Friday, 24 June 2011

Blogga's Video Game Diary - 24/6/11

As long promised I'll be blogging through the DLC Packs available for Mass Effect 2 in the next series of video game posts, seeing what new characters, locations and excitement show up. There's a lot of stuff in there so I've put a few links in the text to expand the article.


I've actually completed the game now so calling this a diary is still a bit of a joke, but I've still got a few pieces of DLC yet to play so hopefully I can get the reviews out more or less as I play them. It was a real thrill to play the ending again, a thrill ride competing with the best cinema and TV can offer as my team battled through the Collector base, my heart still jumped at the possibility that some of them might die as we fought for humanity. I made a few changes to my play through, affecting the decisions my character (dubbed 'The One True Shepard' by my friends) makes. For example in my first playthrough I took too long to finish missions and so Kelly and the crew got wasted, but this time I knew that so made sure I got everyone loyal as soon as possible then headed out to save my people. I changed Jack for Samara to be my biotic shield as I felt it made better narrative sense with her tragic life and biotic potential culminating in a higher purpose. We fought through and we all made it out alive - amazing!

So I'm going to start with some of the things offered in the Cerberus Network, which is free to all people who buy an unused copy of the game, offering some substatial DLC

1) Normandy Crash Site

This was a nice touch to add early in the game - the site of the destroyed Normandy has been found and Shepard is invited to visit the site and choose a location for a monument. It is on the snowy planet Alchera that Shepard visits his former command. He recovers the dogtags of the fallen crewmembers and even his N7 helmet before placing the monument and continuing with his mission. It's very cool that you get to keep the N7 helmet in your cabin.

2) Zaeed - the Price of Revenge

This DLC give you as free squad member who can acompany Shepard in his mission to take down the Collectors. You are authorised to hire Zeed Massani, a feared Mercenary who you find beating the snot out of a Batarian mark on Omega. Like all squadmembers he has some unfinished business to take care of before he can fully commit to the mission. Turns out Zeed is the founder of the Blue Suns mercenary group, but he was betrayed by Vido Santiago who took over the group, hiring Batarians and turning the group to dishonourable and corrupt actions. Zeed has tracked him down to his base on the world of Zorya and plans on killing him by burning down the refinery where he has his HQ. My Shepard made sure to save the workers first and Santiago escaped, enraging Zaeed, but Shepard convinced him to put the mission first, earning his loyalty and his awesome power - the Inferno Grenade which sets the target on fire, cascading fire damage all around it.

During the missin you can also get your hands on a new heavy weapon - the M-451 Firestorm a powerful flamethrower deadly at close range.

3) Firewalker

'Firewalker' is a mission pack that lets you use the M-44 Hammerhead (pictured above). The Hammerhead is an awesome vehicle, taking the place of the Mako from the first game. Rather than a wheeled vehicle it moves on hoverjets, but is also capable of boosting to achieve large jumps or bursts of speed. The Hammerhead boasts a large cannon, self-repair protocols, an onboard VI and the ability to scan for and collect resources from the vehicle itself.

The missions make up for the lack of vehicle travel in ME2, which some fans miss, giving a range of worlds with hazards to traverse from toxic pools to freezing temperatures as well as Geth opposition throughout. The mission centres around a group of Cerberus scientists investigating Prothean artifacts, they have been compromised by the Geth and Shepard uses the Hammerhead (their vehicle) to find out what happened. You get to keep a Prothean Relic you find and also the Hammerhead which is used in the Overlord pack which I'm due to play through sometime soon.

4) Equipment

I'm usually only in it for story but when they start handing our free weapons and armour I'm not going to complain! Various 'packs' brought us the 'Cerberus Assault Armour' a hefty and heavily armoured suit for Shepars that provides additional protection and also a nasty Eviscerator shotgun (not pictured). Another weapon was the Arc Projector, a heavy weapon that paints multiple targets then sends a high voltage beam through all of them, a must-have for any mission involving Geth or Mechs as this weapon is devastating against any synthetic targets, causing large amounts of damage and paralysing their systems.

Well that's it for now - I've completed the Kasumi pack so I'll blog about that soon and I may be able to blog about the other packs more or less as they happen. We'll see! Also there's a voting poll on Xbox Live to get 5o% off DLC for a a game - Mass Effect 2 is currently in the running to be chosen so if you fancy any of this stuff or the other packs put your vote in now. Hopefully Me2 will stay top of the pack and I'll get my hands on 'Arrival' the final DLC.

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