Author: Lydia Sung
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Friday, April 9th, 2010
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/me2_stolen_memory/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
Mass Effect 2 has proven to be a worthwhile purchase, what with all the on-disc content and steady flow of free DLC. In late January, BioWare expanded Shepard’s team with the free-to-download “Price of Revenge” add-on, complete with the token bitter old man, Zaeed.
A second downloadable character was released this week in the “Stolen Memory” DLC, which also happens to be the first “premium” DLC for Mass Effect 2. The master thief Kasumi Goto and her personal mission come with a $7.00 price tag, or 560 Microsoft Points, a detail that made a few people cringe when first revealed. So is she worth it?
There are two types of readers checking out this review right now; some of you are looking for a second opinion before purchasing, while the rest have already completed the DLC and just want to see if this reviewer agrees with your personal opinions. If you’ve read our Mass Effect 2 review, then you already know how I feel about the game. That doesn’t mean DLC gets a free pass though, and paid content warrants a separate look. Any frugal gamer would agree.
With “Stolen Memory,” Commander Shepard gets a new Tech-based squadmate, her loyalty mission, a new submachine gun, and a – get this – formal casual outfit. All are somehow related, of course, so you’ll need to perform the second to access the last two.
As a character, Kasumi is actually rather likable thanks to a surprisingly amiable disposition, making her a total contrast to grumpy Zaeed. Like all your own squadmates, she’s borderline cocky, but her loyalty missions successfully unwraps that confident exterior with some impressive character development. Definitely a nice chunk of story stuffed into an hour’s worth of gameplay. Kasumi’s mission is also less linear than Zaeed’s and offers a more satisfying epilogue.
Despite Kasumi’s likable personality, you won’t be doing much bonding. As with the previous downloadable character, she doesn’t engage in direct dialogue once the mission is over with; you can draw a few words out of her by clicking her personal possessions (and they are very personal) or just approaching her from time to time. Her sense of humor does show through and she’ll even comment on small things like Shepard’s romantic interest.
Shepard’s slick new outfit differs based on sex. Females get a low-cut evening gown with matching stiletto heels, and dudes have some fancy space tuxedo. Pretty out of place aboard the Normandy (and anywhere else), but your Shepard will feel awfully pretty. Watch for clipping with fem-Shep – she’s too used to wearing pants.
Following the new duds, you’ll be introduced to the M-12 Locust, a powerful SMG favored by bad, bad people who run the criminal underground. Aside from its sleek design, the Locust is actually remarkably accurate at long-range, the trade-offs being a smaller clip and less damage; the M-9 Tempest still hits the hardest.
Now about that price tag. Frankly, the “Stolen Memory” DLC is hard to justify either way. Some of you spend $15 on map packs but may think an hour-long mission isn’t worth $7. And that’s how much time seasoned gamers will spend on their first runthrough at Normal difficulty; Insanity may double that time. The mission is chock full of cutscenes, with hilarious Renegade moments for Shepard and gratuitous action scenes starring Kasumi. There’s also a good chance the next game will involve her and the events of her mission in some way.
Despite its brevity, “Stolen Memory” packs a hard, emotional punch. Somewhere between 60 and 120 minutes, BioWare managed to shove an engrossing story and multifaceted character who can win you over the moment she says, “Hello, Commander.” And if you’re still fussing over that $7, just think of all the free content we’ve gotten so far. Overall, in this Mass Effect 2 fan’s professional opinion, this is one premium bundle worth the price.
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