The will likely be spoilers, but should I talk about something super new I'll warn ya. But consider this a pre-emptive warning! You're WARNED!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

30-Day Mass Effect Challenge: Day 9

Best piece of DLC

Without a doubt, the best DLC is the alternate costume pack #2!

No wait, what I meant to say is Lair of the Shadow Broker.

There's actually a lot of terrific DLC for Mass Effect 2- Arrival and Overlord are pretty bitchin', but come on. Nothing holds a candle to Shadow Broker!

I think of it a bit like Shepard's loyalty mission, particularly if you're in a romance with Liara- helping her out and taking down the GD Shadow Broker helps clear Shep's head for the suicide mission.

The gameplay is varied, the locations even moreso. There's humor, drama, romance, and a never-before-seen alien species. There are a couple of boss battles, including one against fellow SPECTRE and all-around BAMF Tela Vasir, who cuts Shepard down to size in more ways than one.

Then there's Liara herself, who has gone through a great deal of change in the two years since the events in Mass Effect. She's become her own person- one whose plans may not always align with Shepard's any longer. Focused on revenge to the point of obsession, Liara has hardened and become a total badass in her own right. And I love- love- that the major plotline of the mission is a "damsel in distress" scenario, and for once it's a woman doing the rescuing of a man- and that it's not her boyfriend she's out to save. It may seem like a small thing, but BioWare has flipped gender (and genre) conventions on their head.

On top of all the great story and combat, Lair of the Shadow Broker sprinkles delightful goodies all over the player once you've taken over the Broker's base, in the form of moolah, resources, crew member dossiers that provide huge amounts of insight into everyone on your squad, and surveillance videos from around the galaxy, which are often good for a laugh.

Lair of the Shadow Broker isn't just my favorite piece of DLC, it's one of my favorite missions in all of Mass Effect.


CashBailey said...

The 'Shadow Broker' mission is awesome and demonstrates everything people are railing against when it comes to DLC. It absolutely should have been in the retail version because of what a huge character piece it is for Liara, even if she really does nothing in ME2.

But besides that I think the running battle outside the ship is visually stunning and the squad dossiers you can access at the end are interesting. Miranda's is a hoot.

Also, you folks may be interested in an amusing article that appeared recently which is about why 'Overlord' is the worst side mission ever.

Stacie Ponder said...

Ha, I definitely agree with that article that the Hammerhead is just painful...but I thought everything else in Overlord was pretty cool. The story was interesting and I dug tooling around in the geth ship. But yeah, Hammerhead. Ugh.

DLC is tricky. I guess I see why people get upset about it, but I tend not to...I guess I've just let my BioWare obsessiveness wash over me. :D I know I'll buy every story-driven DLC that comes along and that's that.

It's surprising about Arrival, though- I mean, that one seems pretty essential to the plot, leading you directly into ME3. I guess they'll recap for the people who didn't buy it, but it seems unfair that people who don't want to pay extra won't see it all play out.

Although I guess the flipside is that people who DO pay get great content? I don't know.

My main reason for feeling okay with shelling out more dough is the fact that I think that games are extremely fairly priced nowadays. They're bigger and better-looking than ever, yet the prices have remained roughly the same since the days of the Atari 2600. Heck, I remember some N64 games being $75 brand new- that's a new modern game (if it releases at $60- some release cheaper) and about 2 hefty DLC stories.

CashBailey said...

You may be shocked to hear this but in Australia new release major titles like this are around $108 for console versions. PC games are around $20 cheaper. I guess because they have no re-sell value.

So being asked to shell out $20-30 extra on various DLC packs is a bit beyond the pale for some markets.

I pre-ordered the collector's edition (PC), which I normally don't bother with. I wanted the art book and I think has this day one DLC that so many people are mad about.

I'm sure I'll buy it all. But there's no doubt it's a scam that Bioware and its evil overlords at EA are getting away with.

Stacie Ponder said...

That is indeed shocking. I had no idea!

UntrainedMonkey said...

Lair of the Shadow Broker is probably the best piece of DLC I've paid for period! Sorting out some loose ends with Liara was the cherry on top. Interested to see how the romances will pan out in ME3. I romanced Liara in ME1 and Jack in ME2 (purely because Liara wasn't around).

I really liked how Arrival forced you down a 'bad' route. There was no way to prevent the deaths of 300,000 batarians. Maybe this is just a taster for the harshness that awaits in ME3?