The ‘Mass Effect 2′ DLC You Should Play Before ‘Mass Effect 3′

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The 'Mass Effect 2' DLC You Should Play Before 'Mass Effect 3'

Mass Effect 2 DLC Guide Have you beaten Mass Effect and its sequel? Are you eagerly awaiting the midnight or launch day opening of stores to pick up your copy of Mass Effect 3 on Tuesday, March 6th? If so, and if you've not had a chance to complete all of the DLC offerings for Mass Effect 2, we've prepared this guide to help you make the best of this last chance pre-ME3 weekend. Time is of the essence and there are five DLC offerings to choose from. Below is information on all of them and our thoughts on whether or not they are must be played before jumping into the beginning of the end for Commander Shepard's story.
  • Firewalker Pack
  • Overlord
  • Kasumi - Stolen Memory
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker
  • Arrival

Firewalker Pack

Mass Effect 2 Firewalker DLC M-44 Hammerhead Price: Free to Cerberus Network users (with all new copies of game) Key Additions:  Prothean Relic Trophy, M-44 Hammerhead hovertank The first DLC missions for the Mass Effect 2 are the weakest of them all. While Firewalker adds the M-44 Hammerhead vehicle to make up for the total lack of vehicles in ME2, the missions and maps where the vehicle can be used are linear, basic and repetitive, and involve collecting artifacts, data and ruins. There's absolutely no voice work from any of the characters so cutscenes and in-game events are happening without any communication, but the end of the DLC does involve Shepard finding a mysterious Prothean artifact that just sits in Shepard's cabin on board the Normandy - we don't know if it does anything but we hope it has some relevance in Mass Effect 3. Verdict: You can skip it.


Mass Effect 2 Overlord DLC Price: 560 BioWare Points | 560 Microsoft Points Key Additions:  M-44 Hammerhead (if you don't already have it from Firewalker), 1 Armor upgrade If you choose to skip the Firewalker Pack missions for now, the M-44 Hammerhead vehicle will automatically be added for this mission anyway. Overlord involves a Cerberus base doing what they do best, controversial and questionable testing. This particular experiment involves a Virtual Intelligence (VI) that has gone rogue and players quickly discover that it's due to the researchers fusing a human with the Geth hive mind. Project Overlord is a significant step up from the Firewalker missions and involves the best-looking outdoors area the series has seen but if time is short, this mission can be skipped in favor of the following three. Verdict: You can skip this one too if necessary.

Kasumi - Stolen Memory

Mass Effect 2 Kasumi DLC Price: 560 BioWare Points | 560 Microsoft Points Key Additions:  New Squad Member: Kasumi Goto, New Weapon: M-12 Locust SMG The Kasumi mission feels like a natural part of the existing game - Kasumi is recruited in the same manner as the other characters and her dialogue makes her feel like more of an actual person than Zaeed, the rough, gruff, DLC mercenary. Her mission is one of the more unique ones found among all of Mass Effect 2 and its DLC offerings. Once you meet Kasumi, a master thief, her loyalty mission will take her and Commander Shepard to a fancy party in high-class attire for a heist. It offers a beautiful environment, some great dialogue and one of the most interesting looks at the state of the universe the series has seen to date - through an art collection which depicts not only alien relics, but recognizable Earthly ones too. Verdict: Play it. You'll want Kasumi on your side.

Lair of the Shadow Broker

Mass Effect 2 Shadow Broker DLC Price: 800 BioWare Points | 800 Microsoft Points Key Additions:  6 Updates, 2 Cabin Items, 1 Power, Relationship Update With Liara This DLC is hands-down the best of any added content in the Mass Effect series to date and it gives Liara T'Soni the attention she deserves after her prominent role in the original game. It shares an important story for fans of Mass Effect's lore and is crucial for setting up what will undoubtedly play an important part of ME3. The DLC sees Shepard head to Illium with information on the Shadow Broker for Liara. The DLC explains what really happened to bring Shepard back to life, and introducers players to the Shadow Broker, a new species, another Spectre and another cool character we've not met before. This DLC feels like it should have been part of Mass Effect 2 and if it was, it'd be a contender for the best mission of the game. Amazing in-game cinematic moments and action, including a chase scene taken straight out of Star Wars, are just a few highlights, strengthened by two cool boss fights and amazing, unique environments. There's a lot of information to be uncovered and great character moments that pay tribute to any potential relationship Shepard had with Liara from the first game. If you've followed the series all along, this is one of the best Mass Effect experiences available. Verdict: Absolutely must play.


Mass Effect 2 Arrival DLC Price: 560 BioWare Points | 560 MS Points | $6.99 PSN Key Features: 3 Upgrades, bridges Mass Effect 2 & Mass Effect 3 Arrival is the last of the ME2 DLC offerings and serves as a bridge between it and Mass Effect 3. Commander Shepard must go in solo to rescue an operative who has uncovered new info confirming the imminent Reaper invasion. After a few twists and turns, it's up to Shepard to make the tough decision to throw a kink in first stage of the Reaper invasion, a decision which ties into the intro of Mass Effect 3 where Shepard must return to Earth for trial. While not as amazing as the Shadow Broker DLC, Arrival is still a strong and important offering that players should experience right before jumping into Mass Effect 3. It blends the games together seamlessly. Verdict: Should be played last and closes the book on ME2, leading into the intro of ME3.


Mass Effect 2 DLC Guide Ideally, and time-permitting, fans of the series should experience all of the DLC. They all offer at least something deeper for the characters, lore and stories of the series. BioWare promises that all decisions and accomplishments made throughout the first two games will play a factor in Mass Effect 3 and we expect each one of the above five DLC offerings does as well. Even the ones we say you can skip (Firewalker and Overlord) do end with Shepard collecting a Prothean artifact and helping/hindering a Cerberus experiment on the Geth. The appearance skin packs and weapon packs can be skipped over as they add nothing meaningful to the game, and if you've played Mass Effect 1 you can also the Genesis digital webcomic. So, if you're as excited as we are for Mass Effect 3 next week, spend some time this weekend to fill in the story gaps with this DLC. The Shadow Broker and Arrival missions are important for setting up ME3 and Kasumi makes a great addition to the team. Mass Effect 3 releases March 6, 2012 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. - Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

TAGS: BioWare, Electronic Arts, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, PC, PS3

  • Mr Loxy

    Fair article about the Mass Effect DLC…although I would disagree about Kasumi Goto…she’s not that great an addition to the squad…there are always better characters to select for each mission.

    That said, her DLC mission is pretty slick!

    • To Mr Loxy

      “I would disagree about Kasumi Goto…she’s not that great an addition to the squad”

      What if Kasumi is a key character in a part of the next game to unlock a great moment or mission?

      • Mr Loxy

        That, I don’t disagree with. She may very well be in ME3. My point, is that she is a weak character in ME2.

        • Androol

          Trudat. But her mission was cool, she could be more interesting in ME3, and she’s totally buff in ME2 (shadow strike and overload FTW). She was probably my favorite character to have on my side in combat. Especially on insane, she seemed a lot better at staying alive than any other squad member.

      • Gabeler

        Why would BioWare directly punish people who didn’t buy DLC for ME2? That’s a backhand to the fanbase.

        Having Kasumi may add something really cool to the game, but it WON’T subtract from it.

        • Persephone

          Perhaps she isn’t a huge character, but she can do some really cool stuff. o.o She’s been pretty useful when I take her for the right missions.

  • Andrés

    So, the bottom line is, if you didn’t play the paid DLC from ME2 (that didn’t come with the game), you’re missing on things from ME3, right?

    • Joshi

      The only one that seems to directly affect the main storyline of ME3 would be Arrival (and possibly Shadow Broker… we’ll have to see) and the developers have said that playing that won’t be necessary to understanding ME3, so really, I don’t think you’ll find yourself at any kind of disadvantage if you don’t play any of the DLC, you’ll just get a richer experience all round if you do. 😉

    • Rob Keyes

      Some of these things happened regardless, so for example, if you didn’t play ‘Arrival’ – that thing still happened and Mass Effect 3 still starts the same – you just didn’t experience it yourself.

      Kasumi I think will be in Mass Effect 3 even if you didn’t get that DLC, perhaps something may change in conversation or something like that.

      It sucks that this stuff is still paid DLC but for hardcore ME fans who have some dollars to spare on DLC, a lot of this comes highly recommended.

      • Andrés


        The Arrival DLC is kinda pointless but it does provide context for the start of ME3. You can’t just drop a bomb like, “Oh, yeah, remember when you blew up that Collector Base in the suicide mission? You then decided to go in a killing spree and murdered 300,000 batarians. Cheers.”

        Concerning the Kasumi DLC, it was too thin for me to care. Instead of trying to find out what exactly is it that would compromise the Alliance, it’s simply left there screaming, “to be continued in ME3!!”

        As for the Shadow Broker DLC, this one’s also pretty important. My Shepard in ME3 would be mightily surprised if Liara just told him, “Hey, Shep, I’m the new Shadow Broker. Want to be pals again?” Still, it’s more acceptable than Arrival since it doesn’t necessarily have to involve Shepard. The events of Arrival, however, must involve Shepard, our character.

  • I2ichardt


  • Ajeno

    I’m actually hoping that when it’s all done and settled, Bioware release a one-off package with all 3 games and all DLC’s connected to those games in one massive bundle. Think of it as a TV series coming out on Blueray. One nice boxset on my shelf ready for revisiting any time I want.

    • Androol

      I’m sure they will. That seems to be all the rage these days, and they did it with Dragon Age and the PS3 version of ME2.

  • Bryan

    A very good article and I agree with everything. I beat the game for 360 a long time ago and just purchased it for PS3 back in December after getting rid of 360. I’m just hoping looking to restart the game with the character that I beat the game with will not mean that I cannot transfere over for ME3.

  • Androol

    Well, I guess it wasn’t terribly relevant in the grand scheme of things, but I thought Overlord was f’ing AMAZING! Perhaps not quite as good as Shadow Broker, on account of having less Liaras in it, but really awesome anyway. The crashed Geth ship and the virtual reality part were epic.

    • Rob Keyes

      It was fun and I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as important as the other ones I highlight – I do hope that decision at the end affects something in ME3.

      That DLC was party terrifying at times when the VI is talking but you can’t understand it – it’s loud and creepy, lol, so it was definitely well constructed.

      • Androol

        Yeah! The whole thing had a very creepy sort of eeriness and unpredictability that totally gripped me, because it was cool in itself, and also because it was a very different sort of atmosphere from most everything else in the game.

        But yeah, not really important in terms of story. It would be cool if the autistic guy turned up in ME3, but it probably was a totally standalone story. So I suppose “skip if necessary” is good advice; but I would’ve probably said “if absolutely necessary,” haha.

      • dan

        I liked how creepy it could get with the sudden noises and visuals, that disembodied computer voice that you can almost make out what it’s saying but not quite… definitely a plus on construction. That said though, I’m curious. What makes you say it wasn’t as important story wise? The way I see it, if you left David with Archer and decided to destroy the Geth base in legion’s loyalty mission, the heretic remnant might stand a chance of coming to your aid in ME3, or a choice might erupt where Shepard has to choose between enlisting the Geth as allies at the expense of David,or the diminished heretic forces under David’s control at the expense of the Geth. There are just so many different ways I can imagine the Overlord pack fitting into ME3. As a side note, I’ll say also: LotSB was awesome.

  • Dan-O

    I don’t think I even finished Overlord. At least I can’t remember. But I agree, The Lair of the Shadow Broker was pretty intense. The revelations/implications of that DLC are fantastic.

  • dan

    Skip Overlord? But it carries the choices that deal with a human-geth interface! In terms of actually beating the Reapers, this should be one of the most essential DLC choices for gamers going into ME3.

  • Red

    If you like story, Don’t skip Overlord. It really is entertaining. And try out Firewalker. The M44 hovercraft is way more entertaining to use than the Mako was.

    • dan

      I dunno, I thought the Mako could take more damage personally.

    • Fredrik

      The Firewalker missions suck ass. Bugged and boring, and why the HELL did they not even bother adding a bar for vehicle health/armor? Jesus they just threw that together in a heartbeat.

  • Mr.Jack

    how come Zaeeds dlc isn’t apart of this?

    • dan

      That’s… a very good question.

  • A Week In Geekdom

    Thankfully I only had to pay for “Arrival” since I had the ps3 version. Arrival was short but it was the second strongest dlc next to “shadow broker”. Overlord was creepy as hell and kasumi’s mission was excellent, she’s my go to gal on missions >.>b

  • David

    Best way to prepare? Don’t buy ME3… trust me, just leave the game alone and be happy with the first two.