I thought I needed to type the title that way because of the drama and seriousness.
So let’s talk about Mass Effect, eh? And I don’t know who told you this was going to be a “real” review, because it’s really just going to be me rambling, like every other article I’ve ever written. Also, SPOILERS. Be warned.
Spoilers for real. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
When Leviathan came out on Tuesday I still hadn’t played the new ending DLC. So I sat down on Thursday evening and played through all of it at once. Which actually ended up being a great plan. And I’m going to talk about that a little bit first.
I had originally chosen the destroy option, but this time around I chose the control option. It was so worth it. After the God Child explains everything and I went through and electrocuted myself or some such nonsense, Jennifer Hale comes on and does the voice over for the ending. And I was a bit teary. Because Shepard is wonderful and amazing and I love her, okay? But I thought that, even compared to the Synthesize ending, which is supposedly the best option, the control ending was done better. It felt more like what my Shepard would have done. I had a little more closure.
So it was with all this in mind that I went into Leviathan.
It’s a very well-done DLC, is what I will say. It’s like a well written essay. It has an introduction, three main supporting middle parts, and a conclusion that ties it together. I can appreciate that.
The story was like a good, creepy, mystery. You’re not stuck in the small lab you begin in for long, and the mining facility you end up on first is a weird and unnerving place. They are doing strange things there, and none of them are mining. The dig site is also really neat, particularly the cave and wall paintings.
The whole time you are fighting Reaper forces on this desert planet, you are seeing what look like prehistoric cave paintings on the cliff walls you are running past. And they are paintings of Reapers. Or things that look like Reapers, anyway.
The third location is probably the most interesting. You’re on a planet that is entirely covered in water. “Well how do you land there?” you might ask. Let me tell you my friends. There are probably hundreds of other crashed ships and debris littering this massive ocean, and you land on one of those. And it’s awesome. You can see all of this around you, and explore the crashed ship you’re on as well. Although mostly you are going to be fighting the ten million Brutes that this DLC throws at you. GODDAMN THERE WERE SO MANY.
As far as the characters go, I wasn’t overwhelmed by their amazingness. I think I liked all the creepy miners better than I did Ann Bryson’s character. Her voice actress was perfectly fine, but something about that lady’s face made me want to smack it.
Since you have three different “missions” you have to pick your squad three different times. I took Garrus all three times because he is my space soulmate and nothing will ever separate us except that unfortunate bit where I die at the end. WHOOPS. Anyway, he was his normal self, killing things and being hilarious.
I took Liara with me to the mining facility, Tali to the dig site, and Javik to the final water planet place. As much as I love Liara, she was pretty boring here, but Tali always provides me with amusement and she didn’t fail this time either. But I think Javik might be my new favorite, and I regret not taking him on as many missions in the main game. The moment when he and Garrus realize that Shepard is actually considering getting into this rusty old diving mech and going down to find Leviathan herself is pretty priceless. And I was surprised that he actually expressed verbally more concern for Shepard than Garrus can manage.
I plan on marrying them both and renewing the Prothean race. And also having Turian babies, while Kaidan weeps silently in some dark corner of the Normandy.
So after you clank around in the ocean for awhile and pretty much fall down some hills underwater, you find Leviathan. And as Sarah said, he provides you with more explanations than any other character in the whole game. I wouldn’t really call him a bad guy though.
Regardless, Leviathan ties together so well with the new ending that I was genuinely surprised. God Child explains to you in the ending of ME3 that he is the collective consciousness of the Reapers, and they were an intelligence created to find a “Solution” to the chaos that organics and synthetics are creating. Creations will always rebel against their Creators, he says, and the Reapers were meant to stop that. When they harvest inferior lifeforms, they create a new Reaper. They even harvested their own creators, he says, it was a necessary sacrifice.
Leviathan was that creator. Some of them escaped, and they are in hiding from their own creations.
What gets me is that this apex species, the first of the first, who are supposed to be so intelligent, didn’t stop to think that maybe, MAYBE, creating something to solve this chaos would be a BAD IDEA. Why would you create something to solve the whole Creator v. Creation thing? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Just do it yourself! You know it’s gonna be a bad idea!
Whatever, it’s still miles ahead of the original ending.
The combat/action and dialogue was nicely varied. Except 4/20 BRUTES IN YO FACE ERRYDAY. The DLC is thought provoking and pretty and has you doing lots of different things, which keeps it interesting. I didn’t much care for all the planet scanning I was doing. Or the “searching for clues” bullshit that EDI and I spent too much of my precious time doing. My Shepard gets shit done fast, yo. Also, the screaming husk head in Bryson’s lab is worth all ten of your dollars. Get the DLC just for that hilarious thing.
B+ because of time wasting clue finding and planet scanning and smackable faces. Also because I am unhappy that Shepard didn’t yell at Leviathan about thinking his dumb actions through all the way before he creates awful death-bringers. I mean, look at your life, look at your choices.
But everything else was so, so awesome. It ties together so neatly with the ending of ME3, and I am very pleased to have played it. Kudos, Bioware.