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What would be best for a new first time player?
Every time i play SS2 i use Navy. I did so the first time back in 1999 and i love this mode the most. It's basically a good blend of weapons usage and hacking/modifications.

It's just so much easier if you can hack and gun through ostacles than just rely on raw firepower (Marine). Because even with it, you still can't get past certain things that just require hacking (like crates, forcefields etc). Plus without hacking, you have to destroy turrets where with navy, you hack them and then they work for you, making locations a lot safer because of all the respawning hybrids...

Though i really have to try OSA one day. No traditional weapons, only PSI Amplifier and nothing else. That will force me to think a bit differently compared to current way of playing it.

So bottom line, if you're a new player and you don't know SS2, pick the NAVY (especially if you have played Deus Ex before). If you're only familiar with the shooting types of the games, then you can try Marine. But at least i wouldn't recommend it as you'll leave out a hefty chunk of the game by not hacking stuff.
Thanks for the info :)
Yes, Navy is the middle way between the other two factions and in my opinion highly recommended for the first playthrough.
I'm playing OSA right now and it's difficult at the beginning. You start without points in weapons, and you suffer a lot until you have enough CyberModules to buy a point in Standard Weapons to even use a gun (WTF man? The hole pointing to the bad guy and pull the effing trigger! And you're a Black Ops operative?).

It's fun, in a masochist way.
Navy is the way to go in your first playthrough if you want to have as much fun as possible.
Hacking open many opportunities (earlier resources, hacking cameras/turrets etc).
Playing as Marine may be little easier (or so I heard) and straightforward though.
OSA may be a little too hard for the begining. Also it can be little overwhelming - you have many PSI branches to choose from and not so many modules.
Post edited February 16, 2013 by wolfy85
I agree that Navy is the easier way to start off fresh.

If you play Psy-Ops, you better become proficient with your newest best friend ever, the Wrench, and your second best friend, lots of prayer and respawning.
(Not to say that Psy-Ops is weak, its just that the Wrench becomes your 'go to' when out of psi power unless you put some skill into a different weapon. Like a laser gun or alien weapons...)

Marine is all "Skulls for the Skull Throne! Blood for the Blood God!" and okay for people that just want to watch the Van Braun burn.
(Marines end up having the most strength for carrying all those bullets, rockets, heavy armor, and such most of the time. Chunky salsa time anyone?)

The great thing about navy, is that when it comes to 4person multiplayer, Navy has two main roles it can fill (Repair Monkey or Hacker) opposed to the one main role for marines (Heavy Weaps man) and one role for Psi Ops (Mind Magic)

In Solo Single Player, Any Branch can technically dabble in the others, but Navy has the easier time dabbling due to being mid-way between rawr-blam-blam and mind-pew-pew.
ZombieKohhi: What would be best for a new first time player?
As others have mentioned, Navy is probably the way to go. Marines isn't a bad choice either, as it can net you a grenade launcher as starting equipment. For power gaming purposes, OSA is actually the best option because the the skills you get in that branch amount to ~60 cyber modules, where as Navy and Marines are both around 50. Those skills are all in PSI though, which can be very useful, but PSI based characters are NOT for beginners.
I decided I will go Navy on my first playthrough. Also one last question, how many endings are there? Please no spoilers! Thanks :)
exactly one.
For your first run, I highly recommend pure OSA on insane. Good luck.
Go with Navy but don't be shy of Psi powers later on.

Things like Invisibility, Wall, Aura, Recharge or Psi-Blade are fantastic and worth every module. Especially Invisibility is a godsend during one of the major battles.
Stargoat: For your first run, I highly recommend pure OSA on insane. Good luck.
Stargoat: For your first run, I highly recommend pure OSA on insane. Good luck.
I would do a Challenge Accepted on this... but my first run was about 11 years ago... >.>
Stargoat: For your first run, I highly recommend pure OSA on insane. Good luck.
Would be challenging but not too much. I went with Navy but early to mid game I was wrenching almost everything anyways, including maintenance bots, cyberwives and assassins. With high strength (which is a must anyways), some implants and OS upgrades it's not that hard.

And late game you have all your glorious powers at your disposal, so you faceroll everything (more or less :))
Post edited February 18, 2013 by Aalda11