. It doesn’t make much sense in ME1 when there’s no cartridge to cycle and the ammo is supposedly sheared off dynamically, just like the other weapons.

    • Yeti says:

      I think it’s because the pump helps make the weapon stand out from other weapons. Also, I think because it’s easy to make good, uh, game feel for a shotgun with the pump.

      • MrGuy says:

        It’s also generally a balance issue.

        If you could just rattle off shell after shell from a shotgun (like, at assault rifle speed), you’d never need any other weapon. And you’d never need any combat tactics. Just stand still, let all the baddies close in to knife fighting range and use the shotgun like a flamethrower to hose them all down with rapid instakill fire. Goodbye problems. Ranged weapons? Who needs ranged weapons?

        The pump effect forces a delay between shots, so you actually have to think about how many guys you can let get close (and how close) before you start shooting. You have to think about whether you need to pick guys off at range. You have to, y’know, use some actual combat tactics. Same reason applies to the (typically longer-than-most-weapons) shotgun reload speed trope.

        None of the above should be interpreted to suggest that this makes in-world sense in all games (especially in Mass Effect).

        • False Prophet says:

          It’d have to be a game balance issue. Because we already have full-auto shotguns in real life.

          Rifles would still be really useful if the game had combats in environments other than narrow corridors and mid-sized rooms and caverns. In ME1, my Infiltrator often got out of the Mako to snipe Geth from the top of the next mountain.

          • anaphysik says:

            Well, we also have AA12’s in video games too :D (see frex Spec Ops, though I’ve heard it’s not a precisely accurate portrayal? There’s also the Piranha in ME3.)

            • StashAugustine says:

              Autoshotguns tend to have ludicrously low damage/range in games though. (Spec Ops’ is spectacularly OP, but then you only get it for like 5 minutes at the end.)

    • Atarlost says:

      Mass Effect guns don’t have actions. They break bits off a block of homogeneous material and launch them with gravity manipulation. Why are Shotguns different?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:


      Yes,it didnt bother me either.Besides,there are moving plants already,so smart ones could appear maybe.It all depends on what we think a plant is.Is it the lack of brains,photosynthesis,roots,cellulose,…?

  8. Gruhunchously says:

    I forgot how much I missed the ‘Level Up’ noise in this game. It’s really cool.

  9. Mr. Mister says:

    You’re definitely right about the ME1 armor being ridiculous. However I think it’s worth mentioning that the armor evolved into the cliche space marine “refrigerator” armor in ME2 & Me3. Aside from being stupid colors, the ME1 armor is sleek and more in line with the tone of the universe. I suppose you could argue that the armor of the later games works with their tone, but I still wish they had kept with the first’s aesthetic.

    • Adam says:

      I dunno, even in ME3 it’s better than the Shootguy armor that Shooty McShootsalot uses in Gears of War. (Which, while enormous, neglects to provide coverage for his face or MASSIVE BICEPS. Even though it’s POWER ARMOR)

  10. Spammy says:

    Shamus! You have to keep buying organic tomatoes! Because if you don’t buy organic tomatoes then the synthetic tomatoes will destroy the organic tomatoes so in order to stop that when the tomato plants get to a certain age we’ll have other synthetic tomato plants come along and destroy the organic tomato plants and…

    Yeah, this is a foolproof plan.

  11. Wedge says:

    Today on Spoiler Warning! Shamus, Josh and Randy massacre the English language! And also thousands of colonists.

  12. Ronixis says:

    I had this problem with a set of human light armor that was very red. It would have been okay for human use, but that’s not what I needed it for and it really clashes with blue.

    Speaking of which, I think it would have been a nice touch if human armor from non-human manufacturers was labeled as asari armor, since that’s how they would probably think of it.

  13. The counter went down! We’re definitely doing it right!

    – Randy Johnson, uttering the line that would prevent a short but distinguished career in bomb disposal.

  14. Kai says:


    So Josh just adapted Randy’s phrase?

  15. Ornithopter says:

    You know what would have made the kill/incapacitate the colonists choice better? Add an optional fetch quest to get the magic grenades. “This gas will incapacitate them, but you have to go *all* the way back and fight a bunch more geth to get it!” Then it would be justifiable to not waste time by going to get grenades that no one is actually sure will work.

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *


Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>