Last week Bioware made their third release of downloaded content (DLC) for Mass Effect 3′s (ME3) single player campaign, Leviathan.
The new content costs $10 bucks (or 800 Microsoft Points) and provides about three to four hours of new content delving into the history of the Reapers, which immediately made me think, “Why the hell wasn’t this part of the original game?”
But I’m already digressing. If you read my review of Mass Effect 3 or my follow ups on the extended cut DLC you’ll know I’m not a big fan of the third game – and not just because of the travesty of an ending. But in the interest of objectivity, I set aside my nerd rage, played the new content and pondered what I experienced for a few days before committing thoughts to digital paper.
After downloading the Leviathan, head to your email to find a message from Admiral Hackett. He directs you to the Citadel to find Dr. Bryson who has discovered a strange artifact. Due to circumstances beyond your control, Bryson is… we’ll just say, indisposed. Now you must play detective to find the clues to where to go next. It’s not too hard. Go around the office and sleeping area and touch everything you can to gather all the info. There doesn’t seem to be a purpose to having a puzzle that leads you around by the nose, but since I hate puzzles, I’m perfectly content with this.
The chase will lead you all over the galaxy and into direct confrontation with the Reapers, who are also searching for this mysterious entity. (Happily there’s no Cerberus – I’m so over Cerberus that the Flood would be a welcome sight.) Eventually, the clues lead you to a watery realm where you would think something called Leviathan would make its home. I don’t want to give away content, so I’ll just say your new allies answer questions about the Reapers, join your fight and are amazingly bad ass. Which makes the ending of ME3 all the more ludicrous.
I’m in the unique position that I’m late to the Mass Effect party. I always wanted to play ME1 and ME2, but didn’t until last year. But I immediately fell in love with them and bought all the DLC content before finishing the games. Before that I had never made any DLC purchases for any game. I mean, I finished the game, why the hell would I go back and buy more crap for it and play it again? Crazy. So, this is my first experience going back into a game I already finished to play new content.
Was it worth it 10 bucks? Depends. Unfortunately it’s hard to separate Leviathan from its parent content. Any DLC release is going to be tied to the player’s feelings about ME3’s controversial (i.e. craptacular) ending.
If I compare it to ME2’s Lair of the Shadow Broker, the answer is hell no. If I compare it to ME3’s piece of garbage From the Ashes, the answer is yes. (Seriously. I’m average at best. So if it took you more than 15 minutes – not counting cut scenes – to finish From the Ashes, quit playing video games.)
Overall, I didn’t care for it, and I can’t say why without giving away every plot point or player action. I also don’t like that the content has no meaningful effect on the game. Why the hell would I spend more money on game content that doesn’t add anything to the experience? And as eluded to earlier, the end of Leviathan just makes the end of ME3 even worse than it already is.
If you’re one of the freaks who loved ME3’s ending, then go get this. You probably already have. If you were neutral… eh. It’s well made, so you’ll probably like it if you have $10 of disposable income lying around. But you’re not missing a lot if you’d rather go to Applebee’s. If you hated the ending, I wouldn’t bother. You’re paying $10 just for a few funny lines and little bit of lore that should have been in the original game. It was only the fact I had to write this review and my dedication to not doing things half-assed that kept me from mashing my x-button to hurry through the conversations. I have more passion for another Tim Allen Santa Clause sequel than another ME3 DLC release. (I still love multi-player though.)
So, to recap:
Overall impression: Not bad. Well made, but doesn’t add anything compelling for me and has a few doofy plot holes.
Love the ending? Buy it.
Hate the ending? Don’t buy it.
Neutral about the ending? Flip a coin. Heads, buy it. Tails, treat yourself to lunch in the neighborhood. (Your enjoyment is a crap shoot either way.)
Until next time,