All good things must come to an end, even a series as profitable and popular as Mass Effect. Today – as promised – the minds behind Mass Effect 3 have announced the price and release date for both the Citadel DLC, adding new content to the singleplayer portion of the game, and the Reckoning multiplayer expansion.
A return to the Citadel will bring new locations and crew interactions (with new threats and enemies), but sadly, players won’t be discovering them alongside their friends. Well, their real-world friends, anyway.
Forgetting what we had hoped for, here’s what we know: the Citadel DLC sends Shepard back to the seat of galactic government to uncover the minds behind a conspiracy with him and his crew in their crosshairs. Finding out the truth will involve exploring the Citadel’s wards, and the new clandestine Council Archives (and probably a good amount of combat).
The fight will be reuniting Shepard with characters from the first two games of the series, most notably Urdnot Wrex (pictured in the DLC’s screenshots). When the action is over, the new locations unlocked on the Citadel remain to be explored at the player’s leisure. Shepard’s new living quarters, a combat arena and of course, the Silversun Casino (previously seen in the teased artwork) are all confirmed, even if they have yet to be shown in detail.
The chance to “reconnect” with returning characters is being heavily emphasized by BioWare – a wise move, considering that the lack of closure (apart from a phone call) in ME3‘s final act was one element fans took particular issue with. And as it happens, we’ve been meaning to reconnect with Miranda for some time now. Hopefully the conversations and romantic opportunities are what the series’s best writers returned to the project for, since a meaningful conversation can go a long way with the series’ most devoted fans.
With the announcement of both DLC packs comes new screenshots, so have a look at the new threats in store for both Citadel’s campaign and Reckoning’s multiplayer insanity:
BioWare has yet to confirm the new locations and variant maps rumored to be packaged with Reckoning, but new playable classes – The Geth Juggernaut, Female Turian Raptor, Talon Mercenary and Alliance Infiltration Unit – are all included, along with the Biotic Hammer, Geth Spitfire Assault Rifle, Venom Shotgun, Lancer Assault Rifle, Geth Scanner and Assault Rifle Omni-blade
Reckoning will be released free of charge (as expected to increase multiplayer activity) on February 26, with the Citadel story DLC launching for $14.99 across all platforms (except Wii U) come March 5.
As the last work that the development team will put into Commander Shepard’s tale before moving full steam ahead into Mass Effect 4 and beyond, Mass Effect 3: Reckoning is certainly something to be remembered. As series lead Casey Hudson explains, the release is one of mixed emotions:
“The team has poured heart and soul into Mass Effect 3: Reckoning and Mass Effect 3: Citadel. As the launch of these chapters near, the feeling around the studio is bittersweet…We have always been humbled and driven by the passion of our fans for the Mass Effect trilogy. We hope fans will enjoy spending more time with some of their favorite characters — we have certainly enjoyed spending time creating them. We’re excited to release this final sendoff for the trilogy and move forward into the future of the Mass Effect universe.”
Where the future of the Mass Effect series will head is unknown to all but a few, but we’ve certainly got some ideas for the next chapter. For now, we’ll wait with bated breath for Commander Shepard’s ‘final send-off,’ and hope this DLC turns out to be more impressive than either Leviathan or Omega.
Which of the DLC offerings are you looking forward to the most? Any lingering ME questions you hope will be answered? Leave us your hopes in the comments.
Mass Effect 3: Reckoning and Citadel release for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on February 26 and March 5, respectively.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.