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[Review: DLC] Lair of the Shadow Broker

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[Review: DLC] Lair of the Shadow Broker Empty [Review: DLC] Lair of the Shadow Broker

Post by alexoblivion on Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:48 pm

[Review: DLC] Lair of the Shadow Broker Mass-Effect-2-Lair-Of-The-Shadow-Broker-500x281

For seven months gamers have been reminded time and again that Mass Effect 2 did not go quietly into the night and is, in fact, still releasing various types of DLC. However, it seems that Bioware seems to be tightening the lid on the flowing content with its latest release, Lair of the Shadow Broker. The content was released on September 7, 2010 and marks the first release of an undisclosed amount of DLC that will prep gamers for Mass Effect 3. While that's all well and good, you're probably not here for predictions and instead are looking for a review. Forward!

This new bit of content begins with Cerberus sending you a message, informing you of important information on a mysterious shadow broker, who your old buddy Liara is all bent out of shape about. You meet with her, she practically squeals at the chance to kick ass, Shepard questions things and then you're off to kill a mysterious person. Without revealing too much, yes, there is a car chase sequence, you will finally encounter another SPECTRE who's not Saren, and you will have a few chuckles as ME2 pokes fun at its predecessor.

Unfortunately, with Bioware's most ambitious DLC yet, it doesn't come without some issues that linger like a bad taste after completing a superb meal. The 800 points (Bioware or Microsoft currency) are the least of the few problems as you get five achievements, 20-30 minutes of gameplay, and a certain sequence that rivals that of the final scenes of the game. The largest nuisance encountered with the content is the fact that it takes place only after a certain point in ME2, which means if you want to play it, you'll need to have disc 2 ready. It makes sense as it clears up many blatant plot spoilers (minus the obvious ending), but it will be frustrating for those who've not played the game multiple times let alone ensured a romance with Liara. Speaking of Liara, she is also an included hindrance who will often come across as shallow, and many times uninteresting to talk to. This is mostly due to her motives being revealed later in the content, but it will lessen the player's interest in her for about half of the DLC. The only other problem most gamers will find with the content is Bioware's attempt at a high speed car chase. It's an interesting enough idea, but with a steep learning curve, and questionable vehicle controls it feels awkward considering the sequence is used only briefly.

Despite these issues, there are some great triumphs that only boost a gamers enjoyment of the content. The first of which is the care Bioware took in crafting this small story and doing it in such a way that keeps the plot moving with few slowdowns. This quick and flashy story is aided by various locals that offer vistas of immeasurable beauty, and equally varied locations in which a few stunning firefights take place. For once, boss fights are actually tactical and rather than just point and shoot players will most likely be forced to move from cover to cover to avoid these powerful enemies. For example, a Vanguard ambushes Shepard and his/her team and utilizes the charge ability to quickly move across the battlefield, often making the players safe hiding spot useless. Amazing cutscenes litter the DLC, the highlight of them being an amazing sequence where Shepard gets into a lengthy fistfight with a creature twice his/her size.

From a less than stellar car chase to incredible visuals, Lair of the Shadow Broker is a questionable buy for some and a "no-brainer" for hardcore fans. While not as much of a game changer as Project Overlord, Liara's story is indeed a worthy addition to the long list of content for Mass Effect 2 and will only make the overall experience that much more memorable. On the flip side, Liara will be a forgettable character to most, and you won't be missing much from this fan-oriented content.


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