Review by DandyQuackShot
"You Left An Artifact Out in the Open? This is Not Good."
Recently released DLC for Mass Effect 2 is what could definitely be called a run up or prequel to the third game of the Mass Effect series. This new DLC is called Arrival, but as you will find out in this short race against time is that you are trying to once again, prevent the Collectors from getting close to harvest the most inhabited intergalactic hub in the universe. Compared to what goes on in Mass Effect 2 this is a very abbreviated version of the full two disc game as you find out that a captured scientist has discovered and is trying to stop the Collectors from using another Mass Relay to enter and attack the solar systems and destroy all intelligent life forms.
A brief game deserves a brief review and as I assume that what you do in Mass Effect 2: Arrival will affect the way you will experience Mass Effect 3, well, considering a Mass Effect 3 comes out sometime in the near future, it should be worth playing or more better worth waiting for the entire platinum hits ultimate Mass Effect 2 edition to come out. The problem of the downloadable content for Mass Effect 2, even though some of the extra missions and content are free, is that they are very short. Arrival took me less than an hour and a half. Now considering I had a saved game that was 26 hours into it and had all crew and some upgraded weapons along with an easy difficulty setting. But still Arrival has two parts to it where you bust Dr. Amanda Kenson out of a Batarian jail and then move on to finding a way to prevent the Collectors from breaking through.
You won't encounter too many enemies as the battles can become intense but you do not ever encounter more than four guys at a time. Keeping in cover will get you through the mission just as easily. I won't give away what happens if you do get shot up during one part of the game however.
Arrival may have the stronger side of making you take on tough decisions and these decisions are very comparable to the regular game. This is the biggest plus of the game but a lot of what happens in inevitable anyway, but the short game length will allow you to go back and replay the game to see if you can better or worsen yourself as a decision maker. On the downside when you get the briefing from Admiral Hackett about rescuing Dr. Kenson you will be told that you have to take the mission covertly and on your own. No bringing Garrus or Jack on this one.
If for some reason you need to acquire some upgrades, experience, or minerals for your regular game then this is a good bet. Arrival takes you to a brand new solar system to explore and probe a few new unexplored planets and you can come out with some good hits of platinum and iridium. The mission is very straight up with some personal logs that go along with the mission but do not provide anything you will not have already figured out.
Final Recommendation 7/10
If you are looking to have a complete experience with the Mass Effect series I suppose Arrival would be worth it. It is very short so you won't get too much out of it compared to what Mass Effect 2 has to offer, but I expect this little side mission will have some effects on what becomes of Shepherd in Mass Effect 3, if and when it ever comes out. Compared to DLC like what Red Dead Redemption has, Arrival does not even stand up. So if you are looking for a game that will last you all weekend then you may want to look elsewhere.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 04/01/11
Game Release: Mass Effect 2: Arrival (US, 03/29/11)
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