Well, it's here. The last bit of DLC for Mass Effect 2 has arrived. It's a sad day for me, as you may or may not know I gave Mass Effect 2 the Gamefreakblog "Game of the year" award for 2010, and I just want more....but hey, it means that the sequel is almost upon us, which is always a good thing.
"So", I hear you cry....."I like Mass Effect 2, so is this DLC worth the asking price?"
Let's have a look, my friend....and i'll reveal all.
Admiral Hackett calls you on the interstellar phone and asks for a favour. One of his undercover operatives, Dr. Amanda Kenson, has been captured whilst on a mission. Far from calling her a silly cow and letting her rot, he wants her rescued. Not only does he want her rescued, but he wants Shepard to go on this mission alone. That's right.....alone. If any sign of a team or ship shows up her captors, the Baterians, will kill her on the spot, as they hate all things human. Hackett sweetens the deal by telling Shepard that she's uncovered a Reaper artifact that apparently may have details about the upcoming Reaper invasion, and Shepard, wishing to find out any details that may help in the upcoming invasion, accepts the mission.
What I liked:
Firstly, it's hard to talk about this DLC pack without revealing spoilers, so it's not going to be very detailed. It's a good mission in all, nothing you haven't really seen before. It's strange being without your team, but it reveals in the events that Shepard really is a galactic bad-ass. It's paced very well, with a couple of tough battles, and without revealing too much one fight that you will most definately lose! The Baterians aren't that tough, but there are a variety of enemies, from standard troops to engineers, flame-troops and heavy mechs to contend with. The DLC is around an hour long, so it's not that long to get through, and the very last section of the mission sees a big reveal, as does the conversation with the Admiral at the end. You can't help but feel that with certain decisions that you make these will carry over into the third game, so i'm already chomping at the bit to find out how my actions will carry over into the third game.
What I loathed:
Well, at an hour long it's short. As the final piece of the DLC I was expecting this to be rather special, something to really connect Mass Effect 2 with what's going to happen in the third game. Even though it does, just about, it just leaves you feeling slightly underwhelmed. The missions, whilst fun, are nothing that you haven't seen before, go here, use this terminal, get in this lift, yadda yadda. At 560 msp, it's not exactly going to break the bank, but it falls short of the fantastic Shadow Broker DLC. And as a final point.....what the fuck is up with Dr. Kenson's face? As characters go she has a face that looked like something Grunt Has passed through his arsehole...protruding bottom jaw, boz-eyed....she looks like what happens when you let a blind person mess around with the character creation menu!
The Arrival is a so-so Piece of DLC. If you're a huge Mass Effect fan, you'll enjoy it, and as I did, wonder at the end of the mission just how the decisions that you have made will carry on into the third game. For completists sake, story wise, the DLC is almost essential. However, it's short, and as a swansong for Mass Effect 2 and a bridge to the third game you can't help but think a wee bit more could have been done.
The verdict: 7/10
The "Arrival" is available now on Xbox 360 for 560msp.