Upon Arrival part 2: more on Mass Effect 2's head-scratching final piece of DLC.

by: Nathaniel -
Beware, light spoilers for The Arrival probably lurk below.

Last week I talked about the apparent critical failure of The Arrival, the final piece of DLC for many outlet's (and my personal) GOTY - Mass Effect 2.  The initial reviews were mediocre to be sure (many of the later reviews were just as bad as or worse than those initial ones) and that surprised me because everything else ME2 related has been of such high quality (well, except for maybe the Firewalker pack, but that's another show).  However, at the time, I hadn't played it so I assumed (or blindly hoped) it wasn't as bad as it looked.  

Now I have played it, I have to say it left me mystified as to why it even exists.  The reviews were pretty much spot on and it's Metascore of 67, honestly seems a little generous.  It's just 3 hours of single combat that really drags on Insanity-level difficulty. However, the worst part is that the story makes no sense, events of note rarely happen, and when they do, they're quickly nullified by forces beyond your control.  It really does appear, like I speculated earlier that BioWare simply ran out of steam and, realizing Lair of the Shadow Broker didn't really cut it as the "bridging the gap between ME2 and ME3" DLC BioWare promised would get made, threw something together, gave it a vaguely Reaperish plot, and released it.

Obviously, I cannot prove that BioWare did, indeed, run out of time and money to make The Arrival all it could be; however, every previous bit of ME2 DLC added whole new mission styles, gameplay elements, new characters, and/or new weapons to the game, while The Arrival does none of those things.  It sure seems like...well...in the words of the brilliant salarian, Mordin Solus, "No proof, but theory fits evidence." 

Frankly, I would have gladly traded all ME2's DLC (minus Lair of the Shadow Broker because it was amazing), for a final bridge-the-gap DLC worthy of same praise those earlier DLC packs received.  


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