Looking Back: Mass Effect DLC
The Mass Effect series is my favorite gaming series out there. I love pretty much everything about it and has kicked up my emotions so many times that I've lost count. That last statement is pretty impressive considering I have about as much personality and emotion jumping from me as a brick wall.
A couple months back we got the final piece of DLC, thus ending the Shepard trilogy. It was a bittersweet moment. I knew the end was coming and it was one hell of a ride I will never forget but it kills me that Shepard story is over. Through the course of this thrill ride we have had some amazing DLC and some not so amazing. In this article I am going to go over and rank the DLC for the entire trilogy. Now keep in mind that in my ranking I will not go over smaller bits of DLC (weapons packs, appearance packs, fire-walker, comics) and this is strictly for the single player. Sorry ME3 multiplayer. I will try and keep this as spoiler free as possible and as always, this is a personal opinion piece. I do not expect everyone to feel the same. I only wish to guide newcomers into which DLC they should not miss.
1. The Citadel (Mass Effect 3)
The final piece of DLC for the Shepard trilogy was an amazing piece of fan service. You got a sense that Bioware knew about all the jokes/memes on the internet about the series because you see so many of them here. Not only is there hilarious dialog but also a ton of content with almost every iconic Mass Effect character. If you have ever had a problem with characters being overshadowed in the past, or maybe that romance wasn't the best, The Citadel will solve all of your problems. There are also some serious heart string pulling moments in here as well,
Sure the "story" here maybe a bit goofy and short-lived, but this DLC is all about catching up with and talking to your favorite Mass Effect charters. As I said, total fan service that nobody should miss. A great way to end this trilogy.
2. The Extended Endings (Mass Effect 3)
This is the most essential thing you need for Mass Effect 3. This free download clears things up with the games multiple endings and I say it did a fantastic job. Regardless whether you think it was right for Bioware to release this or not, it made things make a lot more sense in the end. It closed plot-holes that the original endings had and also added some great scenes. Before you boot up Mass Effect 3, download this. It's free.
3. Lair of the Shadow Broker (Mass Effect 2)
I'll be honest. Before I became a Liara fan, I never cared for her too much. Yes, she was the cute dork in the original Mass Effect that everyone seemed to loved but I just didn't really feel attached. However, once I played Lair of the Shadow Broker, I instantly fell in love with this character.
This sprawling piece of DLC puts Liara back into your party as you go after the illusive Shadow Broker. There are twists and interesting set piece moments here that will grab your attention and have you thinking about it for quite some time. The DLC also has a way of giving you great intel on characters as well as a plethora of resources and items.
The real star here is Liara growing into this fully realized character. That dorky scientist in the original Mass Effect grows up to be a bad-ass chick with a ton of character. Even the most heartless person cannot resist loving her character and how she evolved. Thanks to Lair of the Shadow Broker.
4. Project Overlord (Mass Effect 2)
I have a confession to make. Even though I loved the story behind this DLC, I hate with an undying passion the gameplay. In this mission you are in the M-44 Hammerhead for about 75% of the time and it is painful. I much rather drive the Mako any day (I realize I'm in the minority). The vehicle parts are just uninspired and boring and the weapons on this thing are useless.
You fly from station to station doing quests in order to shut down a rogue V.I. Of course it's not that simple but I'm not gonna spoil it. The story here is amazing and on of the must heart wrenching moments in the trilogy. Despite the lackluster vehicle gamplay (that keeps this from being higher on my list), the story makes up for it. You may hate parts of it, but this DLC should not be missed.
5. Leviathan (Mass Effect 3)
This mission shakes the series mythology to it's core. I really can't say much without spoiling it but if you are a Mass Effect fan, you should play it. There is some neat investigation parts and an interesting underwater level. These were enjoyable but short-lived. The downside of the DLC is that it's criminally short and maybe a tad over-priced. I'd say buy it but if you are more of a casual fan, wait for a sale or price drop.
6. Bringing Down The Sky (Mass Effect)
The first piece of DLC for the trilogy was quite good. Your missions is to stop an asteroid that is being directed right at a planet by a band of mercenaries. You know, if you don't stop it millions will die. The stakes were very high and you felt it. Sure the environment looked like the twenty other planet environments in the game but it did have one incredible sky-box. The ending also has you faced with a crucial effect that could swing your Paragon/Renegade meter quite a bit. Again, like a lot of the DLCs, it is pretty short. It'll take you maybe about 45 minutes to complete. It is worth playing though. If you are playing this on the PS3 you have no choice as it is included standard.
7. From Ashes (Mass Effect 3)
I wanted to put this higher. You get one of the best characters the series has seen that constantly adds to any situation you are in. However, the mission will take roughly 10 minutes to complete and the fact that this is a DLC is quite insulting. You obtain a squad-mate whose race is the very foundation of the series and this wasn't in the main game! Even worse, day-1 DLC! It's a shame that some people played Mass Effect 3 without this character.
Despite my complaints, if you are a fan, you do need this. It adds so much to the fiction we know and love.
8. Arrival (Mass Effect 2)
Arrival acts as the bridge that connect Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. It does a decent job but was never taken back by it.
You are required to rescue a scientist, who has proof of the reaper invasion, from a band of thugs. This mission does a few neat things like making you go alone and doing a little stealth, but I felt this didn't stand up to previous DLCs. It also "appears" to have a moral choice at the end but it really doesn't. As soon as your about to make it the game pulls you away and forces the inevitable ending upon you. It's a shame. The choices were pretty heavy.
9. Omega (Mass Effect 3)
You are to help Aria T'Lok regain control of Omega. That is the story. Nothing more, nothing less. They introduce you to a new character who is really interesting and Aria is as bitchy as ever (I like her, most don't). It really doesn't add much else.
I like Omega, I really do but it is all combat and virtually none of what makes Mass Effect so special. The dialog choices are minimal (a few exceptions) and it is just going from room to room killing Cerberus soldiers. It is also very long. Usually this is a good thing but considering all you do is fight, it gets tiresome.
I wanna say fans will get something out of this. If nothing else you get to see a female Turian! But it is just lacking the dialog, the character interaction and the moral choices. I had fun but I would wait for it to go on sale as it is pretty steep in price.
10. Kasumi / Zaeed (Mass Effect 2)
Both are decent characters if not a bit underdeveloped. They had their moments of interesting dialog but they just weren't showcased enough. Kasumi's loyalty mission was awesome and Zaeed's did have a good moral choice. I just wanted to see more of them and they didn't add much in terms of dialog when taking them with you. Zaeed comes with the Cerberus Network, so if you buy Mass Effect 2 new you will get him. I'd say they are worth downloading as you get two decent squad-mates and two rather good loyalty missions.
11. Pinnacle Station (Mass Effect)
Basically a single player version of Mass Effect 3's multiplayer. Nothing much more to it then that honestly. No story but If you like combat in the original game I'd say pick it up. PS3 players are outta luck as the DLC is not available on that platform. Not missing anything though.
There it is. My ranking of the Mass Effect DLC. In all honesty if you are a huge Mass Effect fan like myself, you probably already own all of these. If you haven't played the series and have some kind of interest, I recommend buying the trilogy bundle which comes with every game. It doesn't come with all the DLC but that is a small nit-pick. Again this is all my opinion. Thanks for reading.