Fan service with a smile!
I know most of you couldn't care less about more additions to Mass Effect 3
, especially when they in no way affect the outcome of the game's highly controversial ending. I honestly have to say that I share a level of uneasiness as well anytime I hear the word DLC in association with a game I've already paid $60 dollars for. Leviathan
were very well-developed bonus storylines but offered very little to gamers upon completion. This Citadel
DLC manages to give gamers more than just an extra mission, and that in itself is of great value especially to die-hard fans of the franchise.
After downloading both parts of the DLC (it's 3.9GB in total so you're definitely getting the bang for your buck), you can access it by traveling to the Citadel and selecting the "Lower Wards." This ensures that you're getting more for your money than other DLC out there for this game. This will then trigger the beginning of Shepard's shore leave where you will arrive at Captain Anderson's personal apartment, which he has generously given you access to during your stay. You'll begin your leave by meeting Joker for sushi where you are then informed by Alliance Officer Maya Brooks that another group of humans outside of Cerberus called Cat6 is trying to kill you.
This prompts an interesting portion of the game where you are forced to battle your way out of the sushi bar when you're ambushed with low heath, no medi-gel, one gun, and whatever biotic powers you have handy. The Cat6 soldiers are a bit more difficult than Cerberus soldiers because they are more aggressive and have grenades that spawn into a cluster of five mini-grenades on impact which can do a significant amount of damage.
After calling for backup, you will be reunited with Liara and another friendly blast from the past, Wrex, if he's alive in your playthrough of course. It was a great experience to have one of my favorite squad pairings from Mass Effect 1
reunited in Mass Effect 3
, especially for the badass Krogan who essentially obliterated enemies single-handedly on the battlefield. From here on, you will set out to find out who is behind this new conspiracy to kill you. The cool part about this portion is that you get to play through a level in the Alliance Archives in similar fashion to the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2
where your entire crew joins you. You will not have to select people for specific tasks, but once you choose your base squad, you will frequently see the rest of your crew roaming the battlefield alongside you in the firefight. This level also contains holographic video recordings that reveal early events in the First Contact War, previously only depicted in writing.
Throughout the entire DLC, you'll be bombarded with content that is clearly meant to please die-hard fans that have been playing Mass Effect
since the very beginning. The writing alone is more humorous than any part of any campaign I've played in the entire trilogy. Halfway through the main part of the Citadel mission, I felt like I was playing something written by Joss Whedon because the science fiction, action, and humor melded beautifully into a supremely enjoyable experience. [There's also one epic fanfic scene with Garrus. ~Ed. Nick]
Even the villain was something that I truly was not prepared for—
a nice touch because in Leviathan
, you pretty much went in knowing what you would be up against. This content is clearly meant to serve as fan-service and I don't think that was a bad move on Bioware at all. (As strange as this might sound, I have become annoyed by the amount of free multiplayer maps that have been released for this game as opposed to content for the actual game.)
Even though much of what happens is not discussed with your crew once you return back to the Normandy, you can still return to the Lower Wards and go to the arcade, trigger special cu-scenes with different crew members, run into your favorite Elcor thespians, or call people to your apartment to hangout or catch up. I played the DLC before getting Tali back in my crew, so I'll definitely be playing it again soon to see what happens.
You even get to throw a party once the bullets stop flying where you can choose to get your fellow crew members wasted and see what happens or have a low-key party without boozing it up and reminisce about old times. This part of the DLC is truly invaluable to anybody who truly loves this series. You'll get more than just banter, because there are special cut-scenes with different groups of the crew, including Glyph the shadow broker's handy robot, throughout the festivities .
Overall, the Citadel
DLC is the best additional content for Mass Effect 3
so far (and this will likely stay that way). Citadel
adds a brand new area of the Citadel to explore, an arcade where you can play Mass Effec
t-inspired games, a combat arena you can compete in to earn exclusive Cerberus armor, and more chances to interact with your crew then you can possibly expect. There's even a chance to reunite with more characters from Mass Effect 2
depending on whether or not they survived the suicide mission. I strongly believe that anyone who has been hesitant to buy DLC for Mass Effect 3
should consider giving this add-on a chance.
Code provided by publisher. Review based on Xbox 360 version. Also PS3 and PC versions.