Gaming challenges: Mass Effect All-Engineer Playthrough

One fun thing I love doing is inventing my own video game challenges. In some games, they don’t provide enough endgame progression challenges, at least not for a completionist like me. I first saw this kind of behaviour in online forums for Final Fantasy X fans who, dissatisfied even with the epic endgame content, put together their own challenges of getting through the entire game using and levelling up only one character. Later I saw people do it with Fallout: trying to get through the entire game with zero kills. It’s the kind of idiosyncratic behaviour game testers try to replicate, and I love it. So I do it myself as much as possible.

My latest gaming challenge, while I lay in bed recovering from surgery and an just about able to grab a controller, is to replay the old Mass Effect series using a pure Engineer team. Mass Effect’s gameplay is designed to work best with cross skills from three main areas: solders, engineers and biotics. Most missions will be significantly harder of you’re lacking in skills from any sector, so whatever class I’m playing I usually bulk up my team with the classes in deficient in.

But there’s nothing to stop you using a mono-class team, as long as you distribute skills evenly within that team and plan well. So I’m doing an all – engineer team – my Shepard is an Infiltrator (so I can have medium armour and use all engineer skills) and I’m traveling with Garrus and Tali. They use sniper rifles and shotguns respectively, I only use pistols.

So far my strategies are working well. I’ve been mostly buffing my shields and weapon damage and managed to take down a Geth armature using only a pistol today, so it is working.

If it’s a success I’ll have to try it again, up the difficulty.

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