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Table of Contents
- Mass Effect 3
- Priority Mission: Menae
- Grissom Academy
- N7 Cerberus Lab
- From Ashes DLC Mission
- Priority: Sur'Kesh
- Missing Scouts
- N7 Cerberus Abductions: Benning
- N7 Cerberus Attacks: Tuchanka
- Turian Downed Vessel
- Tuchanka: Bomb
- Priority: Tuchanka
- N7 Cerberus Fighter Base
- Priority: Citadel
- Arrae: Ex-Cerberus Scientists
- Mesana: Distress Signal (Investigate Asari Colony)
- Priority: Geth Dreadnought
- Rannoch: Admiral Koris
- Rannoch: Geth Fighter Squadrons
- N7 Fuel Reactors
- Priority: Rannoch
- Priority: Citadel
- Priority: Thessia
- N7 Communications Hub
- Priority: Horizon
- POINT OF NO RETURN
- Priority: Cerberus Headquarters
- Priority: Earth
You can return here to turn in the Asari Widow recording you got on the previous mission. Miranda is now in the apartment in the Presidium so meet with her. If you're caught up on planet scanning, there isn't anything else to do now except move on with the Priority Mission. The remainder of the side quests require planets that won't open until we move on with the story.
Visit the Med Bay and re-spec Shepard. Take some points from either Incinerate or Cryo Ammo and max out Sabotage. It's time to kill Geth, and Sabotage is going to come in handy. Get rid of Reave. Take either Energy Drain or Armor Piercing Ammo as your bonus. Make SURE on your Tactical Cloak you have Rank 6 Bonus Power because you will want to use Energy Drain while Cloaked and this ability allows you to use a power while Cloaked. Also, make sure you have Squad Disruptor Ammo for your party.
Tali must go on this mission, which is not a bad thing. Her Drone in Mass Effect 3 is insanely fast to recharge. This means you don't need Decoy. The question then is who else can you take to supplement your party? Shield Stripping is the main challenge on the mission, along with a few situations where you need help removing Armor layers. Liara is perfect for support here, and you'll see why soon.
Tali's armor gives her a 25% Power Damage Bonus. So, she should be set up so that everything she does with her powers is going to deal the best possible damage. Her Sabotage and Energy Drain will be better than yours when you're done unless you equip armors with a similar or better bonus.
- Energy Drain: Max for damage so she can really help on Geth Primes.
- Combat Drone: Rank 4 & 5 take Shields and Damage, the percentage here is better than the 234 points if an enemy has high health. Rank 6 take Rockets because enemies tend to be spread out so the jump of the other bonus may not be too effective.
- Sabotage: Might as well max this as Defense Drone isn't all that useful with Combat Drone being so good. At Rank 4, take Backfire for Tali to add to her damage ability. Rank 5 take Explosive Hack again to add to her damage. If you took Tech Vulnerability for yourself, take Berserk for Tali so the hacked geth do more damage.
- Defense Drone: Just dump any leftover points in this. It's not really useful enough, and it's easy to raise her if she goes down rather than waste her recharges on defense.
- Quarian Machinist: take Power Recharge all the way. Tali is gonna be fast and nasty with Combat Drone, Energy Drain and Sabotage and that is her whole strategy.
The first couple of battles are easy to work at a distance. Practice sending Tali's Drone and hack an unshielded geth and keep one hacked using your Sabotage and Tali's all the time. Set up Singularity fields to trap other unshielded geth with Liara and then have her wipe them out with Warp. Scan the battlefield constantly for any Geth Hunters with Shields. Train your Energy Drain, Tali's Energy Drain and Liara's Singularity on one Hunter all at the same time. Boom! Shield is gone and the geth is flying in a Singularity Field ready for follow up with Liara's Warp. Send out another Drone and keep up the Sabotage hacking. This is so good you don't need bullets nor even a view.
When Tali opens the battery path door, move to the far left after the cutscene. Here you will have a clear view down a long walkway and can see everything coming. Keep up the Energy Drains and Singularities and hacking on one unshielded geth nearby. You almost don't even need the drones most of the time.
On the long path with the Shockwave beam, stay RIGHT and hop from cover to cover, taking out geth as you go. No hurry, just move between shockwaves. Let the enemies come to you: you have your Cloak and everybody's powers ready to fire off, no need to stick yourself out in that shockwave. When you reach the second walkway with the beam after the cutscene, stay where you are initially to take out Hunters up on the high ledge. When you don't see any more up high, go just to your left, which takes you on a path out of the beam. Watch out on the little ramp here for a mine trap. There might be one more hunter or so up here on the circular path, but at least you're out of the beam for a bit. You'll see a ladder going down on your left eventually. Cloak and jump down that ladder to the left, and immediately take cover to your left behind a large wall. There will be a couple of geth near here, Cloak and send your squadmates far on the right of the walkway to distract the enemies and cover you while you make your way down the left path to the door that will be on the far left.
There are two Geth Primes on the map, but they are on the opposite side from where you start. Move to the left immediately and take cover behind the pillar. Troopers and a couple of Hunters will move toward you on the left, but on the outside of the cover area, not on the path behind the pillar. Strafe out from behind the pillar only when Cloaked, so the Geth Prime doesn't fire on you. Use Singularity/Warp and Energy Drain to take out the troopers on the left. When no more are coming, start on the Geth Prime off in the distance. Use Energy Drains and sniper rounds to take out the shield and use a couple of grenades once the shields are gone. The geth combat drone should disappear once he's gone.
Now go back behind the pillar and use the path on the left. There are a lot of cover spots along the way, so take out a few more Geth troopers and Hunters. Another Geth Prime is in the distance eventually. When you spot him, take cover, and use the same Energy Drains to remove the shields, and then follow up with a couple of Grenades along with Liara's Warps to remove the Armor. There is a Geth Turret that you can hack on the far left as well, but it's not as useful on a Prime as it is on the troopers. Stay in cover: when you can use the quicksave button then you'll know everything is gone and you can jump down toward Legion.
Squadmates have new cutscenes now, and you can invite Tali to your room. This is one of the only chances to chat with Legion in the War Room. We need to get the two Rannoch missions done as these are timed rescues. The good news is, you don't have to redo your build. We also have N7 Fuel Reactors on the map as well, which we can tackle once we get the first two Rannoch missions out of the way. Save the Priority: Rannoch mission for last. Visit the Armory and take off the Arc Pistol you picked up on the Dreadnought unless you plan to use it. The Arc Pistol can now be brought to level X and is one of the best pistols in the game.
Rannoch: Admiral Koris
Use your same party as before. If you used Liara and Tali, you may have noticed that they tend to run out of cover and die quickly if you don't watch them. The downside to powerful tech and biotic characters is they aren't very sturdy. Well that's what Revive and Medi Gels are for. Medi-gel seems to get replenished every mission, so no reason to horde it. You should have 8 total medi gels.
Take out the first trooper with a Singularity/Warp field. Back up and focus your Energy Drain and Tali's on the shielded enemies. Watch out for the mine as you move ahead. After the Javelin, watch for enemies below, keep your high position here. Move forward down the hill a bit and then retreat to your high position when the next wave triggers.
When you reach the platforms, check the map for salvage items and ammo before activating the console. Have Tali shut down the console. She is not in danger when the enemies start arriving, despite what the game tells you.
Backtrack fast to the entrance path where you came in and have your squadmate follow you. Hide behind the rocks here. The troopers will follow, but the Geth Prime at a distance has a limited walking range. You can hide behind the tall rocks and focus on the troopers that flank your position. Watch for enemy grenades. The Geth Prime and his drone will stop walking near the end of the platform, so you can keep your cover behind the tall cliff rocks and just strafe out. Ignore the drone and use Energy Drains on the Prime until the shields are gone, and then Incinerate/Grenade. I activated Liara's Squad Warp ammo along with her regular Warps to aid my efforts. Tali is programmed to tell you she's done with the console when the Geth Prime goes down. There may still be a couple of enemies left on the map so watch out until you're sure everything is gone, and make a save.
Watch out for the trip mine on the path ahead. When you reach the tower area, move up the ramp slowly to draw the enemies, then move back down behind the rock area, keeping your squad mates at the bottom of the ramp with you. The troopers will not leave the platform and you can pick them off as they emerge at the top. A Pyro will arrive first so focus on him, but even he will not venture down. Liara or another squadmate will tell you we can check the tower when the enemies are gone and you can make a save. Go around the map and find the mounted turret. You'll need to use this after the console is activated. Go ahead with the console and use the mounted turret to take out the enemies. When these are gone, more will come through the door. The mounted turret doesn't aim well toward the right of the door, so abandon it and take out the few enemies on foot.
At the next platform map, do the same with the mounted turret. Pick up the geth jamming tech below. The last mounted gun sequence is pretty easy.
Rannoch: Geth Fighter Squadrons
This next mission is a non-combat solo mission, but you still get to take two squad mates. So it's a good opportunity to do the builds on squad mates you haven't been using. I took EDI and Javik, and by coincidence Javik is in the AI Core having an argument with EDI just before I started this mission. EDI is not terribly useful for the Infiltrator because she has Incinerate which you already have yourself. Her Overload is useful, but aside from this she doesn't really offer anything else you can use most of the time. We will max her for damage.
- Incinerate: Take Damage, Burning Damage, and 50% armored target damage. This is the only place in her build to add damage against armored targets.
- Overload: Likewise max this for Damage. Take Damage, Recharge Speed and Shield Damage.
- Defense Matrix: Dump leftover points here after finishing the other skills. No point in wasting her recharges on defense when she can be dealing damage instead. I'd rather raise her if she goes down.
- Decoy: for this strategy, emphasize speed and damage rather than durability, so you can ideally deploy a second decoy as quickly as possible. Very often the decoy might not land precisely where you want it, so durability won't help you if the decoy could be placed in a better spot. Take Duration, Recharge Speed, and Exploding Decoy.
- Unshackled AI: Whatever you prefer is fine. I took Health and Shields, but Power Damage is equally good and probably better. But because I didn't do much with Defense Matrix I'm giving her a little bit of health here. Take Tech Damage at Rank 5 and Squad Bonus at Rank 6.
He has a fantastic build, but is better paired with a Soldier, Sentinel or Vanguard with his Lift Grenade and Dark Channel. I used him my entire run on Normal as an Infiltrator. The only real useful skill for you on Insanity would be Slam to detonate Overload from another squadmate, or Pull to pair with Liara's biotics.
- Dark Channel: Take Damage, Recharge Speed, and and Pierce which will make this power useful against armor and barriers.
- Lift Grenade: this is a bit better than Pull so make the most of it. Take Damage, Max Grenades, and Damage and Radius.
- Slam: Emphasize force or damage rather than radius in order to make the most of pairing with Overload on things like Atlas and Geth Prime. Take Force, Detonate and Stun.
- Pull: Dump leftover points in the build here. A low level Pull does the job of picking enemies out of cover.
- Vengeful Ancient: If you're a Soldier or Sentinel, you'd probably want his damage rather than durability with you taking the aggro off him. But paired with Infiltrator, better to boost his health a little since you're hidden and he's out front. Take Weapon Damage, Power Damage, and squad power bonus.
On with the mission!
Make sure to pick up the Reaper Code after the second access point. Click R analog stick on the scenes to get Intel packets.
With Priority: Rannoch the only thing left, do some planet scans now toward the list of side missions. The two new systems are Argus Rho and Silean Nebula.
I hate this mission and map when I see it on multiplayer. Close quarters combat is not the Infiltrator forte. There is no good cover with a view, so take a shotgun instead of your sniper rifle. You'll need somebody to strip Shields unless you still have Energy Drain as your Bonus. The final fight is a Brute. Having a distraction like Edi with Decoy or Tali with Drones might be helpful. James has a lot of health. Kaiden has Overload and a lot of health to offer. The team will have to split up so you want at least one strong squad mate.
Run around the pick up the Salvage on the far right of the map and the Chemical Burn treatment plan on the far left front.
Move the block with the crane to gain access to the area and follow the arrows to activate the vents and gain access to the fuel rods. Tali's Drone and Edi's Decoy and Overload were helpful with distracting Marauders. If you can try and take out the two barriers in the field. The final fight with the Brute will be necessary to either remove the barriers or draw it up on the ramps where the barrier won't protect it. I sent Edi with the other team, and technically she didn't make it out lolz, but the game can't go on without Edi so I got a pass anyway.
Visit the Citadel and turn in everything you have done. Afterward, you should have Citadel: Cerberus Ciphers and 5 planet scanning side quests along with Priority: Rannoch left in your journal. The planet quests can't be done until we move on.
Tali must go on this mission, so take whomever you've been using. Liara or Kaiden are good for biotic detonations.
Stay in your position after the cutscene and take out the few enemies. Drones and Sabotage make quick work of the battle. Move forward to trigger a garage door closing and then retreat to take out a few more enemies. Take the ladder on the right to the roof and watch for a single trooper immediately at the top. Move left to cover and take out a couple more enemies. A well placed Singularity will scoop up at least two.
A bit more climbing and then enemies will be visible below in the distance. Keep your high position and use Energy Drains, Sabotage, and Drones. Stay back as much as possible and let enemies come to you. Most are unshielded so a Singularity Field will scoop up two at a time. Keep using Drones and Sabotage to draw out enemies in cover.
Pick up the Geth Plasma Rifle and move forward through a doorway. At the second doorway, stay inside that doorway and send out a drone. Enemies will be straight ahead, coming on the left, and on the far right. The doorway is good cover.
Hit the console and retreat to near the doorway where you just took cover. The enemies will be coming to the console you just hit. They can all be taken out at a distance. Get the Pyro first, then switch to Disruptor Ammo. After these enemies are gone, run around the map and pick up the med kit. Hit the elevator door button and run back to your initial position by the now-closed doorway. A Geth Prime will be just across the map by the elevator along with a Rocket Trooper and a couple of other troopers. You have a good line of sight, ignore the geth drone and take out the smaller enemies and drain the Prime.
Save before you head up the elevator. Activate your Disruptor Ammo. At the top are 3 Geth Primes and this is a bitch. Cloak immediately and send a drone straight ahead. All 3 Primes should converge on the middle. Using the Geth Spitfire, fire on all three and take out as much as you can. Watch for Tali's Drone to recharge, you must send out drone after drone as quickly as possible throughout this battle if you want your squad to stay alive, which you do, otherwise you'll be overrun with a couple of primes. Head RIGHT when your Spitfire is empty, there is another as you go to the right and then forward a little.
Use the cover here, along with drones and the Spitfire, to clear a path, you want to Cloak and quickly get to the long walkway opposite to where you came in. There are several cover spots here giving you some distance. Once in cover here, drop the spitfire and use your sniper rifle. Keep sending Tali's drones to the middle area and keep directing your squadmates to stay in cover, an almost impossible task at times. As long as you can keep Tali on the drones, these should draw enough attention that you can work down the Primes one by one. When they are down to Armor, use Sabotage, toss an Incinerate and use a couple of grenades. Liara is good for Warp here. There is no doubt that you might have to start this battle up several times to clear it, At your full health and shields a Prime will take out all your shield and all but a little bit of your health with one rocket hit.
Turn down your controller Camera Sensitivity to LOW to help with your aim.
All you need to do here is get the target on the Reaper's red core. Back up from the edge, and move to the right. When the beam starts up, run to the left side, but not all the way to the cliff, you want some room. When the beam starts cutting the cliff in front of you, run back to the other side, again not completely next to the wall but close.
You want to aim the little target screen on top of the gun and pull the trigger just enough to get a picture of the reaper on the target screen. The BEST time to do this is after running from the beam. The beam flows upward from the cliff and the reaper pauses briefly, giving you a few seconds to aim and pull the trigger a little. A circle should begin to form on top of the picture of the reaper on the screen. Each time you aim and pull the trigger, the circle will get smaller and smaller until it reaches a dot and that's when the fleet will strike.
The key is to run when the reaper beam starts and then look up and aim when its beam leaves the cliff edge. Your target screen will retain the progress you've made with the circle, so don't get greedy. Just a few seconds of time is all you need each time the reaper beam moves upward from the cliff edge. You'll have to get a strike twice from the fleet doing this process, and the reaper will move closer each time. After the second fleet hit, the reaper will come forward almost on top of you. Stand still in the middle near the edge, there will be no beam, just the open red glowing core. Aim your target screen at this spot and keep the trigger pulled. Enjoy the cutscenes.
Go around and talk to squad mates and do the interview with Diana Allers if you have her on board. The next stop is the Citadel, but before going you can finish up the planet scanning side quests.
New systems have opened on the Silean Nebula and the Hades Nexus. On all these systems, just pick up the War Assets and side quest items, leave the fuel salvages behind if they cannot easily be included in a single scan.
If you have kept up with the scanning along the way in this guide, picking up the War Assets left now will give you about 6253 War Readiness. This is even before you turn in the side quests from the scans you just finished. This assumes you got the geth and quarians to make peace, giving you access to both their fleets. It also assumes you cured the Genophage and still got some Salarian points by rescuing the Salarian Counselor on the Citadel battle. Without doing anything else you have enough War Readiness to get all the ending possibilities for the game.
Go around the Citadel and turn in everything you have done. All that should be left in your Journal is Cerberus: Ciphers and the Priority meeting with the Asari.
At the Embassies, talk to the Elcor just outside the elevator. This will trigger a side quest you've already done if you scanned Dekuuna.. Get back on the elevator and go to any other area, and then return to the Embassies and talk to the Elcor again to complete the quest. Go ahead and meet with the Asari Counsellor now.
Your War Asset chest should now be at around 6453. The planet Reaper Awareness does NOT reset after Priority: Citadel. So unless you didn't hit all the systems you have left to finish, you won't be able to do anything else now except move on to Thessia.
Liara must go on this mission, so give some thought as to who else to take, and consider your build. Kaiden is the #1 squad choice here. The enemies you will face will have shields, Barriers and Armor, especially the Banshees and other reapers. The final fight will have a Shielded enemy that will require lots of Shield stripping. Kaiden offers Reave and Overload which makes him a perfect choice. If you have a Male Shepard, you won't be able to take Kaiden and you can't get Reave which is really helpful on Barriers.
To complement Liara's build, you will need at least one shield stripping power, and a plan for barriers like Energy Drain or Concussive Shot..
Sniper Rifle and SMG offer the lightest load to carry. The Sniper will be useful for all except the final battle when the Assault Rifle or SMG or pistol would be better.
Grab the turret gun at the start of the mission, it's easier to take out the enemies if you aim just in front of the barrier.
The next few battles have high ground if you stay at the entrance the areas. In the atrium-like area, stay at the top of the stairs where you enter, you have an excellent sniper position from here and your squadmates will stay back. You'll have to go down a bit to trigger several waves of enemies, but retreat back to that same high spot each time. There will be two banshees and a few marauders in the last wave. Just run back to those stairs again and manage squad powers and sniper shots. Kaiden's Reave and Liara's Squad Warp ammo will work well. You'll be able to save between waves from your position when everything is gone.
There is a Hydra Launcher on the far side of the atrium. Pick that up and carry it with you. You can still use Squad Powers while handling this weapon. It has only one shot in it, so save it for now. Just drop it beside you if you want to use another weapon instead, and carry it with you again when you move forward. When you reach the asari sniper squad, just strafe backwards down some rubble. Watch for Cannibals throwing grenades in your position.
When you reach the outpost with the last asari, you'll fight a banshee and a couple of other enemies. Use the launcher you carried with you. Back way up and go down the terraced stairs, you can hide below each stair. The banshee will follow eventually but it will give you time as it focuses on your squadmates.
There is another Hydra Launcher at the top of this outpost. Grab it and move forward. Turn right, and you'll trigger a battle with two Harvesters with barriers, 3 ravagers and husks, along with an assortment of Marauders and Cannibals. You cannot fight this battle up close. Run all the way back to the long ramp. The husks will follow but it's easy to take them out. You'll need to get the Harvesters to move before you can take out the other enemies. Use the hydra launcher to hit them and they will fly away. That leaves the Ravagers. You cannot get close to these or they will take you out in a couple of hits. Just move backwards and take cover. The Ravagers won't move past the debris, so just use powers and sniper bullets to finish them off.
As you approach the temple, use the ammo refill box. Switch to your Assault Rifle and activate Disruptor Ammo. Pick up the med kits before clicking on the statues.
Stay in the corridor to the right of the altar (your left after the cutscene. Use the pillars for cover. Train your Energy Drain and Squad member Overload along with Disruptor ammo on the boss. Liara can use Stasis to buy a few seconds of time before Kai regenerates.
N7 Communications Hub
Other than finishing up planet scanning, nothing left to do except this mission before moving on to Horizon. It's the usual Cerberus mission. Keep Energy Drain and take whomever you like for your usual team. I'm still using Tali and Liara: Tali's Drone, Energy Drain and Liara's biotic combos are just sooo good.
After you take out the first wave of enemies on the landing pad, the entire map is clear to pick up everything, so you can run around and get the Cerberus Codes, Ariake gauntlets, med kits and credits. Save after getting everything.
Hit the first device, cloak and then run back to your original position where you landed. From here you'll force the enemies to cross open walkways to reach you. Watch out for enemy grenades. Nemesis will arrive from the top of the map but they'll have to cross open areas to reach you, giving plenty of time to use Energy Drain and Singularity to toss them around.
Use the same strategy for the second hacking device. Deactivate it and run back to the original landing point to again force enemies to cross open walkways. The enemies will continue arriving at this juncture until you get the third hacking device. However, once the Nemesis enemies are gone, you'll only be dealing with a Centurion or Assault soldier, just one or two at a time coming from the high part of the map straight ahead. Tali's Drones and your squadmates can cover you while you run to the third device which should be a clear path if you take the ramp up there or the ladder on the left side. Once you hit the device, the mission is complete.
Return to the Citadel and turn in all the sidequests you have. There should be nothing now in your Journal to do except Priority: Horizon. My War Assets Total Military Strength is 6671 with everything complete. Time to re-spec Shepard's Bonus Power. Take Reave if you have it. If not, Warp Ammo or Armor Piercing Ammo are good choices. If you want a distraction ability, Decoy is good.
We're mainly fighting Reapers, including Brutes and Banshee so Barrier stripping is important. At least one person should have Overload or Energy Drain.
Kaiden and James. These guys have massive health. Kaiden has Overload and Reave, and James has grenades and other skills to work down armored targets. If you don't have access to Kaiden, consider Tali for Drones, or Garrus for Overload and his Armor Piercing Ammo. Liara is good for her combos, but with all the close quarters fighting in this mission, expect to use a lot of medi-gels on her. Save in a new save slot when you arrive, so you can always start over if you're having trouble with your squad.
Sniper or Shotgun, pistol.
When you land, move forward to trigger a wave of Cerberus. Back up down the stairs to get to cover. The Phantom is the threat here, train your Reave and Kaiden's to remove that barrier fast, then use James' Carnage to stagger her. There will be a Nemesis far ahead on the balcony above. Move forward when nothing seems to be coming toward you, take cover and then snipe out the Nemesis. You should be able to save after this. A few enemies will appear on the lower level inside, but nothing a few powers can't take out.
When you reach the door with husks behind it, open the door and retreat to the top near the door where you came it. Should be easy to use Carnage and Incinerate to take out the health of several at a time. The next room will have a Banshee and Ravager that will enter. Take out the Banshee first, using Reaves or Warp Ammo, and then use your grenades and James' to finish them off. There is an ammo box at the bottom of the map to refill grenades. The Ravager that follows is slow and fairly easy to take out. Watch for swarmers though, one can kill you if you aren't watching. After you're done here, there will be a few Marauders in the next room. Use Overload and James' Carnage to take them out.
Move through the next two rooms until you find another console, but don't activate it yet. Instead, shoot out the barrier above your head in the same room. Move forward to trigger enemies. Most of them will be Cannibals and Marauders. Take out the barrier in the next room from a distance and then back up and allow the enemies to come forward toward your position. Aside from grenades, nothing is too difficult to take out. There will be a couple of stray Cannibals in the large room through the doors, at a far distance. You can send your squadmates forward and then use your sniper rifle to take them out.
The next area can be done at a distance if you stay back in your initial position above the ladder. There will be several Ravagers, a few Marauders and several Cannibals. Just stay cloaked and snipe at a distance. You won't be able to reach the barrier giving them protection, but shouldn't be any problem regardless to snipe.
After you use the lift, send your squadmates forward into the next area over the broken walkway. Move forward a little to trigger the Brutes. There will be 3 Brutes and eventually a Banshee. If you stay near the doorway where you entered you'll have a sniping position. Use your Grenades and James' to take out the first one quickly. The next two can be seen at a distance coming down the walkway. Try and take one of them out at a distance, and let the other come forward. Use any grenades you have left and James' Carnage and Kaiden's Cryo Blast. The Banshee will arrive with the last Brute, but you should be within a bar or two of taking out the last Brute, which will just leave the Banshee alone to deal with.
POINT OF NO RETURN
All that should remain in your Journal is Priority: Cerberus Headquarters. Once you start this mission, you cannot go back to finish anything else. Make sure you're done with all planet scanning and any other side missions outstanding.
This is also the last chance to visit the Citadel. I hadn't finished the Asari Huntress, the one in the hospital who talks about her mission trauma. This mission never shows on your journal. To finish this up, just travel in the elevator to another area and back to get the remaining conversations with her. Then visit the Spectre Terminal to authorize her use of a gun. She takes herself out but you gain one last Citadel Defense War Asset worth 178 points. I'm now at 6782 total.
EDI must come along on this mission. She has Overload to help with shields, but she's squishy. We need to balance her weaker constitution with somebody stronger. Suggestions would be Kaiden, Garrus, Javik or James. Of these, Kaiden has high health, and he has Overload to help with shields. If you take Kaiden or Garrus, you'll have two characters who can take down shields, which means you won't need to take Energy Drain and can use your Bonus Power for something else. What you'll be lacking then is crowd control. If we aren't taking Liara, then you can take Stasis and use the Bubble form to help with the hordes of Cerberus enemies. Javik can be useful for Pull, Slam and Lift Grenades, but I'd take Energy Drain then because the final fight will involve a shielded enemy.
- My party: Kaiden and EDI.
- My Bonus: Stasis.
- Weapons: Sniper, Pistol
The first wave will hit as you land. Your best cover is behind the shuttle, which is pretty much impregnable. Position your squadmates behind the center barrier just out from the shuttle and strafe that way to have EDI deploy a Decoy. Use Overloads/Energy Drains on the Centurions. They will be throwing grenades so watch out if you leave the area behind the shuttle. Also, the fighter jets deploying overhead will take out your shields. You can also use the cover spot far to the right of the center barrier, but watch out for the Nemesis on the high balcony on the upper left. If you stay behind the shuttle area for your cooldowns, you won't be bothered by the Nemesis. Use Stasis as soon as you strip shields from the Centurions and Engineers so they can't throw grenades.
An Atlas will arrive, the shield will go down pretty quick with Overloads, then use grenades and EDIs Incinerate to take out the armor. Don't worry about using up your grenades, you can get a refill shortly after the battle. The Nemesis on the balcony will be the last thing you take out, use the cover on the far right and your sniper rifle when the Nemesis leaves cover. Once everything is gone you have a limited amount of time to deal with the venting threat. Do a quick save before you go. Get to the ladder on the left side of the area and quickly go through the door to hit the console there.
Once done, enemies will start to come from ahead. Move back as far as you can and there is an ammo box there with grenade refills. Take out the Guardians that come forward. After 3-4 enemies, they seem to stop coming, so move forward to their direction to trigger another wave. Head back to the ammo box, as you have a fine sniper position here to take out a Nemesis who is hiding all the way across the map behind a large block on the balcony. You can totally snipe it out and it can't do anything to hit you except to try and hide. An Engineer and Centurion will be hiding closer to the corner of the hallway, and you'll have to move there to get them to come out. Save after everything is gone.
Move forward in the direction of the last group of enemies through another door to find a console to change the fighter jet direction. Then head back down to the hangar to find yet another console. Once you hit this, a battle will start with 3 Atlas. Get into cover behind the blocks just behind you where you hit the console. The two Atlas coming forward will be far enough away to take them out easily.
The other Atlas is still in a hangar far up and left. Move ahead staying on the right side where you are along the cover spots and look left until you see it. It shouldn't start up if you're far enough on the right side. Take cover across from it and start up Overloads/Disruptor Ammo. Switch to Cryo Ammo when the shields are gone. Your position will likely be too far away to use Grenades, but powers and bullets will suffice.
The next wave will be at the bottom of a ladder in the vents. Be ready with Stasis, Incinerates and anything else you have for the handful of enemies. You'll have cover to the left behind pipes once you get rid of the enemies in front. Take out the Nemesis far in the back and send squadmates forward to trigger enemies hiding on the far right. Save when everything is gone.
You'll hit another room of enemies with a turret and an Engineer in front. Take out the Engineer, and have your squadmates Overload the turret so you can Sabotage it to help with the remaining enemies in front. When nothing appears to be coming forward, take out that turret. Then cloak and move past the turret across the room to take cover behind the pipes. More enemies are ahead behind a shield. Take out the Engineers with Overloads and watch out for grenades. Then Overload the Turret and hack it with Sabotage. There will still be two Engineers and a Centurion or two far in the back of the map, hiding behind blocks. Use the pipes on the right side to sneak forward and snipe their position. EDI will likely move forward, so use her Overloads.
Once you see the Human Reaper form, more enemies will drop on the walkway above, including two Phantoms. Just back up and use the area where you entered for cover. Place a Stasis bubble at the top of the stairs. Easy sniping. Move forward to trigger another wave. Up the ladder will be more enemies, including a Phantom and a Nemesis. Go back down the ladder as there is no good cover here. Snipe everything from below and use powers to flush out hidden enemies.
You'll be getting low on ammo. At the top of all the ladders, you'll see a door, but before you go through it, turn around and head to the end of the ramp opposite the door. The clips there will refill you and you'll find a med kit and a PDA as well. Inside the door will be an ammo box and another med kit. Make sure you save before moving on.
If you stay on the left side and strafe from the front to the back, you'll keep your distance from Kai Leng for the most part. He'll be dropping Cerburus Assault Soldiers and two Phantoms. Occasionally he'll go into a stasis mode to repair some of his shield. During this time it's important to take out the other enemies on the map to shorten his time in the bubble where he cannot be damaged. When he's free, be sure to train your squad's Overload powers onto him immediately to take out as much of the shield as you can, as it regenerates slowly. He can be held with your Stasis briefly which will give your Disruptor ammo and Overloads a little extra damage.
When the two Phantoms appear on the map, these must be dealt with at once. Lock them down with Stasis and one sniper shot should take off their barrier. Relock with Stasis and finish them off. Use EDI's Decoy occasionally to take the heat off of you, and continue using Stasis and Incinerate and shots to take out the soldiers. Otherwise, try and save your squad powers for Overloads on Kai Leng. Once he's down to just health, a single headshot or Stasis will finish him off.
I didn't have any trouble and I was glad to have chosen Stasis as my Bonus Power, it was very helpful in locking down everything to give me precious time to reload my rifle, cool down my Cloak, and allow my squad's Overloads time to recharge. Kai was in his bubble only three times briefly and I didn't die at all. Kaiden drew a LOT of the aggro with Kai Leng and I raised him once, and EDI once. Not bad for Insanity.
Go around and talk to your crew for some interesting banter. This is the time to think about whom you will take to the Priority: Earth mission. Your party and a well-chosen Bonus Power can make this trip a bit easier.
Earth will be full-on Reapers, including Brutes, Banshee and Ravagers along with the usual Marauders and Cannibals. You'll have to deal with Shields, Barriers and Armored enemies. No matter what you choose as a strategy, there is likely to be at least one area of weakness in your party balance.
You'll have two battle opportunities on Earth to choose your Squad. This is a great chance to try out what you hope is your best group, and then to change it for the second half of the Earth mission. So do your best to pick the group you want the first time, and then if you want to make changes, you'll know exactly what you're missing.
Kaiden Alenko is the best party member with abilities to deal with Barriers, Shields and Armor, and he has a lot of health. He is a must if you have a female Shepard. Unfortunately, if you are playing a Male Shep, you don't have access to Kaiden. Without Kaiden, you also don't have access to Reave as a Bonus power which will make Barriers your weakness. In that case, you'll want to take either Ashley or Garrus to use their Concussive Shot. Energy Drain works ok on Barriers instead of Reave. You may also want to consider the option of using a distraction ability, like Drone or Decoy, to buy you time with barriered enemies.
Female Shepard Recommended Party
Kaiden and James
- Bonus Power: Stasis or Reave
Male Shepard Recommended Party
Garrus and James
- Bonus Power: Energy Drain or Decoy
Kaiden and James
- Bonus: Stasis
Sniper only for the Earth Landing. You'll get a faster cooldown, a second weapon is unnecessary.
Take out the AA Tower
You can actually die on the shuttle before you ever leave it, as the Cannibals start hitting you. To add to the problem, you can only use your own powers in these moments. Cloak and fire a Stasis or Incinerate. Save your bullets for now.
When you leave the shuttle, head to your right, there is a bit of broken wall cover here. This battle to take out the AA tower is about taking out enemies to gain ground so you can move forward a bit at a time. Your goal is to reach the Cain Heavy Weapon on the upper right side of the map. Before that, you'll have to take out a LOT of Marauders and Cannibals. Activate Cryo Ammo which will help to stop Cannibals from throwing grenades until you can get them killed off.
Once you get the first group of enemies removed from ahead of you, move up and grab the ammo clips on the rock. Start strafing upward and back to take out more Marauders and Cannibals straight ahead. Kaiden's Overload and James' Carnage ability work well to strip a Marauder. I used Stasis on full shield Marauders to give Kaiden time to recharge his Overload. Also, a headshot with the Black Widow X to a Marauder in Stasis completely stripped its shield, and to any enemies in Stasis that were cooled from Cryo (not frozen, just cooled), one shot killed them outright.
After removing the enemies straight ahead at the top of the rocks, look out for a Brute to come from the upper right side of the map. Use Grenades to take it out, along with James' Carnage and Kaiden's Reave. When the Brute is dead and no stray enemies remain, you should be able to move forward to your right past two bombed out storefronts. In one of these, you will find an ammo box and med kit. Head up the rubble ramp behind these storefronts. At the top, you'll have some good cover to take out the Marauders and Cannibals straight ahead.
Now all you have left should be a Ravager on the right behind the rocks right on top of the Cain, and a couple of Marauders. You can shoot through the rocks with the sniper rifle, and powers also work here, despite the fact that the enemies are supposed to be in cover. Once you have these enemies out, you'll have a clear path to the Cain. Use it to aim at the target indicated ahead. Drop it and grab the ammo clip on the table behind you.
You're gonna get swarmed here, and the immediate threat is the Banshee which will be coming on the right. You can get a bit of quick cover below the table, but don't stay here. The Banshee will be on top of the table in seconds. A better spot is head to the left under Cloak. There is a a bit of broken wall cover. If you are Cloaked heading to this spot, it will buy you a few seconds of time with the Banshee. Unload your Grenades, James' Grenades and Kaiden's Reave. Keep the grenades going, you'll get a refill later so dump everything you have to get rid of that Banshee. Cannibals will swarm you and throw grenades, there isn't much room to move. I have to admit Stasis and Cryo Ammo saved my ass here with the Cannibals swarming.
When the shuttle arrives, you have a timed bar and must get to the shuttle before the bar times out. There will Cannibals straight ahead around the shuttle. Throw whatever Grenades you have left and a Stasis if you want, but you're going to have to make a run for it. Luckily you have Cloak, and a nice long duration it has to allow you to make the run and jump on the shuttle.
Talk to your squadmates, grab the ammo clips up the ramp of rocks to the top where the door is.
Turret Gun: this is pretty easy, you don't have to kill all the husks, just keep shooting until the cutscene starts.
Cross No Man's Land
Here you have a chance to change your party and weapons. I added the pistol back into my pack, which slows my cooldown, but I know there will be sections coming up where ammo will be in tight supply.
Sniper or Shotgun, pistol
Kaiden and James; or Garrus and James
You'll start out behind a couple of walls, with enemies ahead. Stay in cover here, and strafe right to left to avoid the grenades. Stasis, Overload and Carnage along with Cryo Ammo works well for me. Save when everything is gone. Move ahead and jump down, a few more enemies are ahead as you move forward. Take cover to the left behind the rocks with the ammo clips.
Move up and go right past the burning Mako. As you get to the next area a Ravager will far ahead and up high. This battle also includes a Banshee which you should hear well before you see it. Take out as much of the Ravager as you can, but it will stay put. The main threat will be the Banshee.
Back up to the burning Mako using the broken walls as cover, you have a lot of room to back up away from the Banshee so there is no reason it should get close to you. You can save after the Banshee is gone, but there will still be a couple Cannibals and Marauders up ahead, so continue to work this area. You can save again when they are gone. There should be ammo clips in the area behind you past the burning Mako if you need to backtrack a little for ammo.
I need my blood pressure meds and Beta Blocker so I'm gonna take 'em.I figure it can't hurt my survival chances. In fact I think I'm gonna double my Beta Blocker right now.
Next up is a door to a garage. If you stay in the doorway, you'll just get infinite husks until you move forward. Two Brutes will enter along with more husks. You could Cloak, if you want, and run around the large rocks on your left. Just go straight ahead and around to the left and there is a ladder you can climb up to avoid the Brutes altogether. I chose to take them out, but unfortunately I am now down to 1 grenade myself and James has only 1 left.
Up the ladder will be a bombed out house where there is a Ravager, Cannibals and Marauders. You can stay behind the wall as cover, and strafe back down the ramp which I suggest doing as grenades will come in and take you out just behind the wall. The Ravager doesn't move so focus on the other enemies and toss a Reave or Carnage at the Ravager once in awhile so it doesn't regenerate. There are a lot of ammo clips in the house where you can save, and a med kit, but no grenades.
Take out the husks in the doorway. When you jump down the ledge from here, take cover behind the bombed out shuttle. Ahead will be a lot of Marauders, Cannibals and husks. Take out everything until you can save. Move forward and little and you can see a Ravager up high through your scope. Hit it and this will trigger another wave. Back up to your previous cover behind the shuttle until everything is gone and you can save again.
Move forward where the Ravager was and there is a bombed out house on the right. More enemies will be in there. Back up to find cover. You may have to move back into the house eventually if nothing is coming forward, enemies are hiding in there. Just keep entering and backing up til everything is gone. There are a lot of ammo clips on the field so you should be fine gunning and using powers.
Open the door and run back taking cover behind short walls. Your squadmates will enter this new set of rooms when the immediate enemies are taken care of. There will be a Brute eventually coming to the area. Take out everything and then move forward to the wall until you hear him, then run back to the doorway area where you entered. You should have plenty of time to take it out. Get the med kit in the back of the room and any ammo clips you can find.
Jump over a wall and go down left to find a couple more ammo clips. You will see a long alleyway ahead. Note your position before heading down the alleyway, there will be two Brutes coming in this way. Position your squadmates and enter the alleyway to trigger the Brutes. Cloak and run all the way back to the bombed out building area, which gives you plenty of room to gun down the Brutes. You may need a Medi Gel for James as he will take the brunt of the aggro, as he should. Once you finish both Brutes, move forward and enter the building on the right. Notice the datapad here. Finally! Ammo clips and a complete refill on your grenades! Open the doorway when you're ready for a cutscene.
Defend the Missle Battery
The best cover is a bit of broken wall in the middle right of the map when you enter, which is back behind the truck with the missles. The building here has ammo that will respawn, but you can't take cover in here or you'll be overwhelmed. Most of the first wave will just be Marauders and Cannibals with a few husks. Cloak and run left around the pillar to check the flank there, returning to your middle cover position until everything is gone.
After EDI has you activate the controls, you hit the next wave.
This wave will include 3-4 Brutes which will storm your position, and a Harvester in the distance. You'll have to stay on the move and target powers and grenades and shoot. Take out the Brutes first, the Harvester can hit you, but it won't come forward any further. Use the pillar when you can for cover.
Defend the Missles
The door to the building on your left will open up now, and you can go in there for ammo. You'll also get a couple of grenade refills. Go find the Hydra Launcher hidden in the bookcases.
This segment will involve 2 or 3 Banshees which will enter the building where you are. Unload the Hydra Launcher on the first Banchee. Use grenades and Reave to take them all out as quickly as possible. Outside the building will be Marauders. Once the Banshees are gone, focus on the Marauders, locking them down with powers if you can, keeping in clear view the path to the missle truck. Shortly after the Banshees are gone, EDI will tell you to fire the missles. Lock down what you can of the enemies and Cloak and run to the truck and hit the button. The enemies will just keep coming, there is no way to take them all out, so don't feel bad about running to the button.
Wow! I didn't die once in this section, which is one of the most difficult in the game. I took Garrus and Javik when I played on Normal, and I must say that James is invaluable and a MUCH better choice. He hardly died at all and literally drew a LOT of aggro from the Banshees and Brutes. Kaiden died a couple of times but his Overload and Reave were helpful. I do feel his Overload isn't as powerful as Garrus' when fully leveled. But Kaiden has a quicker cooldown than Garrus. I ran out of ammo a couple of times, and had to use powers on the Harvester at that point. But the refills in the building during the Banshee portion got me going again with my sniper rifle.
The enemies didn't seem to be any harder than on Normal, maybe they had a little more health. There weren't more enemies than on Normal. Also, on Normal you're at level 55 or so. In New Game+ you're level 60 and have level X weapons. So even though I knew what to expect, I think the leveled up weapons made a difference.
3 Husks and 1 Marauder
Turn down your controller Camera Sensitivity to LOW. This will help a bit with your aim.
This isn't so much a boss as it is a challenging section. You have a pistol and must kill these enemies on foot with no powers. This bit may take you many times to clear, I've read of players doing it 50+ times. Took me 3 tries to clear the husks, but finally after changing my Camera Sensitivity, I beat the husks and took out the Marauder on the first attempt.
It's easier if you don't try and target with the left trigger. Just move forward and shoot. The husks will pause as they reach you, so you have a little bit of time. After they are dead, move forward and you'll fall. When you stand up and move forward, the Marauder will come forward and hit you. There is almost no way to avoid that hit. One more hit and you're dead so do your best to hit the Marauder in the head or stomach. If you get a good hit, he'll stagger back which gives you precious seconds to keep firing until he is dead. Unfortunately if you die you have to fight the husks again.
Once you make it past this point, enjoy the ending and your Insanity Achievements!
copyright 2012 pprincess