Wednesday, 27 March 2013

SF at the Movies - March '13

Feels like forever since I did one of these!! Anyway, here's a look at the Sci-Fi in cinemas this month.


G.I. Joe: Retaliation

The Host

More next month!!!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mass Effect 3: Omega

It's been a while but I'm determined to finish posting on Mass Effect 3 and we're tantalisingly close to the end now so I'll push on at it with a review of what I thought would be the final DLC pack for the game, but oh no they've just released a final pack 'Citadel' which allows Shepard one last chance to hang out with his crew in his own private apartment, after shooting up some bad guys first of course!! I think I'll pick this one up another time when it's on a deal as it has a hefty price tag and looks to be more about nostalgia than storyline - not that I mind nostalgia in any way at all!

Anyway, on with this pack of DLC - which continues from the Mass Effect comic series I reviewed HERE

The Citadel
The deposed outlaw Queen of Omega Aria T'Loak now holds court in the Citadel still reigning supreme over the mercenary groups of the galaxy. But she is keen to retake her throne and knows of one man who can get the job done.
Aria had made no bones about her plans to remove Cerberus from her base of operations on Omega and with her plans in fruition she contacts Shepard, requesting his aid. Fortunately for her this request coincided with Kai Leng's assault on Thessia and Shepard's need to vent his frustration by taking it out on Cerberus forces. Aria instist on Shepard leaving his squad behind and he reluctantly agrees. 

Shepard links up with Aria's fleet, a rag-tag band of mercenaries and criminals flying under her banner and determined to take their home back from Cerberus

Aria uses her flagship, a captured Cerberus cruiser to get close to Omega, but her recklessness gets the ship destroyed by Omega's upgraded defenses. The rest of her fleet engage Cerberus in space while her ground forces use escape pods to penetrate Omega's lower levels. Fighting out of the docking bay they enter Omega to see the true mess that Cerberus has made of the station.

Cerberus have dominated the population of Omega to use it as their base to study Reaper technology through the Omega 4 relay. They have subjugated the alien species living onboard and use deadly force fields to cut off access to various areas of the station
Aria takes Shepard deeper into the station, determined to meet up with the rest of her forces who have made it onto the station, pressing through they see the depths Cerberus have sunk to to maintain control over the facility. 
Rampart Mechs are a Cerberus nightmare, upgraded from standard LOKI mechs to subjugate the criminal population of Omega. With upgraded armour and programmed to charge enemies with omni-weapons at close range they are a terrifying foe especially in large numbers.
 Aria takes Shepard away from the fighting and into the access tunnels, Aria's secret passageways through the station and around Cerberus forces towards their goal. Aria relates some of her history in taking over the station the becomes concerned as she notices the marks of a mercenary band the Talons painted over these little known passageways. Aria debates the usefulness of theis band of drug-dealers as an allied force. As they travel further into the tunnels she runs into an old friend. 

Nyreen Kandros (the first female Turian to appear in-game) was put into the Cabals, a backwater unit of the Turian military, mistrusted for their rare biotic powers. Fed up of being outcast she made a life as a mercenary on Omega and became close to Aria but they fell out due to Nyreen's moral code.

Nyreen is disturbed to see Aria back, yet relieved to know there is an effort to remove Cerberus from power. She debates with Aria about her methods of gaining power and what she will do to it when she has it and Aria retaliates that by saying her rule still gave people free will unlike Cerberus's totalitarian regime. Nyreen agrees to join Shepard and Aria and heads to a makeshift command centre set up by Aria's lieutanants where they organise resistance agains the Cerberus leader.

Oleg Petrovsky is a tactical genius who outplayed Aria to seize control of Omega from her for Cerberus. He remains confident that he can outmaneuver his foe even as she steps onto his territory. He has set up his base of operations in her former throne the Afterlife nightclub. 
Aria sets out to recruit the Talons to her forces, heading into their territory to seek out their leader. She has to fight through some heavy resistance though as the Talons are taking the bru8nt of Cerberus opposition and concentrated forces are near the Talon's main outpost. When she finally breaks through she finds things weeren't quite as she expected.

 Nyreen is the true leader of the Talons and she has reformed them from a band of thugs into a elite group of freedom fighters loyal to her and to a free Omega.

While not swayed to fly Aria's banner Nyreen agrees that the Talons can help remove Cerberus and commits her forces to the war effort in co-ordination with Aria's battlegroup. After mopping up the Cerberus forces assaulting the Talon base Aria makes a speech to rally the citizens of Omega in defiance of Cerberus and puts together a plan to take out Petrovsky and stop the Cerberus efforts on the station. Aria takes Shepard and Nyreen into the mines to circumvent the bulk of the Cerberus army. While in the mines they encounter an enemy spoken of only in hushed tones by the resistance forces.

Adjutants are a Reaper creation modified by Cerberus for their own purposes. They can kill their victims and turn them into more adjutants to spread the infection and create more soldiers. 

After defeating the adjutant they find themselves surrounded by force fields, trapped by Petrovsky who had predicted their next move. He had not however counted on Aria's fierce determination as she used her biotic power to tear a hold through the field with Shepard and Nyreen providing cover. Fighting their way past more adjutants and Cerberus forces they make it to Afterlife where Nyreen, ceing Cerberus gun down civlians sacrifices herself to take out the forces guarding the door.

Once inside  Petrovsky lays another trap for Aria leaving Shepard to take out his enhanced adjutant forces. Shepard battles them himself and frees Aria to pronounce judgement on Petrovsky. Perhaps due to Nyreen's sacrifice she decides to spare him so that he can provide more intel for the war effort. The crowds line up as the queen of Omega returns to her throne.

As usual here are the War Assets

Omega Eezo Hoard - Aria commits a bulk shipment of Element Zero from Omega's mines to keep Alliance ships fueled and ready to fight.

Omega Raiding Fleet - A small, mobile fleet ready to commit powerful strikes against the enemy.

Oleg Petrovsky - His knowledge of Cerberus operations is invaluable to the War Effort.

More soon!!