Mass Effect 2- Arrival DLC ReviewMarch 31, 2011
A good prequel to Mass Effect 3.
As per usual in ME DLC , the mission starts when you answer your email box. Admiral Hacket calls you up to ask you for a personal favor, to go on a one man mission to save his old friend Dr. Amanda Kenson. He further explains that she has found a Reaper artifact that proves their existence and impending invasion.
When it first started out , I was impressed with the rain effects , which I did not recall seeing at any other point in ME2. I also thought it was a neat twist to have Shepard go it alone on this mission. It was cool at first , but I quickly missed having my teammates around, both for their back and forth banter as well as their guns and biotic powers. The enemies seemed much more deadly on this mission , but I think that was because they were concentrating all their firepower on me , with no Miranda or Jack to distract them from Shepard. Honestly , the gunplay got a little old on this mission as it was almost nonstop, unrelenting.
The other big problem I had with this DLC was the level design. I found myself constantly getting lost , as the art assets and rooms all looked almost exactly the same , and this game has no indicator that tells you where you need to go. I would love for Mass Effect 3 to implement an indicator in the style of Killzone 3 , where you can press a button any time you are unsure of where to go, and a handy arrow pops up. Had this feature been a part of the vanilla Mass Effect 2, my playtime might have been cut down by a good 30%.
This DLC is worthwhile to those who want the full Mass Effect 2 story experience. A huge decision is made in this DLC that affects hundreds of thousands of lives, and will surely have a large impact on your Mass Effect 3 save file. If you’re a completionist , this DLC is probably worth the purchase. However I believe this should not have been DLC at all , and should have been packaged as part of the vanilla game, or at least with the Cerberus downloads you get for purchasing a new copy of the game.
All in all , this was a decent DLC that would have been much better if I had at least one team member with me, much better level design, or at least the implementation of a compass/indicator of where to go. As it stands , it seems this DLC can’t quite match the greatness of the Shadow Broker DLC , which I have yet to play but hear great things about. I will make a blog about that after I play it. Still, this IS Mass Effect , so even during a somewhat lackluster mission , I still had a good amount of fun.