DLC: Arrival mini-review (no story spoilers)

Posted by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -

Class: Adept 
Difficulty: Normal 
Version: PC 
Preferred Heavy Weapon: Missile Launcher
 
Well, I just completed Arrival and it took me maybe about one to one-and-a-half hours to complete. And being the guy who enjoys shooting people before asking questions, I totally acted like an asshole every chance I had. Now, I'm not going to spoil anything with any story-specifics except naming a few names, but do note that you will be playing this completely solo except during an earlier bit in the DLC that you'll probably see in the Ask Me Anything Brad and Vinny did (then was pulled down, maybe it'll be up later today), then after that, you're completely alone. 
 
Anyways, I jumped into the game pretty rusty having not played the game for maybe a month or so, but the DLC begins easily enough with Admiral Hackett asking you to rescue a friend of his in a heavily batarian-populated system. You're given the option to either get to her discreetly or guns-blazing. For the sake of an achievement, I did it quietly and it proved to be much easier than I thought it would be. No need for any special abilities, like cloaking by way of an Infiltrator, or quick-wit maneuvers to get to cover quickly before anyone sees you as you will usually find guards facing away from you. All you need to do is find a different path around the guards (which are clearly laid out for you), and that'll be that.
 
Eventually, I was led to what was basically a wave-based combat arena. In my first, and currently only, playthrough I was an Adept with a maxed out Warp ability (I'm guessin' it was Heavy Warp I upgraded it to) and killed most enemies with one flick of my hand. Although you'll suffer no consequences for dying during this part, you will receive an achievement for surviving all five waves, with the last rolling out a Heavy Mech. Previous waves will employ troublesome and more enduring (compared to normal grunts) Pyros that can do some heavy damage to you if they get too close to you.
 
Now the rest of the DLC is fairly familiar as you'll traverse through corridors and the usual room with most obvious places to take cover behind. One thing I will note though, is that grunts really love throwing flash grenades at you. They don't do enough damage, if at all, to make it a remarkable challenge but they threw them too constantly. I can imagine a Soldier having a problem with this since they are naturally shooter-focused and with the washed-out visual effect clouding your enemies things can get a little difficult, unless you move about cover a lot, of course. In the final scramble, I was being bombarded with flash grenades and a second, and final, Heavy Mech encounter.
 
After all was said and done, Arrival proved to be a solid Mass Effect 2 experience. No big surprises here, except for one unique mechanic that puts you in control of the enemy for a short time, and a completely combat-avoidable section in the game. Between the bare-bones conversations with your colleagues about the upcoming mission and impending arrival of the Reapers, combat varies dispatching of a small group of grunts to those led by a shielded merc, or sometimes a mech. While the outcome of the DLC will not be seen in full effect until Mass Effect 3 comes out, the arrival you've all been waiting for is nothing spectacular. It's just more of the same and a final message to hold you over to the next game. 
 
3 puppies out of 5

So, there you go. A little mini-review for you, I suppose. I had fun with it, by the way.

#1 Edited by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -

Class: Adept 
Difficulty: Normal 
Version: PC 
Preferred Heavy Weapon: Missile Launcher
 
Well, I just completed Arrival and it took me maybe about one to one-and-a-half hours to complete. And being the guy who enjoys shooting people before asking questions, I totally acted like an asshole every chance I had. Now, I'm not going to spoil anything with any story-specifics except naming a few names, but do note that you will be playing this completely solo except during an earlier bit in the DLC that you'll probably see in the Ask Me Anything Brad and Vinny did (then was pulled down, maybe it'll be up later today), then after that, you're completely alone. 
 
Anyways, I jumped into the game pretty rusty having not played the game for maybe a month or so, but the DLC begins easily enough with Admiral Hackett asking you to rescue a friend of his in a heavily batarian-populated system. You're given the option to either get to her discreetly or guns-blazing. For the sake of an achievement, I did it quietly and it proved to be much easier than I thought it would be. No need for any special abilities, like cloaking by way of an Infiltrator, or quick-wit maneuvers to get to cover quickly before anyone sees you as you will usually find guards facing away from you. All you need to do is find a different path around the guards (which are clearly laid out for you), and that'll be that.
 
Eventually, I was led to what was basically a wave-based combat arena. In my first, and currently only, playthrough I was an Adept with a maxed out Warp ability (I'm guessin' it was Heavy Warp I upgraded it to) and killed most enemies with one flick of my hand. Although you'll suffer no consequences for dying during this part, you will receive an achievement for surviving all five waves, with the last rolling out a Heavy Mech. Previous waves will employ troublesome and more enduring (compared to normal grunts) Pyros that can do some heavy damage to you if they get too close to you.
 
Now the rest of the DLC is fairly familiar as you'll traverse through corridors and the usual room with most obvious places to take cover behind. One thing I will note though, is that grunts really love throwing flash grenades at you. They don't do enough damage, if at all, to make it a remarkable challenge but they threw them too constantly. I can imagine a Soldier having a problem with this since they are naturally shooter-focused and with the washed-out visual effect clouding your enemies things can get a little difficult, unless you move about cover a lot, of course. In the final scramble, I was being bombarded with flash grenades and a second, and final, Heavy Mech encounter.
 
After all was said and done, Arrival proved to be a solid Mass Effect 2 experience. No big surprises here, except for one unique mechanic that puts you in control of the enemy for a short time, and a completely combat-avoidable section in the game. Between the bare-bones conversations with your colleagues about the upcoming mission and impending arrival of the Reapers, combat varies dispatching of a small group of grunts to those led by a shielded merc, or sometimes a mech. While the outcome of the DLC will not be seen in full effect until Mass Effect 3 comes out, the arrival you've all been waiting for is nothing spectacular. It's just more of the same and a final message to hold you over to the next game. 
 
3 puppies out of 5

So, there you go. A little mini-review for you, I suppose. I had fun with it, by the way.

#2 Posted by HistoryInRust (6215 posts) -

Did you play the other DLCs? Probably too soon to ask, but where would you put it amongst those, in terms of quality? 

#3 Edited by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -
@Sir_Ragnarok: Hm, if you've played Overload, I can tell you that I appreciated the somewhat oppressive and scary overtone that that DLC introduced (or used to great effect, at least) and somewhat light Hammerhead-use throughout. With Shadow Broker, obviously, the challenging (for my Soldier, at least) end-boss and the end-game spoils made me come back for more, with the videos and varying e-mails from others. This one is kind of more Mass Effect 2 really. Nothing else to say. I didn't find any glitches or anything technically bothersome. 
 
#4 Posted by dagas (2711 posts) -

I'm playing right now. Got stuck in the geometry! Had to load an auto save. didn't have to replay much but still...

#5 Posted by Dudacles (1435 posts) -

Is it worth getting for the ending? I mean, does anything interesting in terms of story happen that makes it worth the 560 MSP? Mass Effect DLC has never been about gameplay for me, I just want to extend the tale a bit.

#6 Posted by RaceKickfist (217 posts) -

not sure if this was addressed in the announcement (@work, so I can't spend too much time looking stuff up in the forums), but is this DLC meant to be played after you complete the game or before? I'm assuming afterward, given the content, but i'm curious just the same.

#7 Edited by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -
@RaceKickfist said:

" not sure if this was addressed in the announcement (@work, so I can't spend too much time looking stuff up in the forums), but is this DLC meant to be played after you complete the game or before? I'm assuming afterward, given the content, but i'm curious just the same. "

Huh, I just checked whether this DLC is accessible or not to those who didn't complete the main game yet and, what do you know, on a save that hasn't recruited a quarian, an asari, or a drell squadmate just yet, I was still given access to complete this DLC. Once I booted up the save, interacting with my in-game laptop immediately forced me into a conversation with Admiral Hackett. So, finishing the game's main story isn't a must.
#8 Posted by RaceKickfist (217 posts) -
@rjayb89: ah. good deal. thanks for checkin that out!
#9 Edited by PhatSeeJay (3321 posts) -
@rjayb89 said:

" @RaceKickfist said:

" not sure if this was addressed in the announcement (@work, so I can't spend too much time looking stuff up in the forums), but is this DLC meant to be played after you complete the game or before? I'm assuming afterward, given the content, but i'm curious just the same. "
Huh, I just checked whether this DLC is accessible or not to those who didn't completed it and, what do you know, on a save that hasn't recruited a quarian, an asari, or a drell just yet, I still was given access to complete this DLC. Once I booted up the save, interacting with my laptop immediately forced me into a conversation with Admiral Hackett. So, finishing the game's main story isn't a must. "
When I asked elsewhere I got the reply that it's possible to start the DLC after Horizon but it would make more sense to play it after the suicide mission. It seems to fit quite well with what you found from your save.
On the other hand, only thing that changes with when you play it seems to be a certain encounter towards the end of the DLC.
#10 Posted by SteamPunkJin (1286 posts) -

Firewalker/Overlord/Kasumi/Zaeed/Weapons packs are all pre-Horizon DLC.
Shadow Brokers/Arrival only become available post-Horizon on Disc 2.

#11 Posted by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -
@dudacles said:
" Is it worth getting for the ending? I mean, does anything interesting in terms of story happen that makes it worth the 560 MSP? Mass Effect DLC has never been about gameplay for me, I just want to extend the tale a bit. "
The big decision of this DLC is if you can slow the progress of the incoming invasion. Maybe it'll be super important for us in the sequel, but right now (and in this DLC), it's just a matter of lives at stake. As you might've guessed with my play-style, many people lost their lives. But was that for the better? I don't really know, but a colleague of mine approved of my character's intentions of impeding the Reapers descent.
 
I personally don't think it's worth getting just yet. I'm a big Mass Effect fan and getting this was a no-brainer for me, so I had to get it. From the story-aspect of the DLC, it only serves as a mere reminder of what's to come in the series, which should be pretty obvious if you've played through the main game.
#12 Posted by PhatSeeJay (3321 posts) -
@rjayb89 said:

" @dudacles said:

" Is it worth getting for the ending? I mean, does anything interesting in terms of story happen that makes it worth the 560 MSP? Mass Effect DLC has never been about gameplay for me, I just want to extend the tale a bit. "
The big decision of this DLC is if you can slow the progress of the incoming invasion. Maybe it'll be super important for us in the sequel, but right now (and in this DLC), it's just a matter of lives at stake. As you might've guessed with my play-style, many people lost their lives. But was that for the better? I don't really know, but a colleague of mine approved of my character's intentions of impeding the Reapers descent.
 
I personally don't think it's worth getting just yet. I'm a big Mass Effect fan and getting this was a no-brainer for me, so I had to get it. From the story-aspect of the DLC, it only serves as a mere reminder of what's to come in the series, which should be pretty obvious if you've played through the main game. "
 I can't really see how it would be possible to change that outcome. I tried to see how it could be possible to save the lives of the colonists but all it seemed to give you was a chance to warn them. An attempt that Amanda foiled by interrupting the transmission. With Hackett briefing you in the end, it seems like this will be a big thing Shepard need to overcome in ME3 to get the batarians on his side. Pretty sure there was word that this would delay them for months years(?) since they had to find a new relay to use as an entry point to the galaxy... or something. Was never too sure on how the relays would work in connecting the outside of the galaxy.
#13 Posted by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -
@PhatSeeJay: Yeah, the whole FTL thing. I mean, why is that particular mass relay is so important? I've only played through the DLC using Renegade choices, and I don't think I want to play through it again anytime soon, but if the outcome, or death toll, is not as avoidable as I thought it was, then the sole purpose of this DLC is to mess up batarian relations. Just another faction to deal with when the Reapers come into town. I wouldn't mind that either, they look like insects anyway.
#14 Posted by maskedarcstrike (700 posts) -
@rjayb89: I just finished it as well, it was pretty good.  Only glitch I encountered was the sound kept messing up in the first section of it when I was indoors.  I guess the reason why that relay is so important is because the reapers are coming through darkspace and that system was on the fringe of the galaxy.
 
I did like how they tried out some new gameplay elements though like the stealth part in the beginning.
#15 Posted by Gerhabio (1969 posts) -

You should make this an  actual review on the site :)

#16 Posted by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -
@G3RHRT said:
" You should make this an  actual review on the site :) "
What made me decide not to do this is because I haven't played through this DLC choosing Paragon-like dialog, so it's pretty one-sided (as far as being a Renegade and playing an Adept goes) and because of how relatively early I reviewed this game (I finished a smaller write-up than what you can see now before adding final thoughts and a puppy score) I couldn't bare spoiling the karma moment at the time. But, thank you for suggesting that. 
 
I would have to be fully content with what I've written meaning I would have to endure multiple playthroughs that explore all of the options in this DLC and a full story diagnosis. And also, images. Can't have a full review without images.
#17 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3642 posts) -

Why doesn't anyone use the review feature on GB?

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