Videogames: Mass Effect 2 DLC

Mass Effect 2 is a game that should be studied for many things, but right now I’m going to write about the DLC.  Bioware went all over the place with the DLC from alternate costumes and weapons to fantastic story driven missions to really bad story driven missions to extra characters and even a Mako replacement.  So lets look at them.  All of them.  Well except Genesis because that’s the save game generating comic book.

Arrival

Mass Effect 2.  A game about comradeship and choice.  Playing the game as you want to play it and making your own decisions for better or for worse in the short and long.  I have this fantastic idea, lets stick the main character on a solo mission that will include a defense segment and take away the player’s ability to make any story affecting choices.  That’s how I like to imagine the think tank that came up with this DLC went since that’s exactly what it does.    Arrival is a not a good play through.  It is not what you love about Mass Effect 2.  The choice that you the player do not get to make is a massive and significant one that will have repercussions and I am bitter at Bioware for forcing it onto me.  One could argue that it really wasn’t a choice because of the result, but in the context of Mass Effect 2, where the player might not have beaten the game yet, it makes no sense.

Alternate Appearance Packs and Weapons Packs

The extra outfits for the most part are fairly neat.  Never used any of the ones on Shepard as the traditional N7 armor was always my favorite.  But man putting a shirt on Jack made things a lot less awkward.  Its also nice to see Garrus in some repaired armor.  The packs open up a huge variety of weapons as well including geth weaponry.  Aside from the weapons, this is really just an aesthetic change.  The armor bonuses don’t make much of a difference.  But 160 points doesn’t sound high.  Too bad I don’t know what the actual monetary value of those points are ($2).

Shadow Broker

This is how every DLC should be.  The only thing that would make this DLC better is if they threw in an extra costume or two, let Liara be a permanent team member, and throw in a weapon pack.  Maybe some Tali or Garrus specific dialog with Liara.  Any complaint I had about the content in Mass Effect 2 was taken care of in this DLC.  From the romance with Liara to a high stress story with judgement calls and a variety of gameplay styles.  The set pieces are amazing to watch and play through.  Shadow Broker effects the story of Mass Effect 2 in a significant way that is not to miss.

Overlord

I couldn’t bring myself to care about Overlord.  Sure it added a replacement for the Mako, the Hammerhead and gives the player a pretty large environment to romp around.  The issue is the story is consolidated from the Mass Effect 2 universe.  These aren’t characters we care much about.  Jumping in the Hammerhead never felt as good as climbing a vertical in the Mako.  Sure there’s a dangerous AI on this planet but we’ve had dangerous AI missions before and we’ve fought the geth before.  There’s nothing new here and nothing in this DLC affects the main story of Mass Effect in any fashion at all.  Sure they might shoe horn something in Mass Effect 3 with it but we learned at the age of 3, squares do not fit in the circle holes.

Kasumi – Stolen Memory

Kasumi is a fun character.  She laughs like Nelson from the Simpons occasionally when she succeeds in an attack.  She goes invisible and appears behind an enemy on a piece of terrain you can’t reach and kills them.  She’s light of heart and genuinely fun with many stories of her stolen treasures to share.  Her loyalty mission is also a wonderful change of pace, infiltrating a high class criminal party to steal a black box (look for references to other games in the treasure room!).  While the mission will only last an hour or so, this is a really fun one to play.

Zaeed

Here’s the deal: I don’t like Zaeed.  Mechanically and story wise, if you can like a gruff mercenary with no redeeming qualities then this DLC might be for you.  Zaeed is only out for himself and has no issues if you’re the collateral in getting what he wants.  As a playable character his loyalty ability, Inferno Grenade, is pretty nifty.

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About MusiM
Musician, writer, Gundam model hobbyist, video game lover, host of The Carousel Podcast, and all with a day job.

3 Responses to Videogames: Mass Effect 2 DLC

  1. Momotarutaru says:

    Thanks for the review! I actually just started ME2 up again to play through some the DLC. Downloaded Shadow Broker last night, but haven’t tried it yet. I’m at level 26 and want that 30 achievement. So Arrival and Overlord aren’t worth downloading?

    • MusiM says:

      Glad to hear someone is getting something out of my ramblings!

      Overlord isn’t bad, it just feels pointless in the scope of ME2 and therefore isn’t too much fun. It is one of the larger DLC’s though. Lots of geth and vehicle roaming. The driving is serviceable.

      Arrival really ticked me off. I can’t recommend it in good conscious. I’m sure there is a group of people out there who enjoyed it, but I am not one of them. No teammates. One minor decision that probably will amount to nothing in ME3 but the decision they make for you will probably be pretty important in ME3. I imagine Bioware wrote this as an intro ME3 setup story and then thought, lets make an ME2 DLC.

      In a way I kind of want everyone to buy everything Mass Effect because I love the series so much but if you’re going to skip some DLC’s, then these are definitely the primary candidates. Unfortunately Arrival might be important in ME3 even though I genuinely dislike it.

      • Momotarutaru says:

        I’ll definitely have to check out Kasumi’s story once I’m finished with the Shadow Broker missions. I ran out of Microsoft points, so I’ll have to order some from Amazon.

        And I love the podcast, and definitely respect your opinions. After not having played ME2 in half a year, it feels great to reunite with these characters. Can’t wait for ME3!

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