Mass Effect, Played Without Firing A Single Shot

Mass Effect, Played Without Firing A Single Shot

Regardless of what class you play in Mass Effect, one of the biggest tools in your arsenal are your guns. The game expects you to use them every once in a while, sometimes in combination with your other skills. But this isn't stopping someone from going through all the games in the franchise entirely without guns.

Sure, there are times when a cutscene might show Commander Shepard shooting someone — but whenever he has control, Many A True Nerd sticks to his adept powers in a special "no guns" runthrough of Mass Effect. Teammates, meanwhile, are ordered to use their most useless guns — and are given no weapon upgrades.

The first Mass Effect isn't exactly known for its amazing shooting mechanics — I get the sense that most people play it for other reasons. But as the franchise progresses, it becomes clear that BioWare placed a lot of emphasis on the shooting — and Many A True Nerd plans on going through the entire franchise with this special no-guns ruleset. Sheenanigans will ensue, particularly in Mass Effect 2 and 3, I'm sure.

Surprisingly, going through the first game like this has proved sort of easy.

"I'd always assumed this would be a huge challenge, as the game looks like it's set up primarily as a shooter (95% of the upgrades you get are for guns, characters constantly get out guns during cutscenes, 90% of the inventory in shops is guns), but instead, I had the easiest time by the end of the game.

"Instead, it was the early missions that were a nightmare, as then my cooldown times were huge, so the thugs of Chora's Den, and the two assassins outside it, were a big challenge.

"Saren's elite Krogan Battlemaster shock troops were simple. By the time I was facing them, I had warp specialisation, lift specialisation, and master throw. The final fight against Saren himself was the easiest of all. As he's the only enemy in the room, you can just keep him indefinitely in the air with a chain of lifts from Shepard and your companions. He barely got an attack off before the warps killed him. So I suppose the most surprising thing is that playing without guns completely inverts the difficulty curve."

"It's been quite illuminating about how powerful biotics were in Mass Effect 1," Many A True Nerd told me. "Once you get yourself set up as a Nemesis Adept, with Liara and Kaiden up to high level biotics, your combined crowd controlling powers are so strong, and your cooldowns so quick, that you can just keep crowds of enemies off their feet indefinitely."

You can watch through the rest of the series, which is currently in-progress, here — like his Fallout 3: Kill Everything run, the Mass Effect: No Guns run is plenty entertaining. It's clear that Many A True Nerd knows his shit — despite playing through the franchise a couple of times, I still saw some stuff I'd never seen before — like a "shifty looking looking cow" easter egg. Gameplay-wise, Many A True Nerd often has to resort to throwing enemies out of bounds, or running enemies over the Mako — whatever it takes to get around not using guns in the game. If you have a chance, it's all worth your time.


    I could have sworn there was an achievement for this in one fo the games. Maybe I'm thinking of one of the BioShock games or Deus Ex.

      Dead Space 1.

        Ah, I think I'm blurring the memory of that and The Orange Box's "One Bullet" achievement together.

        In dead Space 1 the achievement is for completing the game using only the starting weapon.
        Also in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, achievement for not killing anyone.
        Those might be what DogMan was thinking of.

          I know. But they're all merging together.

          and that Deus Ex achievement is bullshit because they don't tell you the tutorial counts.

      Half Life 2 Episode 1 has an achievement called "One Free Bullet". You use one to shoot a lock, then rely on the gravity gun for the rest of the game. It's fantastic how it changes your approach to the game!

        Suddenly I feel compelled for another replay to try that out.... but then I'd remember there's no episode 3..

      Mirror's Edge had a no-gun achievement called Test of Faith. My favourite achievement in any game, and I loved going after it.

        Yeah, achievements are a pretty easy thing to bash for being pointless, but sometimes they really add something to a game like that. Sort of pushing you to stray from the path of least resistance and into a more rewarding experience than just getting to the end credits.

        Yeah, I did that one too. I'm pretty sure that's how they always intended it to be played.

          Agreed. It's the right way to play that game for sure.

          I really hope they keep that for the reboot/next game.

        That one was fun, but I decided to amp it up a bit by also not knocking out any enemies in hand to hand combat (except where 100% necessary to progress).

    That's why I'm always annoyed to hear people playing the game like Call of Duty with the simple Soldier class. You have many awesome abilities but restrict yourself a dime a dozen play style?

    Those abilities are awesome and really help in fights. Hell, sometimes I just use those abilities to throw enemies out of the arena and never deal with them.

    Isn't this going to be more-or-less impossible?
    Mass Effect 3 spoilers
    Running towards to big beam of light near the end (the part with infinite ammo), you only have a shaky pistol and if you don't shoot all of the reapers you die and have to watch 5 minutes of cutscenes again.

    Last edited 09/09/14 2:13 pm

      Since he's most likely playing the pc version of this game, it could be likely that he will try to find a way around this, using glitches or something.

        Xbox version gets around that by using the Kinect to use the powers because they're not usable any other way.

    I used to try not to fire a shot I the first Ghost Recon games on the Xbox, when the game was much more heavily focussed on squad management. Would sometimes spend hours creeping through the foliage, spotting enemies and positioning the squads, so I could wipe the map (or area on the large maps) with one order to engage.

    Might finally be time for me to start the Mass Effect series!

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