Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Experiencing The Arrival (A "Review" of the last Mass Effect 2 DLC)

Note: Potential spoilers are ahead, so you are warned.

The last bit of downloadable content for Mass Effect 2 came out today with the Arrival. For seven dollars (560 Microsoft Points), you can experience events that will set up Mass Effect 3 for good old commander Shepard. Even though it is not as long as the other DLC missions such as Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker, Arrival does its part well of bridging the two games especially with the big decision you make at the end. The mission starts out with Admiral Hackett privately telling Shepard via his terminal about a friend, Dr. Kenson, in need of saving because of a potential Reaper invasion. Apparently the Reapers can go through one of the mass relays, specifically the Alpha Relay here, to invade everyone especially planet Earth. It is up to Shepard to prevent the Arrival basically, or if you seen the trailer for Mass Effect 3, postpone it. You are then sent on a solo outing (no help from your teammates) to rescue her over at Batarian space. The first part of this DLC can be played with the usual run & gun approach or the optional stealthy way. The only reason you would play the stealthy way is to get the achievement/trophy for it, but the game's journal didn't really tell you that method is the recommended way to go. The DLC as a whole is filled with combat sequences, but the little bits of story especially with the plot twist you can guess right away at the start keeps things going for the DLC. Sure, doing it alone doesn't make the combat significantly different from the main game with squadmates around covering you, but you take the tactical part of the combat for the most part if you're into that. Shepard does get put in a tough spot when he makes a big decision at the end of the DLC that will have have its costs. This decision also sets him up for events that will take place in the third game. The Arrival is only a hour or two long (with a post suicide mission Shepard), and seven dollars might be asking a little too much for such little content especially compared to the past downloadable missions. If you're a Mass Effect fan and want to experience the gap between the two games though, then the Arrival is still worth your time and money.

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