With previous DLCs for Mass Effect 3, the emphasis was on fleshing out the details of the story to ‘fix’ the notoriously criticized ending to the trilogy. With the latest and last DLC for Mass Effect in the Shepard era, Bioware has gone in the completely opposite direction. Citadel isn’t about fixing anything. It’s a celebration of the characters and relationships that make the Mass Effect universe so special and a proper finale for Shepard and crew.
Citadel begins with Shepard and his team taking a weekend long shore leave on the Citadel so the Normandy can get a little maintenance. The crew is ordered to get a little R&R as well. But wouldn’t you know it, that’s not what ends up happening. Before Shepard can even settle in to his new swanky apartment, masked mercenaries hack his communications and attack. What follows is about two hours of Shepard trying to find out whose orders those mercenaries are following and why.
While going more into detail would spoil the surprise, it’s safe to say that Citadel’s main foe is a fantastic call back to the events of Mass Effect 2. Your entire crew will take part in the combat portion of Citadel. Broken up into three smaller teams, squad mates will compete to see who can eliminate enemies the fastest. And this is where the DLC really starts to showcase its other main feature – its humor.
Citadel brings the funny like no other Mass Effect DLC before. Kudos to the writing staff at Bioware for being able to rag on the characters and events of the franchise in such a way that it doesn’t come off as malicious, but as light-hearted, corny but still hilarious. Characters make fun of each other while they take out enemies and Shepard realizes that his conversation-ending “I should go” probably comes off a little stiff at times.
Once the combat portion of Citadel is complete, Shepard returns to his new apartment and plans for a party to begin. And just a fair warning, it’s best to play Citadel late into your pla ythrough of Mass Effect 3 so that you can invite as many guests as possible. Your entire crew from Mass Effect 3 will take part as well as Wrex [if he survives your Mass Effect run] and many of the crew of Mass Effect 2. The party consists of Shepard mingling with the guests and listening in on conversations whose topics include Traynor’s crush on EDI, Wrex’s sex life after the genophage cure and Garrus’ thoughts on home protection. All of these conversations are hilarious and come on…you know you want to hear some more of drunken Tali. Classic.
Citadel is a fantastic celebration of the Mass Effect universe. While its tone is drastically different than any piece of Mass Effect DLC before it, it’s a fitting reminder of why Shepard and company are so loved. When the team takes a group picture at the party, you’ll automatically want one to hang in your house. These characters are so much more than just your crew, they’re your family and Citadel is the perfect way to say goodbye to them.