Mass Effect 2 Arrival DLC Review: Shepard Strikes Ou

Let's not beat around the bush here, the Reapers are coming and come Mass Effect 3, they're going to hit the human race hard. With that said, let's take a quick moment to talk about Arrival, the latest and final DLC installment to Mass Effect 2.

The Final Chapter

At the behest of good ol' Admiral Hackett (damn that sexy voice), Shepard embarks on a solo mission to save Dr. Kenson, an Alliance deep cover agent, from the clutches of the Batarians. Upon Kenson's liberation from her captors, Shepard learns of the impending Reaper invasion and of the doctor's plans to ram a meteor into a mass relay to hinder the Reaper's progress mass effect andromeda romance.

Skeptical of Kenson's plans, Shepard accompanies the good doctor back to her project base, only to learn to his dismay that Kenson and her staff have all been indoctrinated by a Reaper artefact. Shepard, being the absolute bad ass that we all know him to be, battles against anything and everything Kenson and her team manages to throw in his path. The DLC culminates in the destruction of the Alpha relay and an ominous holographic confrontation between Shepard Harbinger himself.

The Falsely Paved Highway To Mass Effect 3

Before we get into the thick of anything else, let's have a bit of a rewind.

Back when Lair of the Shadow Broker was first released, Bioware mentioned that it would be the first piece of DLC that would serve to expand the Mass Effect universe in preparation for the epic conclusion of Shepard's story, Mass Effect 3.

Now, LotBS was awesome and is, hands down, my favourite Bioware DLC to date (across all franchises) despite a number of minor shortcomings. I don't know about you, but I was definitely expecting a good 3 to 4 more DLCs. However, with the onset of Arrival being the final chapter/DLC for Mass Effect 2, it kind of begs the question as to whether Bioware might have stretched the truth a little on their plans to bridge the gap between ME2 and ME3.

Going Solo Doesn't Impress Me

Arrival attempts to set itself apart from its ME2 DLC compatriots by featuring Shepard as a lone combatant. Essentially, due to the sensitive nature of this assignment, Hackett insists that Shepard works alone. In truth, it isn't all too big a deal, considering how Shepard seemingly excels at any given class, at given time (we received a dose of solo-Shep during the final leg of the Project Overlord DLC).

The DLC itself won't take players more than an hour to complete, which in itself is pretty disappointing. Moreover, Arrival doesn't exactly break any new ground whatsoever. It doesn't boast anything new in the manner of gameplay, interaction, situational challenge, enemy variation or mob distribution. Based on the previews I read prior to playing Arrival, it seemed to me that the whole Very simply put, Arrival struck me as a short story that needed to be told, cheaply packaged into a sorry excuse for 'game content'.

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