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Mass Effect 3 DLC: Citadel [2013 -- Bioware]

Started by Starfox, Mar 24, 2023, 12:51 AM

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Originally published on August 14, 2013

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

At last! I say "at last" because the Citadel DLC is the only one in the whole of Mass Effect 3 managing to grab a super happy green smiley. The reasons for that are obvious ones both during the DLC and when the end of the DLC is reached. Citadel is also the last story DLC issued for Mass Effect 3 which makes a total number of story DLC inferior to the one of Mass Effect 2. But first things first, a bit of the story.

Note: The DLC only becomes available after the "Priority Tuchanka" mission when one receives a message from Admiral Hackett. There's a reason to that that I'll mention later.

So it appears that the Normandy and her crew are overdue for some R&R. It also appears that Anderson got this nice little place in the residential part of the Citadel that he intended for retirement purposes but well, the Reapers changed his outlook so he decides to leave the place to Shepard and while the Normandy gets a filter and oil check the Commander just has to grab a seat, a beer and relax... Of course before getting to the "relax" part he/she will have to battle ferocious enemies who are after his/her ass and that, curiously enough, are neither Reapers nor Cerberus. Puzzling. Who these new enemies are, I'll keep that a secret for those who didn't play the DLC because it's really a surprise -- rest assured, it's hilarious. A big plus for this DLC is if Wrex is still alive (ie you didn't kill him on Virmire) because in this case you'll have him as a squad-mate for the duration of the story and that alone makes for some fun (it's also the reason why the DLC only becomes available after Tuchanka).

Anyway, here's a DLC with no other pretension than "taking a break" from the main game, even making casual fun of Shepard and the crew. There's no Reapers, there's no Cerberus, and good Lord there's no Starchild. In fact there's no mention of the ongoing war. What you'll find in here are old friends, a lot of humor, eventually a big reunion turning into a party; several mini-games and an Arena one can use at leisure -- even after the end of the DLC story. The whole residential facilities including Shepard's new apartment remain available until the end of Mass Effect 3. As a matter of fact you may decide to do the story bit of the DLC right when it becomes available then to have the big party with your crew and friends just before the mission in Cerberus headquarters because at that moment you'll have run into everybody still alive and so will be able to invite all of them (mainly that includes the crew of the Normandy through the three games, including the survivors of Mass Effect 2 suicide mission -- Kasumi and Zaeed are there too if you played the relevant DLC and they are still alive).

If there is one thing providing a real feeling of closure to the Mass Effect story arc, it's certainly Citadel, the fact that you can reminisce with surviving members of your crew -- old and new --  individually and its often hilarious and/or sentimental moments including the reunion party up to the picture of the surviving crew posing on the sofa and the last words exchanged in front of the Normandy docking bay after the party. Personally I realized that if the game just ended there I would have felt pretty good about it instead of being forced to endure the horrible ending. Sure that still wouldn't cure the Galaxy of the Reapers plague but damn... this is the kind of ending that Mass Effect (and particularly the fans who have gone and remained faithful through the trilogy) deserved, not the crap we got. And playing through the Citadel DLC reminded me that Bioware was perfectly capable to deliver on the ending which only adds insult to injury. It's really appalling to see that this DLC has a much better polished ending than Mass Effect 3 itself.

The Citadel DLC was designed with fans in mind. People who only jumped into the Mass Effect wagon with Mass Effect 3 (trust me, they are a lot and they are generally the same who claim that the ending is good) will probably find nothing of real interest to them in there. However those who followed the Mass Effect trilogy since the beginning will find a lot to enjoy. Including the rediscovery of the M7 Lancer from the first game (baby I missed you!) which is undoubtedly the most powerful and precise assault rifle in Mass Effect 3 (ironic considering it was one of the most pitiful weapon in the first Mass Effect). It also retains the cooling mechanism of old (and yes that means... infinite ammo). It even rejoins the Normandy armory and can be upgraded to level 10 (on the second playthrough for your character) like other weapons. There are also three different Cerberus armor but you can only get one of them participating in the Arena.

Story wise, your whole crew (+Wrex) participate in the events and in the penultimate mission of the DLC, they come all together (like the big push during Mass Effect 2 ending).

There you go. I have not even one bad thing to say about the Citadel DLC. It's just as perfect as Bioware was able to do it with the deadline constraints and budget.

And one gets to learn how a hi-tech toothbrush saved the galaxy  ;D Who can ask for more?

Guess what it means!