Commander Shepard has faced down enormous threats many times over. The Reapers. Asari Matriarchs. Saren, the rogue SPECTRE. While he (or she) has bested these enemies countless times over, BioWare saw fit to release a second DLC pack for the original Mass Effect game entitled Pinnacle Station. Bring Down The Sky was a fantastic piece of content that had Commander Shepard squaring off with Batarian extremists to halt what our own Justin Clark calls a “galactic 9/11”. Unfortunately, Pinnacle Station doesn’t quite deliver on the goods provided by Bring Down The Sky.
The Title: Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station
The Premise: Commander Shepard and his crew partake in Alliance training simulations in the hopes of scoring elite weapons and armor. Survival mode, time attack, hunt and capture (along with a mode modeled after the universe’s storied First Contact War) are all on the menu, providing around two hours to complete.
Is It Good?: Yes and no. There’s some solid writing for many of the characters, including a rival Turian soldier who had the top scores in each of the simulation programs before Shepard rolled into town, as well as Officer Ochren, programmer of the simulation, who is funny in a nebbish sort of way. He’s a brilliant Salarian scientist on a space station of meathead Marines, so he’s understandably frustrated.
Really what this DLC boils down to is that it’s combat on top of combat, and while some may find that enjoyable, I personally invest too much into the mythos and story of the Mass Effect universe to just enjoy blasting dudes with my assault rifle. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the combat elements, but as a follow-up to Bring Down The Sky, Pinnacle Station doesn’t scratch any of those old story-driven itches for me.
Length: Around 2 hours.
Moment To Savor: Knocking Guard Captain Vidinos’ (the aforementioned Turian) top score off the scoreboard for the first time and seeing him get all pissy about it.
Worth it?: It’s 400 Microsoft Points, which translates to around five bucks, as well as five dollars on EA’s Origin service. Definitely not worth it.