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Upon Arrival: Did BioWare blow its DLC load on Lair of the Shadow Broker?

Posted by: Nathaniel at 3/29/2011 11:13 PM
The Arrival, BioWare's final piece of DLC for many outlets' GOTY, Mass Effect 2 dropped today (or yesterday depending on whenever this makes it online) to surprisingly mixed reviews.  The past 3 weeks or so have not been kind to the Canadian RPG giant, what with the vitriolic hate from hardcore RPGers over Dragon Age 2's alleged "dumbing down," and the subsequent "scandal" involving an EA rep's glowing user review of said game on Metacritic.  And now we have this (for the time being):  A wee piece of average.

If reviews such as Joystiq's rather piercing prose and IGN (tbh, IGN's is pretty positive, but a 7 is still viewed as a failure by most gamers) are to be believed, it's an utterly basic 2 to 3 hour romp through linear levels, old enemies, no gameplay change-ups, few if any meaningful decisions, and no teammates.  That's right, The Arrival completely disposes of one of the full game's major strengths, as Shepard is sent on a solo mission.   

I can't help but wonder why, If they could have given it the same glorious treatment as ME2's previous DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker, why didn't they?  I'll revisit this topic later in the week after I play it for myself.  Perhaps I'll find that I've blown things out of proportion, and that The Arrival doesn't stink like BioWare ran out of time, money, and effort.

Here's the trailer for those who haven't seen it yet: