Mass Effect Legendary Edition: I forget how to play this game


Shawn Farner

Writer and Storywriter


Mass Effect Legendary Edition came out this past Friday, and I’ve put about six hours into it so far. Last time around — many years ago — I sprinted through the campaign just trying to see the end credits. This time, I’m really trying to soak it all in. I’m doing all the side missions. I’m exploring every nook and cranny. I’m trying to do more to appreciate this grand universe BioWare built; the one it’ll hopefully come back to very soon.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition: I forget how to play this game

But holy wow, am I bad at the first Mass Effect right now. Like, someone must’ve come and Men In Black pen-flashed me to remove everything I learned about the combat in this game. I’ve already died more times than I can count. It’s really quite embarrassing to admit.

I don’t recall having to babysit my AI comrades so much. Were they always this unintelligent? I oftentimes start a fight by first moving into cover. Then I pull up the ability wheel to see what I can use, and — my squadmates are already dead. It turns out they never moved at all. Zero instincts for self preservation. They just stood out in the open and immediately got cut down.

Not that I’m any help. I remember being good in battle once upon a time. I had all sorts of powers in play. I was peeking in and out from behind walls and crates like a pro. Just a quick “pop pop” to knock out a Geth. Then some time to recover and find another one of his friends. Now, though, I’m flailing. My guns are overheating. My abilities are recharging. There is a Geth standing right next to me — practically in pickpocket distance — shooting me. How was I doing this before?

Maybe I just need more time to reacclimate myself; to surface those skills that are buried deep inside my brain somewhere. Mass Effect is not a bike, so maybe I shouldn’t expect to just hop back on and immediately remember everything there is to know.

I sure hope my memory gets jogged pretty soon. I love everything about the remaster so far, right down to the Photo Mode I’m already spending way too much time in. But the combat is — definitely literal in the sense of the game — killing me. And that is sadly killing some of the fun.

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