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access_time March 16, 2013 at 8:44 AM in Reviews by Rachael Ward

Review | Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC: What a Long and Crazy Journey it’s Been

All hands on deck for one final hurrah.

All hands on deck for one last mission. With all these guys in the same room, what could possibly go wrong?

After six amazing years, it is finally time to say goodbye to Commander Shepard and the crew of the Normandy. Even with all the schism around the ending of Mass Effect 3, the Citadel DLC is a must by for any fan of this ground-breaking sci-fi trilogy. Though this is not an alternate ending, like many fans were hoping for, the story and message conveyed in Citadel seems very final and a much more heartfelt farewell to hero we have crafted over the years but also the colorful cast of characters that have made the made this particular gaming experience into something very special.

The plot focuses around the team as they are given some time off to recuperate before getting back to fighting the Reapers.

Some new guys are in town, eager to cause trouble. Who knew shore leave could be so dangerous.

Some new guys are in town, eager to cause trouble. Who knew shore leave could be so dangerous.

As Shepard settles in to a very luxurious apartment on the Citadel, a mysterious band of mercenaries comes on to the scene, eager to kill Shepard and steal his/her identity. It’s a race against time to find out who the main culprit is and put a stop to their plans. The story is straight-forward with a few neat twists, but nothing too jaw-dropping. In fact, the story I just summarized isn’t even the entire DLC, but only the first half. The second half focuses on Shepard relaxing and getting the chance to hang out with his/her crewmates both new and old. While simple, the story of the first half keeps you guessing on what is going to happen and does the job of feeling like fun adventure instead of grime war for survival. Which, in my opinion, is a major breath of fresh air from the grime tone that hangs over the majority of Mass Effect 3.

In the initial reports that were released about this DLC, Bioware stated all their best writing talent would be involved in constructing the story and dialogue for The Citadel, and boy does it show. The dialogue and banter for each and every character is flawless and have a great combination of hilarious quips to genuine heartwarming moments. It is great to see these incredible characters have room to breathe and see how they behave outside of the life-threatening scenarios they always seem to be in. Some of the moments with certain characters can seem a bit forced but again, the writing is so much fun to watch and listen to you almost don’t care. Wrex fans will also be pleased to hear that their favorite Krogan (given that he has survived) makes more than just an appearance and becomes a temporary squad mate. The major highlight for this DLC is definitely the humor. Fans who have stuck with this series since the beginning or even have some idea of the fandom will get a good majority of the jokes, such as another jab at the elevator conversations, Shepard’s dancing, and even a quip about firefighting (thank you Wrex). From the first half to the very end of the big party that you end up having in Shepard’s new digs, Citadel is full of laugh out loud moments that may need more than one playthrough in order to hear and see every joke. The only  catch is that certain character moments may take a while to activate, which can involve running back and forth from the apartment to the new area several times before they can pop up. This can get bit frustrating, but easily forgettable once you get it.

Given that they have survived, each squadmate  current or former is available to socialize.

Provided that they have survived, each squad-mate, current or former, is available to socialize.

Outside the apartment itself, Shepard is given access to a new area of the Citadel the Silver Sun Strip. A kind of Las Vegas area of the Citadel full of minigames to enjoy. From gambling on roulette, varren racing to playing a bop’em sock’em robots arcade game, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There is even a contest area where players can test their skills in a combat simulator. If you have the cash, or if you have earned more from gambling, there is an option to buy new furniture to the apartment and customize it the way you like, though the choices for new furniture is a bit limited.

There is little else I can say about this DLC due to the fact that simply talking about it doesn’t do it justice. To many fans, this will feel like the ending that should have been. A proper send off to all our favorites characters and a feeling of satisfaction of all that we have experienced with this trilogy.


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