As a fan of the Mass Effect franchise, my favorite game from the entire series would have to be Mass Effect 2. After all, that was the first BioWare game that I’ve ever played and it was my entry point to the Mass Effect series. Mass Effect 2 had a plethora of definitive areas and characters that I absolutely loved. One clear evidence of this is my love for Miranda Lawson and anything designed with the Cerberus theme. Follow me on Twitter, and you’ll see a bunch of Miranda art retweets and tattoos inspired by Cerberus.
When Mass Effect 3 came out, I thought it was good but some of the elements I loved from the second game have dissipated as new characters and the like were introduced. Where was my perfect Miranda Lawson most of the time? Where was the beautiful city of Illium? Will I ever see more of Aria and explore the gritty streets of Omega?
I still don’t have a clue about Miranda and Illium, but BioWare definitely responds to our last plea for more Aria and Omega in their latest DLC.
(NOTE: I’ll try not to spoil key points in the story, but there will still be some minor spoilers. This also isn’t a point by point review, mostly my thoughts on it as a whole.)
If I’m not mistaken, Omega is the biggest and priciest DLC in the Mass Effect franchise to date. For me, this felt like a huge “come at me, bro” challenge to the former DLC heavyweight Lair of the Shadow Broker. If they said this with Leviathan, I would probably be posting a “One does not simply…” meme. However, since this DLC introduces a female Turian and a chance to team up with Carrie Anne Moss as Aria while tearing through Omega, the challenge was gladly accepted.
I bought the DLC and played on the same day it was released. Was it good? Yes, and I enjoyed it very much. Was it better than LotSB? Personally, no. First of all, I think it is unfair to compare it to LotSB since sometimes it depends if you like the main character starring in it so it’s hard to really give an impartial judgment. For example, I have friends who love Liara but hate Aria so they love LotSB and didn’t enjoy Omega and vice versa.
In my case, I loved both characters to death so it really didn’t depend on the characters so much whether I liked it or not. I think one of the main factors that made me love LotSB more was the fact that I saw it impact the story when it comes to my relationships and in the main narrative as well. It had a lasting appeal that would make playing it more than 10 times extremely enjoyable each time around just to see how it would change the big and little things. On the other hand, Omega is simply an add-on, but a satisfying one that leaves you content albeit the fantasy of asking for a couple more servings. Also, based on what I’ve heard it hardly changes or it doesn’t change the story at all. I mean I’m not hoping for anything that will change the ending, but it would be nice to see it ripple through the narrative. BioWare is known for making content that lets the player’s choices impact the story, I would have liked to see that in Omega.
In Omega, you can’t bring any of your squad mates from the Normandy. Instead, you will team up with Aria and her special Turian lady friend Nyreen. I was kind of disappointed at first because I couldn’t bring Liara and the rest of the gang especially characters from ME2 to revisit Omega and reminisce on past adventures. However, that disappointment was hardly remembered while I was playing because I was thoroughly entertained with Aria and Nyreen. I was pleasantly surprised with the female Turian mostly because I don’t like their species that much, but I liked her character. She’s the type my male Shepard could chum around with on the Normandy. Aria didn’t surprise me at all, because I expected Carrie Anne Moss to deliver and she did. My banter with her, reminded me of the funny dialogue I had with Liara about Azure and driving taxis. It would have been cool though, to have Aria comment about my love interest or other squad mates more. Watch out for her line about Mordin!
Another thing I enjoyed about this DLC was revisiting Omega and seeing familiar faces (Hint: The end is nigh!). I felt like I was playing new content for Mass Effect 2 and as a big fan of that game, I was happy with that. The areas weren’t repetitive, and it was fun exploring different areas of Omega. New areas introduced had design elements from ME2’s Omega, so it was nice that they were able to recreate the feel. Also, yes you do get to go inside Afterlife again. However, I do have one minor gripe. I wished they played that awesome Afterlife dance track from ME2. Combat was good, but then again I’m not really one who is very specific and technical on that area. There were no glaring bugs or mistakes for me, so I think it’s safe to say that it was good but nothing gush worthy like the Suicide Mission or fighting the Reaper on Rannoch.
The villain of this DLC is Oleg Petrovsky and I thought that he was a great concept for a character, but he didn’t shine as one when executed. I liked how Nyreen said that unlike the Illusive Man, Petrovsky had honor. The characters’ thoughts on Petrovsky, intrigued me to know more about him. Petrovsky has so much potential. I would have wanted him to grow on me by having the option of taking him along in the Normandy regardless if he’s a squad mate or not. He’ll sort of be a Zaeed and Miranda Lawson in one because of his veteran experiences and Cerberus bred ideals. I’ll be honest when I say: I would have liked him in my ship better than other people who are currently in it. Even if you’re not a Cerberus lover such as myself, it’s interesting to see how his character would interact with the rest of the cast and how he would respond to the events playing out.
At the end of the DLC, there are various outcomes available and they are all dependent solely on your choices during the DLC (nothing from outside of it, I believe). I thought that the ‘endings’ were pretty cool no matter what you chose, but my favorite one would have to be the one I got because of my Renegade choices. As a prize, you get a chess set or chess piece (I haven’t checked it in my cabin) as a memorabilia. To be honest, I wanted Petrovsky’s Cerberus uniform because that was the bomb. I loved it more than the Alliance’s version of it, but then again that’s just me.
Sadly, you cannot revisit Omega and Aria after you finish the DLC. Technically, you can still see Aria but she’ll be in the Citadel not Omega, which I think is bizarre. I was disappointed with that since that would have been a place I would regularly go to if it had been available. Plus, if it had some side missions available, that would have been really awesome. It would have been an ideal window to relive Mass Effect 2 while playing the third game. In addition, you can’t bring any of the characters with you to the Normandy. Like Petrovsky, the others would have been a great addition to your crew.
To summarize, Omega is a satisfying DLC that will leave you content. Its lifespan would probably be 3 playthroughs at most in my opinion. Was it worth 15 dollars? While I’m not clamoring for a refund, I still have a bit of buyers remorse lingering until now. I know the price won’t go any lower, but it felt like it was the type of product I would buy if I had some excess money to burn in the future. Don’t get me wrong, I would have bought this one way or the other but I just felt like I could have bought something else for now.
In spite of my criticisms, I personally believe that Omega is a step forward for ME3 DLCs (excluding the Extended Cut). My only hope is that BioWare would integrate their future DLCs with the main narrative more and have it impact the story through added dialogue at the very least instead of just appearing as some entry on the War Assets screen. We already know how the story ends. It would be cool to have an add-on mission that shakes things up a bit, instead of one that feels more like a late detour Shepard references once or twice throughout the game.