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Re-creating the Mass Effect 2 style Vanguard in Mass Effect 1

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

I always wanted to stick to the same style of gameplay all throughout the trilogy.

It makes sense right? You import your name, your face, your choices, your class, so why not play the same way all the way through the trilogy? Well, usually you can, unless the power you want to build your character on does not exist in one of the episodes. And that is what happens if you play as a Vanguard.

Your main power the “Charge” in the second and third game, is not in the first one. So how can you play the same style, if the ability is missing? Well, you just have to find something that can substitute the missing skill.

Charge is basically a way to get close to your target quickly so that you can unleash the power of your shotgun on the poor fools who decide to pick a fight with you. Since the Legendary Edition re-worked the sprinting ability, you can now use this to move fast around the battlefield, even if you do not have any enemies. Sprinting is fast and it has a short duration. I personally think that it is a great substitute for Charge!

Similarly, the Shockwave and the Pull skills are also missing from the first game, but they both have excellent substitutes is Throw and Lift. Throw pushes enemies away, just like the waves of Shockwave and Pull is basically Lift, if you throw it above your enemy.

Barrier is also important since this will mimic the phenomenal ability of Charge, which is filling up your shields on impact. Naturally, you use Barrier before you get close to your enemies.

I personally decided to leave Warp out, since it is no longer available for the Vanguard in the second and third game. This skill’s function in the first game is to weaken the target so that you can cause more damage to it. But since we are already dealing with a build that is based on high damage that can obliterate most enemies with one or two shots, you really don’t need this skill. Spend your points on more damage reduction instead.

The other essential part of the build is your weapon. My favorite gun for a Vanguard is the Claymore shotgun, which you can unlock on the Collector Vessel.

This gun is a beast. Even on Insanity, it can one-shot weaker enemies and it can cause massive injuries to bosses. Especially with specific ammo types.

I consider this weapon to be the number one choice to build a Vanguard, so naturally, I tried to re-create it in the first game. Since in the Legendary Edition, weapons are now no longer feel the same(they have different fire rates)my pick ended up being the Sokolov brand. This gun is almost as powerful as the Spectre Master Gear Shotgun, but it has a slower fire rate and it is harder to overheat it. This allowed me to put three force and damage increasing mods with a combined effect of 78% damage increase and 500% weapon force.

I intentionally went with the Rail Extension instead of the Scram Rail, because I wanted more damage and more heat increase. Initially, I used Incendiary ammo and Inferno Rounds, but the High Explosive Rounds made this weapon equal to the Claymore. In fact, in many areas, they even made it better! The massive force and the area effect of the ammunition will make sure that you will never miss with this gun.

Still, I recommend that you aim for the head, for obvious reasons…

As you saw in the video, the Spectre Master Gear Shotgun is also a great candidate for the build, since it has the highest damage out of any shotgun, but it is much harder to avoid overheating it, because of the faster fire rate.

The Armageddon-type shotguns with the same mods can work wonderfully if you prefer a double-barreled approach.

So the basic gameplay is this: apply Barrier, run close to the target and boom! Let your shotgun do the rest. Just like you would do it in the second and third game. If you are facing enemies with powerful weapons, dodge to the left or the right, since usually attacks that go through the Barrier(Acid Spit, Rockets) are moving in a straight line.

If you feel overwhelmed, use Throw then aim for the head!

You can use Lift against huge enemies to paralyze them and make them unable to attack you, while you finish them off with your gun.

Pretty simple right? It is also pretty fun!

I feel this is the closest I got to replicate the feeling of the second game’s Charger in the first episode. I hope you will give it a try and I hope you will have as much with it as I did.

Good luck!

A Kis Herceg

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