Review by DouglasFett

"Shep to the rescue!"

The first of two DLC packs for Mass Effect, B.D.S. sees Shep fighting Batarian terrorists who have hijacked an asteroid station and are intent on plunging it into a human colony world.

Released in early 2008 for 400 MS Points [now for 80 points at the time of this review], B.D.S. is a good 1-3 hour mission. What does it entail?

For starters, players are introduced to a new alien species - the Batarians. Though they make appearances quite often throughout Mass Effect 2, they were otherwise absent throughout ME1, until Bring Down the Sky was released. Once installed, players are able to travel to the Asgard system, Exodus Cluster, and land on Asteroid X57. A mobile asteroid powered by fusion torches, Shep and his team find it has been overrun by Batarian terrorists who seek to shoot the asteroid right into the planet Terra Nova, killing millions. Its up to Shep and co. to power down the asteroid's fusion torches, fight the terrorist cells, rescue survivors, and eventually confront the Batarian leader.

B.D.S. can be played by level 10-20 Sheps [with some difficulty], offers one achievement, a paragon/renegade option, and at the end rewards players with either armour or a top-notch omni-tool. Personally, I play it right after completing Eden Prime and the Citadel side quests - the armour earned is vastly superior to what the player will find throughout the game, until the latter story missions.

Naturally, there should be some discussion about originality and design. One of the problems with Mass Effect itself is the recycled environments - the player will be traversing the same bunkers and fortresses on every uncharted world. Unfortunately, this plagues B.D.S. as well, as several of the fusion torch stations Shep goes to share similar designs to those bunkers and bases in the main game, albeit with minor additions [walls, cover, lighting]. Fortunately, the environment of the final battle with the terrorist leader is unique, and provides both cover and places to hide from the multitudes of foes thrown at the player. In addition, the Mako is used throughout the add-on, to traverse the asteroid. Fortunately, the path finding is easy enough that players won't need to be climbing up giant mountains - but, there are combat sections where the player may use the mako's cannons to destroy turrets, which can get tedious. Lastly, B.D.S. comes with cutscenes, adding a unique flavour to it that is almost in tune with the main story missions.

On the whole, Bring Down the Sky is a rewarding and enjoyable add-on to Mass Effect. It offers not only extra EXP, a paragon/renegade option, but in-game bonuses as well. At 80 MS Points, Bring Down the Sky is well worth the price of admission.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/21/11

Game Release: Mass Effect: Bring Down the Sky (US, 03/10/08)

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