PLATFORM: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3 , PC
PRICE: 560 Points/$6.99
Here it is, the last piece of downloadable content for Mass Effect 2. Arrival is a simple mission pack which doesn’t offer much more than a few enemies to fight and a handful of new upgrades to find, but it does offer interesting plot revelations to those immersed in the story.
Whether a pack that can be beaten in well under 2 hours is worth 7 bucks is up to you (hey, it’s cheaper than a movie!), but the Mass Effect faithful will certainly find a lot to like.
Admiral Hackett (voiced once again by Lance Henrikson) calls up the Normandy and asks Shepard to aid an operative of his. He has an operative Karen that was on an operation in Batarian space and was captured, and it’s up to you to break her out. Do so and you will find out exactly why they jailed her. I won’t spoil it for you here but let’s say that it involves a Reaper artifact she’s discovered, as well as the knowledge that the Reapers will be there in a little over two days. As a reminder, the Reapers are the main antagonists of the game, a race of creatures who have devoured every planet and race they’ve come across. Throughout this series you’re trying to prevent their destruction of the universe as you know it, and this DLC will give you a little more insight into what they are and how they work.
You’re on your own for the majority of this mission, solo combat offering a little more challenge than you’re used to. It also offers opportunities to play the game with a bit of stealth- the Mass Effect engine isn’t exactly suited to sneaking around, but there’s an achievement/trophy related to not being seen so you might want to give it a shot anyway.
But you know what to expect here- it’s just another Mass Effect mission, after all. You’ll blast through a few enemies, sit through a few cutscenes, fight a few minibosses and be wrapped up in no time.
It’s Mass Effect 2. No surprises here, it’s still real purty.
Short and sweet, the story is compelling and serves as an indication of the kind of things you’ll face in the future. Gamers have complained that the DLC doesn’t offer up any choices like those found in the big game- the one big decision you’ll have to make here is already chosen for you. It’s true, and means that you can not worry about having missed a choice to influence the next game, but you’ll likely want to see it for yourself.
But it’s likely the weakest of the Mass Effect 2 DLC. If I had to suggest simply one to pick it would obviously be Lair of the Shadow Broker, a lengthy, exciting mission that allows you to hook back up with Liara from the first game and even engage in a car chase. Pick that one up without thought. Kasumi- Stolen Memory and Overlord both give you short missions and a new character to play with, but Shadow Broker is the only one that feels like a real mini-expansion. Hopefully Mass Effect 3 will give us more content along that route.
Now, the wait begins…
Out of a Possible 5 Stars