Xbox 360 Reviews

Review: Mass Effect 3 Omega DLC

During my initial play through of Mass Effect 3, it seemed something was missing from the last installment of my favorite sci-fi videogame franchise. It wasn’t until my second play through that I realized what it was. The Omega Station, which was such a huge part of Mass Effect 2, was only mentioned briefly in passing during conversation between Commander Shepard and ousted Omega ruler Aria T’Loak. When Aria spoke of retaking Omega when the time was right, I thought, “Yes, I want to play that scenario. Let’s take Omega back right now!” So when Omega was announced as the next installment of DLC for Mass Effect 3, and that it would also be the largest DLC in the franchise’s history, I was completely excited. Unfortunately, Omega ended up being nothing more than underwhelming.

Omega completely abandons delving into the mysteries of the Reapers and their history which was predominant in Mass Effect 3’s two previous single-player DLC packs, From Ashes and Leviathan. In doing so, there is a very clear mission structure where combat is the focus and the retaking of Omega from Cerberus control is the goal. Shepard is joined by Aria during combat as well as a female Turian named Nyreen Kandros. Although unfortunately neither of these two will join your squad after the DLC is completed.

The enemies are varied and the combat can get a bit difficult but nothing approaching end-game difficulty. Unfortunately Omega does something quite often that I really hate from the franchise. There are numerous encounters where you will enter combat with only one squad mate while the other is attending to something else. I have no problem when this is done sparingly but expect this to be the case for half of the approximately four hours it takes to beat the DLC.

By having both Aria and Nyreen fighting alongside Shepard, there could have been more time to develop the backstory between them. As it stands, the player gets enough to understand their history but not enough to really flesh it out. As Omega doesn’t really add anything new story-wise to the franchise, these story bits would have been a welcome break from the heavy emphasis on combat.

As it stands, Omega ends up as nothing but a counter weight to Leviathan. Those seeking heavy action over lengthy cut scenes and dialogue will be rewarded with new enemies in an expanded version of Omega Station. It might be jarring for those playing through Mass Effect 3 for the first time because Omega will feel like just a really long side mission. It’s nothing special or a twist in the formula, just more of the same. And for $15, I’d be hard pressed to recommend this to anybody who’s not a die-hard fan of the series.

The best way to describe Omega in one word would be disappointing. Not because it’s particularly bad but because it could have ended being so much more. Not enough backstory is provided to one of Mass Effect 2’s most memorable characters plus absolutely nothing is added to the continuingly-expanding conclusion to Mass Effect 3. With Omega taking approximately four hours to complete and encompassing two gigabytes of content, the expectation for it to rival Lair of the Shadow Broker as some of the franchise’s best DLC is completely natural. Unfortunately, Omega ends up resembling Arrival and is easily the worst DLC released thus far for Mass Effect 3.

SCORE: 5 out of 10

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