The Digest: The Arrival DLC is the last piece of DLC for Mass Effect 2 that we’ll see. Bridging the gap between Mass Effect 2 and the final game in the trilogy, Arrival gives you one final ride in space. The final DLC mission is not as good as some of the other DLC packs; it’s all over in about 2 hours, and doesn’t offer anything new, but it’s an add-on that almost any Mass Effect fan should appreciate.
THE FACT SHEET
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2011
ESRB Rating: “M” for Mature
Product Overview: : In Arrival, Sheppard is tasked with the mission to head to Batarian space and rescue an Alliance operative Dr. Amanda Kenson who is held captive by Batarians. Days after reporting conclusive evidence of an imminent Reaper invasion, Shepard must travel to the edge of the galaxy, rescue the Alliance agent, and discover the truth behind the Arrival.
- 3 new achievements
- About 2 hours of gameplay
Mass Effect 2 has been great with its support for DLC post release. There was of course the Cerberus Network included with all new copies of the game, but later we saw DLC for: Kasumi – Stolen Memory, Overlord, and then finally the much praised and best DLC out of the bunch in The Shadow Broker. Arrival unfortunately doesn’t do nearly as much as some of the DLC released before it, and I enjoyed most of every set of DLC more than I did “Arrival”. There isn’t anything new here. No new weapons or vehicles to use, you’re stripped of any squad that you can use, and it’s all over in about 1-2 hours which may be extended a little longer with the added 3 achievements – two of which can be missed on your 1st playthrough.
Your mission in Arrival is to infiltrate an underground prison base where an Alliance operative Dr. Amanda Kenson is being held captive. This underground prison located on the planet Aratoht is a colony which boasts several batarian military installations. This colony is a little too close to the confines of human space which perhaps is what leads the Alligiance to this mission. It starts off with Admiral Hackett disclosing the mission to you in your private quarters. He insists that the mission must be Shepard and only him. He tells Shepard that this operative who was on a secret mission in Batarian space had discovered evidence of “an imminent Reaper invasion”.
The artifiact that was found by this operative reveals that the Reapers are days away from invading the planet, and so reveals a countdown which was recently teased to us by Bioware with a screenshot days before this DLC arrived.
This stealth mission is nothing new for this Alliance Spectre armed and ready with a cloaked Normandy SR-2 that was designed for these stealth missions. Though this is meant as a stealth mission, you can go in full guns blazing if you desire. The 1st half of the mission you don’t have to fight anyone if you choose the stealthy approach, but after that the action picks up and you’ll have to fight if you like it or not.
One of the 3 achievements “Covert Action” promotes a stealth approach, although it does pinpoint how bad some of the A.I is. This achievement requires you to get into the batarian base without alerting any of the guards. The only problem with this; you can look directly at some of the guards walking by, you can even go through a door and the A.I amazingly doesn’t hear the loud titanium door opening and closing that would wake me up in my sleep.
Arrival is all about long range combat. Your soldier and infiltrator class will get through without any issues. I don’t suspect any of the classes will have much difficulty; Although if you’re not a soldier or infiltrator class you wont have access to a sniper. I was a Infiltrator and I had no problems relying on my trusty sniper, and rotating with my Incinerate ability as well as using the Assassination ability which proved useful in certain situations.
Without spoiling any of the story, some choices are made that will have an impact on how Mass Effect 3 gets started. You get an idea of this as it’s brought to your attention via a conversation you have with Admiral Hackett once you’ve completed your mission. There was a little twist in the story, although I wasn’t too shocked to see it happen.
Although Arrival doesn’t add anything new, I guess some fans (I know, I did) expected much more to close out Mass Effect 2. It’s still worth the price of admission for most fans I think. Some of the environments seem recycled and there isn’t any new weapons and enemies, but if what you want is more Mass Effect, then I think you’ll find something to like in here.
Conclusion: Arrival is 560 points. Although it’s a disappointing end to the DLC that could have been better, I do believe it was worth the price of admission. You do get 3 new achievements and one of them did offer a decent challenge. There also is a significant event; one that will likely clue you in on how Mass Effect 3 will start. In terms of value it has about as much content and value as probably something like the Overlord DLC, but not quite as good as the others.