Sky: Brought Down

Promotional Mass Effect screenshot, "Bring Down the Sky"

This afternoon I’ve finished the first/latest Mass Effect DLC, Bring Down the Sky. It adds a new mission to the game which promises ~90 minutes of gameplay, a new location, a new race and a new XBL achievement (worth 50 gamerpoints). It costs 400 MS Points (€4.80).

The mission was nice, nothing out of the ordinary, tho. Drive around in your Mako, clean out some places, gather “leads” (if you want to call them that) and then face a boss guy. Make some Paragon/Renegade decisions, get a glimpse at a possible new story line to come and be done with it.

The aforementioned new location is an asteroid on a collision course with a colonised planet. The rock itself looks like pretty much like any of the old “lesser” planets from the main game. It’s okay, not more, not less. What makes it special (to me) is the beautiful planet looming overhead — X57, the asteroid, is heading towards Terra Nova, destined to bring doom and destruction. A grim outlook! Still pretty, tho. Seriously, it’s really shiny, but I’m a sucker for stars and planet imagery, so I might take more joy from something like this than other people.

Anyways, why is it heading there? Because of the Batarians, a race of 4-eyed humanoids. Apparently they don’t like the Humans for various historical reasons, and thus use their first on-screen appearance ever for speaking with the protagonists in a resentful manner. And for shooting at them. The audacity!

So, is “Bring Down the Sky” a perfect DLC/addon? No. Bioware’s decision to make this an “in-between mission” is questionable. I can understand it from a storyline point of view – too much is in flux after finishing the main game, what with the Council and all. But unfortunately it means I have to go back to a savegame where I could freely roam the galaxy – i.e. a save that was made prior to visiting Ilos etc. —, and for some people that might be a drawback. A co-worker of mine has no save like that left, and that means he’d have to start over, and therefore he won’t pick up the DLC. So… srsly, not a good decision. (Personally, I was lucky to still have a “good” save, tho.) But the implementation could’ve been smoother. Well, I actually expected it to be smoother.

And what’s with the silent team members? I though Garrus and Kaiden were pissed since they wouldn’t talk to me during the mission. Not even random chatter. Meh. It’s a small issue, tho. Just something I found a bit strange.

All in all, tho, it’s been a nice ride. For the average price of a Döner you get ~90 minutes of additional Mass Effect goodness. A good bargain in my book.