May 042011

Mass Effect 2 has been out for well over a year now, but just last month, Bioware dropped some fresh DLC to supposedly bridge the gap between ME2 and ME3.  At the ME standard DLC price of $7, the question is, is it a piece of must-have content for a ME fan, filling in important story lines, or is it completely avoidable?  Probably more of the latter and less of the former.

Let me start off by saying this DLC mission can be played through in probably one and a half hours, so it’s one of the shorter DLCs available for ME2 — definitely shorter than the great Overlord or Lair of the Shadow Broker add-ons.  Without going into the story for the spoiler-sensitives amongst us, Arrival only provides a couple mission scenarios heavy on combat.  Expect lots of corridor shooting, with a few areas to explore a bit for some extra research items, credits and resources.  Did I mention a lot of shooting? You shoot lots of dudes…a lot. Some mechs too, and there’s a short but satisfying sequence where you can control your own LOKI Mech. It’s also worth mentioning that you’ll be fighting solo, you can’t bring any of your team along to help out, because the mission is super secret…or something.

The story is decent but not great, and doesn’t really feel like it’s critical to the story arc.  It makes sense and fits in with the end of ME2 and what we know about ME3, but didn’t feel all that important — more like a footnote. That’s probably the best approach, and true with all of the ME2 DLCs; totally avoidable to those who just want to play the main games, but offering more to those who just want more Mass Effect stuffs.

So, who should get this DLC?  If you’ve played the other DLCs and still want some more ME2 action to hold you over, then you’ll enjoy it enough.  It’s merely average, but you’ll be somewhat satisfied.  If I wanted to nitpick, I’d say it’s not really worth $7, it’s probably more like a $4 DLC if I had to put a value on it.  If you’re looking to take a look at some ME2 DLC for the first time, skip this one and take a look at the Overlord, Shadow Broker, or even Katsumi (if you’re looking for a new member and a new loyalty mission that’s actually pretty good) before this one.

The Arrival DLC is available on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 (when the PSN store comes back online) for $7. More info here.

Embeded below is the Arrival trailer: