Review: Mass effect 2 dlc “The arrival”

Posted: March 30, 2011 by Tony Polanco in REVIEWS

We’re still many months away from the release of Mass effect 3 which will conclude the epic saga of Commander Shepard’s fight to save the galaxy from extra-galactic enemies known as the Reapers. Before we get to experience this final showdown, Bioware has decided to give us a taste of what’s to come with this latest dlc for Mass effect 2. How does “The arrival” stack up to the previously released content and how well does it set things up for the following game? Read on to find out.

To begin the mission after you purchase it, simply load up one of your saved games. Although I highly recommend that you play this dlc from a finished game save, you can play it from whatever point in the game that you are in. After you load your game, check Shepard’s messages and you’ll see a message from Admiral Hackett who needs to speak to Commander Shepard about a potentially critical situation. Hackett wants Shepard to rescue his friend Dr. Amanda Kenson who has been kidnapped by aliens called Batarians. Dr. Kenson supposedly has information about an imminent invasion by the bane of Shepard’s existence, the squid gods themselves, the Reapers.

The most surprising aspect of this dlc is that for about 95% of it, you will play as a solo Commander Shepard. You will not have your usual team mates around to help you out. While this didn’t make combat any harder I definitely missed having my usual backup.

The mission is pretty straight forward. You go in, kill guys, go to the next room and kill some more guys. The great dialogue options are largely absent which is sad since that is what makes Mass effect such a phenomenal series. There are also no big decisions to make. No matter what happens you cannot alter the final outcome of the mission which people who play as a strict Paragon Shepard may find disturbing. Even though there isn’t much variety in the tasks that you need to accomplish you will not get bored during the 90 minutes that it will take you to finish this dlc. If you want to get some more play time out of “The arrival” you can challenge yourself to get the three trophies/achievements that come with it. Although challenge may not be the appropriate word since they are pretty easy to get.

The only real downside is that the dlc doesn’t do enough to further the story or really give you a sense of what to expect in Mass effect 3. There is some potential political fallout for Earth after what happens at the end of the dlc but the main story of the inevitable Reaper invasion doesn’t really progress much.

While not nearly as good as previously released dlc (especially the fantastic “Lair of the Shadow Broker) Mass effect 2 “The arrival” is a must buy if you are a fan of the series. Although it mostly consists of gun battles and does little to further the story it’s still worth the $7 to anyone who owns Mass effect 2.

Liked

  • Playing Mass effect 2 in any capacity is always a good thing
  • Very nice looking locales
  • Finally seeing Admiral Hackett (who is voiced by the great Lance Henriksen)

Disliked

  • Did very little to move the main Mass effect story along
  • Becomes a straight up third person shooter if your Shepard is a Soldier class
  • No team mates to aid you or to make combat more interesting

Mass effect 2 dlc “The arrival” was developed by Bioware Corp and published by Electronic Arts inc. It was released on the Playstation network and Xbox live and is available now for $6.99 (PSN) and 560 microsoft points (XBL). The copy played for this review was a digital copy that was bought from the Playstation network.

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