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Mass Effect 3 DLC: Leviathan [2012 -- Bioware]

Started by Starfox, Mar 24, 2023, 12:27 AM

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Originally published on August 07, 2013

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

Leviathan was the first story DLC released after the vanilla game (From Ashes and the Extended Cut do not count the former because it was a day one DLC and the latter because it was a poor attempt to correct the very bad ending).

Leviathan find its origin in the book "Revelations" that was published at about the same time as Mass Effect 1 and in which the reader can follow the adventures of a Lieutenant David Anderson, 20 years before he commanded the Normandy during the mission on Eden prime -- it's also the book in which we get to know Kahlee Sanders (Anderson's on again/off again romance); in the game series she only appears in one mission during Mass Effect 3.

20 years before Eden Prime, the Batarians discovered a weird and enormous alien spaceship -- back then nobody knews that was a dead Reaper. They called it the Leviathan of Dis (Dis being the system in which it was found), and attempted to hide it from the rest of the Galaxy in order to gain the upper hand against Humanity (that just managed to kick them out of the Skyllian Verge) by studying it for themselves. It's during this time that a Turian named Saren, following both Human an Batarian leads stumbled on another weird alien spaceship called Sovereign and decided to keep it to himself in order to give the Turians the upper hand against humans (because more than anything else, Saren hated humans)... and blah blah. But before he could go on with his scheme, Saren was indoctrinated with the result we all know.

None of the above is explained in the DLC, mind you, but I thought I'd put a little context for those who never read the books to show that this DLC does not come from absolutely nowhere. However, the Leviathan Shepard pursues in the DLC while being linked to the Reapers is not the Leviathan of Dis the Batarians discovered. It's something else entirely, something both creepier and more grandiose.

And there, Bioware manage to give themselves an excellent tool that could have contributed to a better ending for Mass Effect 3 but still, they proceeded to shoot their own foot immediately using the Leviathan to try and validate the existence of the Starchild in Mass Effect 3 ending.

I did appreciate the DLC up to the final confrontation with Leviathan which mainly focuses on the Starchild... And there I was looking at the sky asking "Why are you doing this to us, Bioware? And to yourself for that matter?" I simply didn't understand the fixation with the Starchild which is possibly the most horrible literary device either used; the "indoctrination theory" could have been the only thing to redeem the "Starchild/Catalyst" making of it a psychological trick used by Harbinger to try and control Shepard then expending on that to finally see Shepard kicking out of the indoctrination attempt and bringing the story back on track but alas, Leviathan manages to shoot the whole "indoctrination theory" dead because after all, why talk about the Starchild at all if the thing is not real? If it was a psychological trick used by Harbinger, Leviathan should not even know about it.

That alone makes for a truly average DLC. Too bad because without the obstinacy trying to validate the Starchild, Leviathan would have provided a really good twist for the ending.

Guess what it means!