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Mass Effect 3: Leviathan – Critical Thoughts

Mass Effect 3 is easily one of the biggest releases so far this year and, in today’s videogame world, if you are a AAA title and you are going to make waves with your release, DLC is somewhat expected from you on a somewhat regular basis. My point is, long opening sentence aside, the days where a game could be released by a company and left alone are over. But then, maybe sometimes the rule doesn’t really apply.

Mass Effect 3 has been really good about all of their DLC thus far. Three multiplayer expansions have been released, as well as two single player expansions.  Having five expansions as we enter the fifth month after its release is not shabby at all. What’s more, each piece of DLC released has been free, thanks to an arguably genius mechanic that makes multiplayer equipment packs purchasable not only with earned credits but also with Microsoft Points.

But that’s not the only side of this Mass Effect 3 phenomenon. The game’s gripping and supposedly choice weighted campaign drew some attention in the means of naysayers shortly after its release. One of the expansions (as I’m sure you know) was actually created to appease these Debbie downers and, frankly, doubting Thomases and gave us all an Extended Cut. Though this DLC was meant to extend the ending of the trilogy it hardly extended the actual game, leaving the players with an ending no less conclusive than the original.

That being said, the latest ending to the Mass Effect trilogy was conclusive. Undoubtedly conclusive. Why then, is there DLC coming, later this month purportedly, that is moored in the campaign? And why is it on the scale that it is? Leviathan, the DLC slated to release in the near future, is about a quest to find a being so powerful he can slay Reapers. Why does that matter at all when our ending has already been expanded and has no room for more expansion?

In my eyes there is no need to find this being or learn anything from him (or maybe her?) because it cannot and most likely will not affect my already conclusive ending. And if that wasn’t enough, BioWare is going to charge players ten dollars to play this DLC. After five consecutive free expansions that have had little to no bearing on the campaign and its story at all, they want to push more at me that:

a) takes place before the end of the game (making it necessary not only for me to play it but then finish the game again to see if it changes anything),

b) can’t have so much impact as to change the ending again, and

c) is going to cost ten dollars?

Now, I may just be in a bad mood and ranting (I will mellow out now), but I have a hard time seeing the usefulness of this DLC. If BioWare wants to charge me for some DLC, that is, in essence, fine (period) with (period) me (period). Just please make it something that takes place after the campaign. There are plenty of things to do, and there is already a massive calling for it. Making another single player add-on, this late after a release, with no potential to alter our ending sounds a little absurd. Especially with the grand scale that Leviathan seems to have.

Though I have not written the DLC off completely (who knows, they might impress me), I am going to have a hard time making myself fork over ten dollars. And though I inevitably will (sadly curiosity tends to get the best of me), I am afraid that this DLC will be nothing more than a few extra spoons of sugar in an already sweet cake; it may add to the sweetness (and your waistline), but in the end, after finishing the cake, you’ll still feel exactly the same.



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