Whether you were a fan of the ending of Mass Effect’s trilogy or not, it’s hard not to be excited for the campaign DLC that this series has had to offer (need I remind you about Lair of the Shadow Broker?). Yet that was before the series had come to an end, begging the question if this DLC is even necessary.
If I was only given time for a one word answer, then unfortunately it would be no. “How dare you!” I know, I know, but here’s the thing: the ending to the series might not have been perfect, but it was just that, an end. I found closure to the events for the most part; I was satisfied with Shepard’s story as it stood, so why bring him back for this?
(I’m going to go ahead and give a spoiler warning for those who haven’t finished the game yet, just incase anything slips. And really!? Finish the game already!)
Based on the story, Shepard is back to simply continue appeasing the fans by fleshing out the ending and bringing more backstory to the Reapers. Leviathan takes place before the final mission of ME3, already creating a weird dreaminess by revisiting a character whose story has come to an end. Throughout the playthrough I couldn’t shake this feeling, and I fear that it may have marred my complete enjoyment of the DLC.
Granted, the actual environment in the world didn’t help this eerie feeling. As if being a character back from the dead isn’t enough, Mass Effect revisits the realm of creepiness once again for their DLC, as they did before with Overlord. This time around Admiral Hackett starts Shepard off on a wild goose chase with Dr. Bryson, a scientist with a lab on the Citadel (and a very unhealthy diet based on how angry/hungry he looks. Did this bother anyone else? And what about his daughter? She had the typical skinny ME body below these puffy chipmunk cheeks that didn’t match). Oooo a new Citadel location! Well calm down about the awesome interior design of this lab/apartment, cuz we’ve got work to do! In his research Bryson was searching for something called Leviathan, a possible answer to the Reaper problem. Why do we need to find this Leviathan if we know that we can defeat the Reapers without its help? Your guess is as good as mine.
Gameplay wise, it’s what we’ve all come to expect from the game: exploring a location for clues, shooting stuff (dying more than usual if you were like me and forgot how to quick change your weapon as a Brute came crashing down on Shepard), and flying all over the galaxy. Maybe a little too much flying thanks to the numerous revisits to one location. The other locations were also pretty typical, though one involved some 3D Chutes and Ladders within a rather unsteady landscape that heightened the excitement levels slightly. And then the moment everyone has been looking forward to involving a watery world arrives, and disappoints. There is no actual exploration of the underwater plane on this planet, but if you like being stuck on a rail with no deviating movement then good on you.
In the end, Leviathan is a nice addition to the game for those still looking for more answers, which is something I was able to appreciate. But for those like me who were fine with how the trilogy ended, it felt too drawn out for a mission being placed within a game that we’ve already finished.
Final grade: 7/10