Saturday, March 09, 2013

"ME3: Citadel" Review

I finished the "Citadel" DLC last night, and I have comments. Naturally they'll be spoileriffic, so I'll do the real discussion after a jump, but overall I enjoyed the main plot.

So, yeah, I defeated the anti-Shepard. I can't say this is my favorite download for Mass Effect 3, simply because it's got more plot holes than most, starting with Shepard carrying the idiot ball for most of it.

So Shepard goes on shore leave while the Normandy is docked for repairs and refits. While there, you get to stay in Admiral Anderson's very nice apartment from when he was Earth's representative on the Citadel Council, so it's big, luxurious, and located in a high-class neighborhood.

Things take a turn for the dumb when you get an invite from Joker to meet at the swanky French sushi bar (you heard that right). After a bit of conversation, you find out that Joker didn't send the invitation, and that he got one from you. Yeah, that set off my alarm bells instantly, but game-Shepard is somewhat slower on the uptake. Enter Brooks, an Alliance intelligence officer who barges into the restaurant to tell you that people are trying to kill you, followed closely by a bunch of mercenaries who try to kill you. I'm genre savvy enough to be suspicious of Brooks immediately, but game-Shepard trusts her implicitly.

You end up at the bottom of a long fall when the mercs shoot through the glass floor of the restaurant (it's a big fish tank, actually), and that makes the next stage of the game pretty tough, as you have to fight off some mercs ("CAT6" mercs, meaning they're Alliance guys washed out for mental health reasons) while down to just one health bar with no medi-gel. And naturally you're armed only with a pistol, your omni-tool, and whatever powers you have. It's a huge relief when Liara and Wrex arrive to back you up. Yeah, that's right. Wrex is back in the party!

After you take care of the mercs, you head back to the apartment, where Liara traces the handgun you found to a local weapons dealer who is also a casino owner. This calls for an infiltration mission to go talk to him; you and a couple of companions have to distract guards and disable obstacles while Brooks crawls through duct-work to get the final door open. Unfortunately, when you get there, the dealer is already dead, but you do find some clues that you can use to keep investigating. Game-Shepard remains genre blind.

You eventually detect your own ID (stolen by the bad guys early on) being used to gain access to a Council Archive. The whole team goes in (although broken up into sub-groups, so you only have two squad-mates, of course) to catch the villain, who turns out to be... dun dun DUN!... Commander Shepard. Apparently Cerberus created a clone of you to use as a tissue donor when you were being resurrected, and now s/he wants to take your place. And who freed this clone from Cerberus control? Brooks, of course. I bet you didn't see that coming.

So, anti-Shepard traps you in a sealed container in the archive and heads off to steal the Normandy. Fortunately, Liara's infodrone, Glyph, is able to easily get you out, so you can try to stop the hijacking. I figured EDI would be able to easily lock down the ship to counter the attempt, but her control of the ship is disabled by a plot point... wouldn't want to have an obvious solution get in the way of the final fight with your evil twin, now, would we?

So the issues I have are Shepard being really gullible and EDI being nerfed with a hand-wave. Otherwise, it's a pretty good time. I haven't finished exploring the new section of the Citadel that's been opened up. There are still some old squad-mates to meet.

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