Thoughts on Mass Effect 2: Arrival

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Released around 14 months or so after Mass Effect 2, the Arrival DLC is designed as a story to bridge the gap between Mass Effect 2 and the forthcoming Mass Effect 3. Throughout the last 14 months, BioWare has supported Mass Effect 2 with a variety of DLC, including both free and paid content to play through. This DLC would be of the for-pay variety and will cost you 560 BioWare points, which is around $7.

The previously released content has ranged in quality from the short-lived Kasumi content, to the more engaging and epic-feeling Shadow Broker and Overlord content. The question would ultimately rest with what type of experience BioWare would provide us here, especially given that this content will be the last of Mass Effect 2 that any of us see until the release of Mass Effect 3. How would BioWare leave us?

For starters, this content fits within the 2 hour time frame of the previous two pieces of content, so it will be up to you as to whether two hours is worth it.  The setup is that Admiral Hackett, the guy who never bothered to thank you for helping him in the first Mass Effect, is requesting that you perform a solo mission to extract an Alliance Operative and scientist who has proof that not only are the Reapers planning to attack, but that it will be happening soon. As such, you will be required to enter Batarian space and rescue the Operative and determine the validity of her findings.

While this sounds exciting, Arrival is mainly a point A to point B shootout, with a handful of mini-games and an annoying Escort mission included. You really aren’t offered much in the way of choices and I found the way the story developed to be rather odd. I am not certain that the story as presented actually makes that much sense, nor do the motivations of the characters involved. Still, it is a Mass Effect story and it does involve the return of the Reapers, more specifically the where and when of the arrival of their forces.

While a decidedly linear experience, Arrival did feature some of the most difficult combat I had ever faced in Mass Effect 2. The A.I. seemed to be smarter and the enemies caught me sleeping a few times with their flanking maneuvers. Despite all my running around, there was never any real penalty for taking my time as I always had ample time to fulfill objectives that often appeared to be, but weren’t timed.

In the end, I feel like BioWare kind of limped across the finish line. While I appreciate them taking the time to create the content that sets up the events of Mass Effect 3, I wish they had done so with the inclusion of content that involved more choices and more interaction with your party members, instead of a solo mission that was fairly linear and offered zero incentive to ever replay it. For me, any Mass Effect is better than no Mass Effect, but this didn’t stop me from being disappointed by what was offered.

 

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Mass Effect 2 Boxart

Info

  • Developer: BioWare
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Genre: RPG
  • Release Date: January 28, 2015
  • Link: The Official Site
  • ESRB Rating:
Mature

Minimum Requirements

• Win XP / Vista
• 2.4+GHZ Intel or 2.0+GHZ AMD CPU
• 1GB RAM, 2GB for Vista
• NVIDIA GeForce 6 series(6800GT or better) ATI 1300XT or better
• 12 GB HDD Space
• DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card and drivers

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