After what might have been a year long hiatus, I have decided to get back into Mass Effect 3. What better way to do that, than to play the latest, and last, dlc from Bioware. For a not so meager 1200 ms points, I was eased, gently, back into the action. I would have much rather have said that the Citadel dropped me straight into some heart pounding action, but more on that later. (spoiler warning).
Citadel begins, as with most dlc in Mass Effect 3, with Shepard receiving an email; this time, from Admiral Anderson. ‘Something serious?’, you might ask, what with all the fighting going on. Nope, he’s just dropping you a cheeky line to tell you that you can have his apartment, and that you and your crew should go on shore leave. Really? In the middle of a war torn galaxy, with billions of lives on the brink of extinction, and with Shepard being the only man capable of stopping it; you want that man to go on a holiday? I’m not entirely sure what Anderson or the developers for that matter, were smoking, but I’ll roll with it.
Upon reaching Shepard’s newly obtained home, you are prompted to, once again, check your emails. I decided to look around for a bit instead, being the anarchist that I am. For the most part, the place is cosmetic, with a few occasional interactive holopads scattered around the gaff, that provide little details about Admiral Anderson. Half an hour later, and now fully equipped to write Anderson’s life story, I check the email. Joker wants to have a meet and greet in a sushi bar. I’ll bite, no pun intended. Arriving at the sushi bar, pleasantries aside, Joker asks why Shep wanted him to meet here. But Joker asked Shepard for the meeting right? Super sleuth Shepard is no stranger to a set up. In that moment of sudden realisation, a woman (whose name I forget) approaches to inform Sheppy of an impending assassination plot; and as if on queue, some blokes enter and start shooting up the place. Shit just hit the fan. The plot seems fairly simple at first, and is somewhat akin to a Bourne/Ocean’s hybrid. However, it is safe to say that the plot twists so hard that it lands upside down on its head, and is slightly wacky as a result. It feels a little bizarre.
The mission structure of Citadel is varied at times, although the majority of them require you to shoot things. There are four main plot missions, three of which require you to shoot your way through wave after wave of bad guy, and one “stealth” mission that shares similarities with the Kasumi: Stolen Memory dlc from Mass Effect 2. These last about 2 or 3 hours, and end spectacularly with a boss fight, where (you guessed it) you have to shoot things. The real fun begins after the insane plot, where the “Silver..something Strip” is opened up to you. Shepard is tasked with his most daunting mission yet: Throwing a party. The latter missions in the dlc allow you to have more interaction with past and present team members, as well as answering questions that fans of the series have had for some time. Such as, what does a female Turian look like? You are also given an arcade and casino to participate in some fairly amusing mini-games. Those are dwarfed however, by the Armax Arsenal Arena where you can pit yourself against an array of enemies that you have encountered in the series. You can earn prizes that can lower or raise the difficulty of challenges, as well as win a sweet looking armour set. Eventually it loses its novelty, but it can be entertaining for a few hours.
Citadel is an interesting dlc to say the least, and whilst it may have low points, it provides quality content throughout. The developers certainly achieved what they set out to do, and that is to provide a service to their fans. Citadel is littered with references that long term fans of the series would truly appreciate and can be touching at times for people with emotional instability. Not me. My eyes didn’t go glassy once.
Fan service aside, the real burning question is, was it worth the 10 squid? Yes. Does that not cut it? Fine, it was entertaining from start to finish, and had me up until the early hours of the morning trying to suck every ounce of fun out of it. In total, Citadel lasts about 7 to 8 hours if you do everything, although I admit some of that time was spent doing 183 pull ups. (You’ll get the reference if you play it.) It is extremely charming along the way and there were plenty of moments where I laughed at the banter between squad members. Overall, Citadel is a good chunk of downloadable content and is most definitely worth buying if you have the game.
This is Shepard’s swansong, and it was a good one.