Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC
by Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)
**Contains spoilers. Lots of them.**
The last DLC for Mass Effect 3 has finally been released, and well…it’s just plain awesome. When Bioware first teased us with what they were going to include in the last DLC for this beloved trilogy, I was ecstatic. Then I was nervous. Then I started the first Mass Effect all over, so that I could go through the entire thing with all of the DLCs from all three games in one gigantic, exciting, heroic journey of epicness-before I blow the tube and destroy the Reapers again. I have yet to finish that whole playthrough. I took a break to play the new “Citadel” DLC, and it has been worth it.
What’s in it?
First off, most of our favorite squadmates from the first two games are back, though not all get equal time. It was fantastic to go through the missions with Garrus and Wrex on my flanks. Although the other favorites can’t accompany you on any of the missions, you do get to fight alongside them in the Armax Combat Arena. They aren’t there automatically, though. You do have to unlock them. But outside of the missions is where the DLC really shines for me. There are several small “encounters” with each of your old comrades, including new content with your pre-existing love interest, if there is one.
Included with all the extra time spent with your squadmates is some pretty hilarious banter. In one encounter, Shepard throws a party. My Shep invited everybody (you get to choose who to invite to your party), and I was not sorry I did. Remember drunk Tali? She’s back-with an omni tattoo that Jack has talked her into, though you don’t get to actually see it. The description is hilarious though. But for me, that wasn’t the funniest bit. The funniest bit at the party was sitting down with Wrex and Grunt. The only thing they kept saying was, “Shepard…Shheppard…Shepard, Shepard, Shepard…Commander Shepard.” Drunk Krogan! Outstanding! Grunt gets arrested for climbing on the Krogan statue in the Presidium, and stealing a C-Sec shuttle, all in the name of getting some noodles.
Easter Eggs. Throughout the DLC, whether you’re fighting in a mission, or hanging with your crew in your new apartment, or gambling at the casino, or a host of other activities, the folks at Bioware wanted you to know how much they appreciate you as fans. There was one moment when Shep, Wrex, and Garrus, are in an elevator and Garrus wants to talk about Krogan and Turian history like the old days. Or the return of the Lancer assault rifle complete with ME1 technology. It overheats rather than using the thermal clips. There was a Volus pizza man, a bar fight straight out of the Mos Eisely Cantina, and more jokes than you can shake a pyjack at.
What isn’t in it?
Mordin and Thane, at least in any real sense. The DLC assumes Thane is already dead, and Mordin is off preparing for his work on Tuchanka. You get messages from them, and there’s a memorial service for Thane which is quite touching. The prayer at Thane’s bedside as he dies is one of my favorite moments out of all three games. The memorial service, and Thane’s video messages, brought those feels back in full force. I would’ve like to have Mordin at the party, though. Maybe he could’ve broken into some Gilbert and Sullivan.
A new ending. I’m still a bit bummed about the ending-probably always will be, but this new DLC gives me more information for how I see my Shepard at the end of the story. There aren’t any great revelations. No new information about the Reapers. No ancient squids or anything like that. But I think that’s ok. It didn’t need to add any more to the war story. There’s plenty of that already. And if you space it out, all of the little encounters can add some much needed levity to the overall story.
I believe the fan reaction overall to the “Citadel” DLC will be positive, and may even restore some lost faith in Bioware. For me, I wish the entire game could’ve been more like this. Yes, some of the lines are cheesy. We’re talking straight up gouda and brie, here. But Shepard practicing different ways of saying, “I should go,” while incarcerated in an impenetrable vault, or Zaeed cursing up and down at one of those games where you’re supposed to use a claw to grab a toy, and bumming money off Shep to do it, is just too awesome to be contained in a DLC.
A last word about the DLC and its place in the overall story. Some might say that galactic war is no time for R&R. Because of the ubiquitous threat of utter annihilation, people are supposed to be serious and can’t laugh. They can’t try to forget for a few moments their impending doom, or can’t try to steal a few moments of peace with their significant other(s). But this is one of the most encouraging things about this DLC. I liken it to the Harry Potter books. Even in the midst of the war with Voldemort and his Death Eaters, you have Fred and George Weasely. There’s still the, “constipation sensation that’s sweeping the nation.” And we need it. Soldiers need it. People who’ve lost everything sometimes need to experience some pleasure to keep on keeping on.
So, if you’ve enjoyed the characters of the Mass Effect trilogy, do yourself a favor and get this DLC, and have some fun.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars