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Prove Them Wrong

Prove Them Wrong

So, I’ve been playing Mass Effect: Legendary Edition for the past few weeks. If you want my opinions on the game, you can check it here. I only got the game two days before the embargo lifted so I didn’t have the time to really get into the meat of every game and give it a more thorough review. I still stand by my opinions that everyone should experience the Mass Effect trilogy in this way, but be aware that there are some notable glitches I encountered throughout the three games; hopefully some more patches will fix those right up.

However, I still consider Mass Effect 2 better than the rest of the trilogy for one single reason: the Suicide Mission.

Uh, spoiler warnings. Please finish the trilogy if you haven’t done so yet.


"We're all hoping you can do the impossible, Shepard. No pressure."

Let’s ignore Shepard dying at the beginning of the game. It’s a big dramatic moment but it’s ultimately an excuse to change up Shepard’s appearance and class if you wished to do so. It doesn’t really amount to much. The game really begins once you are introduced to the Illusive Man and the main antagonists of the game, the Collectors. It lays out specifically what the last main story mission will be: Go through the Omega 4 Relay, storm the Collector base and then do whatever it takes to take them down. It’s likely everyone on your team is going to die on this mission.

Prove them wrong.

Once you get out of the prologue sections, you will spawn right next to the Omega 4 Relay. Your game will begin and end at the same place.

Everything you do up to that point is up to you but it all goes towards one goal. Every credit you earn, every planet you strip mine and every squadmate you retrieve is contributing towards the suicide mission. You’ll need every single upgrade you can get your hands on if you want to survive, especially when playing on Insanity. It also makes Paragon and Renegade choices much more important and may change the choice you might’ve made. A Paragon wouldn’t let fear compromise who they are, but a Renegade could ensure the mission gets done with no casualties. The game favors Renegade options after all, in contrast to the more Paragon-friendly previous entry. Just look at Zaeed’s loyalty mission. Letting everyone in that refinery die is a way easier choice to ensure Zaeed’s loyalty, while going to save the workers requires a near endgame Paragon check.

Speaking of which, you will also need to do loyalty missions to ensure your squadmates can focus 100% on the mission. These are optional, but necessary side missions that not only allow you to know your crew a little more (except Jacob, who is essentially a less interesting Kaiden), but also gives them a new power and outfit once it’s all said and done. If you notice, they’ll start to use white, black and gold in their alternate outfits, turning your ragtag crew into a unified force. You can screw some of them up badly and not earn their loyalty, however, which decreases their chances of surviving the mission. It’s not a guarantee they will die, but it will take a few smart choices to pull them through. They might still die in Mass Effect 3 though so your actions will still haunt you.


They never used the "Fight for the Lost" tagline...

Once you get to the Collector base, you will now need to draw on your knowledge of your squadmates and select who will fulfil which role (stop using that guide you bosh’tet). You will see hints of who will perform the best for each role throughout the game, even if you don’t talk to your squadmates. For example, a loyal Tali is perfect for the vent specialist. She’ll get set on fire, but her engineering knowledge and environment suit will allow her to survive. Meanwhile, she’s a terrible fire team leader because her squad keeps dying on her. You’re better off with loyal Garrus, who led a successful team of vigilantes until a squadmate betrayed him, which shouldn’t be a problem in this case. He’s also held off three groups of mercenaries for several days, so holding the line shouldn’t be too much trouble for him as well. Talking to your squadmates, or at least remembering their feats, is just as important as upgrading your guns.

The suicide mission could be an absolute breeze where no one dies, or a horror show that only leaves two of your squadmates alive. And that’s the bare minimum needed to import your save to Mass Effect 3. Although next to impossible if you have Zaeed and Kasumi, Shepard can die if no other squadmate makes it out. It’s actually more work to get the Shepard Dies ending than surviving the suicide mission because you will have to intentionally screw up. Still, it’s a satisfying way to show that every choice you made throughout the game pay-off in one final mission.

The only criticism I have is that the game doesn’t exactly let you know that getting the Reaper IFF will only allow one more mission (perfect time to do Legion’s loyalty mission, by the way) before you need to launch the suicide mission if you want to save the Normandy’s crew as well. Perform any other mission after the crew gets captured and they will begin to die. If you only care about your squadmates and you haven’t taken care of some loyalty missions, feel free to not launch it until you're absolutely ready but you will feel guilty afterwards when you’re only left with Chakwas.


"I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favourite mission in Mass Effect 2."

They tried to do the same thing with Mass Effect 3 with War Assets and Effective Military Strength. Every single asset you obtain improves your chances of taking back Earth and fighting the Reapers. You will have to make sacrifices, and truly think about every decision you make as you think through the calculus of war. Do you save one person who can save several million in the long run, or save a thousand now? Do you choose between a powerful ally that could cause trouble once the war is over, or do you pick the safer option but betray every promise you make? It’s the reality of war, not everyone is going to survive. However I think the final mission implements War Assets clumsily. Most of the consequences are in the background, and the only contributing factor is that your squadmates might die on the final push if you don’t have enough War Assets. If you worked your ass off and have over 5000 EMS (or 3100 with the Extended Cut DLC) and choose the Destroy ending, you get a short cutscene where Shepard lives (which is confirmed you had an long-defunct app that will send you a message saying that your team visit them at the hospital). Other than allowing what ending you want, that’s kinda it. There’s nothing material that comes out of it other than the potential death of your squadmates.

I think that’s why I consider the Suicide Mission one of the best final levels. There’s no sudden new bad guy at the end or even midway through the game. You don’t take on missions or side quests for completely arbitrary reasons. There’s no guarantee you will have a happy ending. Your final mission is spelled out as clear as day and now it’s up to you to put in the effort and make sure that you will be ready for the war against the Reapers.

Proving them wrong never felt so good.

Dylan Pamintuan

Dylan Pamintuan

Staff Writer

An Australian-born guy whose trying to show everyone why games are awesome.

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