IN SHORT: Experience one last hurrah with the characters of Mass Effect 3 as you explore new areas within the Citadel and take down a surprising new foe.
WHAT IT IS: A massive amount of new character-based content! Every surviving character in my save file was represented with new scenes and dialogue, some with multiple scenes that clearly have branching content based on past decisions. The player can even throw a party at the end and chose which characters can participate. Oh, and Wrex can be a part of the team! At least for a short time.
WHAT IT IS NOT: Combat heavy. While there are a few hours of new combat to fight through, as well as a very well done boss battle, combat is not the focus of this DLC. The DLC is also not small. On Xbox Live, this is a 4 gigabyte download! Wow!
WHAT I THOUGHT: I’m a big fan of the Mass Effect series. Now, don’t get me wrong. The games are not without their faults, the series not without its missteps. But taken as a whole, it has been one hell of a ride. Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC feels like a love letter from Bioware to the fans, directed at those who wanted more of their favorite characters.
The overall tone of the DLC is light and fun, with various characters competing with each other during combat and enjoying the party afterwards. It contrasts nicely with the grim feel of the main Mass Effect 3 experience. Wrex, in particular, revels in the chance to join a good scrap. The new enemies are similar to fighting Cerberus, but have enough variety in their abilities to keep things interesting. One mission bears some resemblance to Kasumi’s heist DLC from Mass Effect 2, but it’s different enough that it still felt fresh to me.
The focus, however, is definitely on Mass Effect 3’s large cast of characters. With the sheer number of permutations to work through (who lived, who died, what events ended which way), I can only imagine what a nightmare the party scene was to script and program. It’s definitely something I want to replay, just to see what changes a different Shepard character can bring.
I suspect a portion of the new content is going to be hit or miss for some players, depending on how much they like a given character. Fortunately, the scenes are entirely optional, and the player even has control over who is invited to the big party in Shepard’s new apartment. There’s plenty of new story, but it’s not forced on the player if they don’t want it.
On a technical side, I did notice a little weirdness. The sound went a bit funny on me a few times, particularly when a lot of enemies were on screen and biotic explosions were going off. This is something I also heard in the Omega DLC, but not the main game. A few areas had some minor slowdown, but nothing that really detracted from the experience. Overall, the presentation was solid.
So, was it worth $15?
The Mass Effect experience is enlivened by its rich cast of characters, and this DLC gave me exactly what I wanted, more of those great characters. The combat was fun, if brief, but the party afterwards was where it’s at. To me, this is the true ending of Mass Effect series, and it is one I thoroughly enjoyed.
VERDICT: Strongly Recommended.
Mass Effect 3
This article is about Mass Effect 3’s ending and contains SPOILERS. This article will also have SPOILERS for the endings of Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.
You have been warned!
So, yeah, ME3’s ending. Not exactly what we expected, right? I remember playing through the game for the first time (without the Extended Cut DLC), and getting to the Catalyst and the Three Big Buttons. I picked Synthesis and watched the green space magic unfold. My initial reaction was one of disappointment. It was a mediocre ending, mostly because of how vague it was. I wasn’t satisfied, but I wasn’t all that upset either. I’d enjoyed the game as a whole. The ending just felt incomplete to me.
Afterwards, I went online to read about it, and that’s when I encountered the full force Nerd Rage Storm tearing apart the ending. To say that I was surprised would be an understatement. I was outright shocked by the sheer quantity of negativity aimed at Bioware over this ending.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a good ending. At least, not in my opinion. As I said, I found it vague and unsatisfying. But it was kind-of sort-of the ending I was expecting. After all, we’d already had two games that ended with a similar Big Decision.
Give me a moment to explain what I mean.
One of the biggest points of contention was the Three Big Buttons the Catalyst presents Shepard. But this never really bothered me. Structurally, the Three Big Buttons are similar to the Save/Abandon the Council or the Destroy/Capture the Collector Base decisions at the end of the earlier games.
Let’s take a moment and review them.
Near the end of Mass Effect, the player must decide whether to save the Destiny Ascension or go for the throat and attack Sovereign directly. The choices throughout the game have no bearing on this moment. It is always there, always the same. Neither option has a huge impact on the story. Sovereign is dead either way.
Near the end of Mass Effect 2, the player either captures or destroys the Collector Base. The choices throughout the game have no bearing on this moment. It is always there, always the same. Neither option has a huge impact on the story. Cerberus gets their hands on the human-reaper regardless.
At the end of Mass Effect 3, the player must pick Red, Blue, or Green. The choices throughout the game … well, you know. Basically, we get a different colored cut scene out of the deal.
I could go on with other aspects, but I just don’t see the need. I guess I’m saying the ending to Mass Effect 3 wasn’t that big of a deal for me. The game had so many awesome moments in it, like the genophage conflict and the war between the Quarians and the Geth, that my overall feelings about the game remain positive to this day.
After all, as soon as I finished my first game and the credits stopped, I loaded a different character and started a new game. Right then, right there.
How many fans of the series did exactly the same thing?