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Mass Effect 3 DLC: From Ashes [2012 -- Bioware]

Started by Starfox, Mar 24, 2023, 12:15 AM

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Starfox

originally published on August 03, 2013.

Note: The following is a review of a DownLoaded Content for the game Mass Effect 3

From Ashes was actually the "Day 1" DLC -- you know the thing that should have been part of the vanilla game but that Electronic Arts preferred to remove and sell separately -- for Mass Effect 3.

But let's set the stage for the story. The primary action for the DLC takes place on Eden Prime. Mass Effect Aficionados will remember the name as this is there that the whole story begun 3 years before Mass Effect 3 events (game time) and 5 to 6 years ago for gamers (real time). It's there that Commander Shepard threw a wrench in the evil plans of the rogue Spectre Saren Aterius and swallowed the whole content of a Prothean beacon in the process.

Apparently Prothean beacons were not the sole tourist trap of the planet as an informer told Liara that Cerberus (which took control of Eden Prime some time before) uncovered another Prothean artifact. As Prothean artifacts are not things that you let the Illusive Man play with (who knows what the damn creepy bastard could come up with...) Shepard and Liara (mandatory teammate for this mission as she is the foremost expert on Protheans -- or so she thinks at that point) fly to Eden prime to kick some Cerberus asses and claim the artifact for the good of the Galaxy -- and hopefully for the doom of the Reapers.

But Liara quickly discovers that the "artifact" is in fact a cryogenic unit like the ones they saw on Ilos except that this one is functioning and contain a living 50k years old Prothean. After some heavy fighting against Cerberus, Shepard and the team manage to secure the "artifact" and to revive its content.

The goal of From Ashes DLC is of course to provide a new teammate for Shepard, along with an alternate view of the universe. Commander Javik (since it's his name) was on the front lines during the last Reapers invasion and one can't help but see similarities between him and Shepard. They're both Commander, they're both fighting an impossible war against the Reapers and Javik was also in command of a ship not unlike the Normandy. But Javik lost his war while Shepard is still fighting. Javik is a product of his time and civilization. To the surprise of Liara (and the distress of her romantic views of the Protheans), Javik reveals that the Protheans were quite the slavers and that other races really just had one choice: to join the Prothean empire or to die alone.

One also learns that Protheans actively studied Human, Asari, Salarian, Turian and other races and if the Reapers hadn't come, they would have been eventually assimilated in the Empire when ready. Javik frequently refers to the new races controlling the Galaxy as "primitives" because they actually were primitive before he took his 50K years sleep (he fondly remembers a time when Salarians were eating flies). All in all, Javik is the equivalent of a very renegade Shepard. His only goal is the extermination of the Reapers and Shepard may be sure that Javik will be an unstoppable ally -- as long as exterminating Reapers remains a top priority. Fighting Cerberus is a bonus because well... Javik hates traitors -- and he considers anyone not actively fighting the Reapers a traitor.

As a teammate, Javik is fully integrated and is actually a must to have for one mission late in the game, a mission involving Liara and her beliefs about the Asari culture and evolution. In fact, Javik brings such an unique perspective to the game that it's really a shame that this DLC was not left as part of the vanilla game instead of being sold separately.

But being a paid DLC is the only real bad thing I have to say about From Ashes.

Guess what it means!