Of the many RPGs that exist in gaming, Bioware's Mass Effect trilogy is held in high esteem. Sure, it's had plenty of misgivings along the way. But even with all of those, people can't forget the journeys they've had with all the unfortgettable companions.
The release of the Legendary Edition has reminded people of their love for the series and finally has all the DLC in one place to enjoy seamlessly. So what better time than to actually rate all these DLC than now? They fall into plenty of different types, some about reminiscing, some setting up new adventures, and everything in between.
10 Bring Down The Sky
The original Mass Effect was a big foray for Bioware. It was their first big sci-fi title, and one with a larger combat focus than previous games. And truth be told, it's a somewhat clunky game, especially by today's standards. Hence why it got the biggest makeover in the Legendary Edition. But of course, that didn't stop it from getting its own DLC in Bring Down The Sky.
Bring Down The Sky introduced the Batarian race, unfortunately portraying them as a race of, um, terrorists. That said, Bring Down The Sky is a relatively simple DLC. You travel to an asteroid to save the humans there, all the while stopping the threat. It features plenty of Mako exploration and combat, and the character of Balak can actually appear in Mass Effect 3, if he survived.
9 Zaeed – The Price Of Revenge
Mass Effect 2 originally came with the rather odd Cerberus Pass system. Owners of a new copy of the game got certain DLC for free, and additional updates in-game. Zaeed's DLC, The Price Of Revenge, was one of them. A brand new squadmate that was a real piece of work, and his own loyalty mission.
Zaeed is an awful person, undoubtedly. He's willing to let a whole factory of people die just to kill one person. It is morally correct to oppose him, and frankly not even a bad thing to let him die. But Zaeed is interesting in being so staunchly his own person, refusing to be swayed by anything Shepard says, and his mission exemplifies that.
8 Kasumi – Stolen Memory
Similar to Zaeed, Kasumi's Stolen Memory DLC is a new squadmate and personal mission. Kasumi is a much more agreeable person, and her persona mission feels like something of a spy mission mixed with a heist. You attend a fancy ball, you sneak away to do some thieving, everything goes wrong.
Kasumi runs into a similar issue to Zaeed though as aboard the Normandy she's not really interactable, beyond some objects in her room, and doesn't have the same in-depth conversations as everyone else. This means that every part of her has to shine in her own mission.
Overlord is a fascinating DLC, and definitely a polarising one. Its tone is completely different from that of the rest of the series, and builds off a poor premise to begin with. Shepard is tasked with traveling to an old research facility gone haywire, discovering that a Human-Virtual Intelligence hybrid has taken control of the planet.
You travel between facilities on the Hammerhead, a replacement for the Mako. But the whole thing gives off an unsettling, almost horror vibe. This poor man has been subjected to torture and lost control of himself. He's not a villain, just another victim. The DLC feels so distinctly detached from everything, making it almost feel like a bad dream.
The Mass Effect trilogy was a big deal during its original run, with the ending of the second game firmly setting up a sequel. But so anticipated was Mass Effect 3, that they decided to make a small DLC to properly set it up. Arrival has Shepard in a literal race against time to halt the early arrival of the Reapers to Earth.
After saving a scientist, you're brought to a space station where a real-time countdown begins. It starts at 48 hours, and can actually elapse fully. It eventually skips down to an hour and 30 minutes, and then just 30. Of course, Shepard succeeds and controls a Reaper hologram or Harbinger itself if you've finished the game, with the promise to defeat them.
5 From Ashes
Central to the deeper lore of Mass Effect are the Protheans. They built the Mass Effect relays and figured out a way to beat the Reapers before being assimilated themselves as the Collectors. They're pretty essential and all dead. Except for one. Javik was introduced in the Day-One DLC, From Ashes, which was not well recieved.
That said, Javik is an incredible companion who actually feels just as detailed as everyone else, and the mission to recruit him even brings you back to where the whole franchise began. It's a love letter to the past while also being an explainer of the lore and a thoroughly enjoyable companion, and Javik finally in the game by default, like he's meant to be.
Revealed in Mass Effect 2 is that the Reapers do not in fact destroy races that exist, they actually assimilate them, those races then becoming thralls to the greater instincts of the Reapers. The Protheans became the collectors, and in Mass Effect 3 you can see the various current races haphazardly turned into assimilated creatures.
But what were the Reapers originally? Leviathan very directly answers this. The DLC is more akin to Arrival in a way, being a more or less straightforward journey with a curated experience, though the final descent to meet the last remaining Leviathans beneath the sea where no one can hear or see you, is an awe-inspiring, spine-tingling experience.
The Omega Space Station is one of the more iconic locations of the series. A lawless station of drugs, sex, and just about anything else the rest of the galaxy views as unsavory. And all of it headed by the ambitious, self-assured Aria T'Loak, voiced by Carrie-Anne Moss. She is Omega, and leaves just as strong an impression, making the return to Omega just as much about her.
The Omega DLC has you flushing out Cerberus from the Space Station and returning Aria to power. It's fan-fare for the character and location and has you influencing Aria's behavior, rather than making direct choices of your own. Oh, and it also has one of the rare instances where being an Engineer actually matters.
2 Lair Of The Shadow Broker
Central to basically every Bioware game are companions. A good character can make you enjoy something no matter how dire if you want to see more of the character. So when fan-favorite Liara didn't return in Mass Effect 2 where Garrus and Tali did, it might have left some feeling a bit wanting, especially if they romanced her.
Lair of the Shadow Broker rectifies this. Liara brings you directly into the fray once again, including the brutality that comes with it. She also shows how much she has matured since the original, Once again, it's all about reminiscing about your love of the character. But the area of the DLC, a mysterious station amidst a storm is stunning and matches the force of this new Liara.
Mass Effect 3 had its ending, and then it had its extended ending, and then it had Citadel. And though Citadel isn't the true ending of the series, spiritually it is. It was the moment the main game didn't give you. A final journey where everyone is back, where all your choices come to say hi, and the relationships you've built are given their time to reflect.
It's a light-hearted adventure, just a time to hang out with friends and have one last good time, to celebrate not the end of a tale, but the journey that made it. It has so much depth, so many variations to celebrate the relationships your Shepard made and is a love letter to the series.
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