yummylee's Lair of the Shadow Broker (Xbox 360) review

In short, it's arguably the best Mass Effect 2 DLC thus far.

Just like old times, eh Shepard?

Oh Mass Effect 2...just when will you end?? As far as BioWare as concerned it's long after you've completed the main game. Downloadable content has been coming out for ME2 at a steady stream, starting off with a few small tid bits like new weapons and armour pieces, to then eventually bringing you new vehicles, party members and now... Liara Tsoni!

Lair of The Shadow Broker will have seasoned Mass Effect players all cluttered with goosebumps while the newer Commander Shepard Puppeteers are still finding themselves with a fantastic entry into one of the ongoing Mass Effect story arcs.

Lair of The Shadow Broker is given to you like the rest of the mission centred DLC for Mass Effect 2 - only this time you won't receive the email from an uncharacteristic Illusive man (if you're playing with an end-game Shepard save) and instead as some information that Shepard may find helpful to pass onto Liara, given by the ''Cerberus Network''. This alone helps to lessen the awkwardness of carrying on your Shepard after the main game with this particular DLC releases, unlike most before it, and keeps in place the correct canon for Shepard's crusade against the Shadow Broker should it occur after Shepard's previous crusade against The Collectors. (In fact there even exist alternate conversations with Liara depending on just whether you are taking on this mission in between or after the main stories finished).

As story details suggest, this DLC missions pairs Shepard with old friend (or flame) Liara Tsoni to help her save her friend who is being held captive by the ever elusive and mysterious Shadow Broker. The overall story isn't as large or lengthy as the file size would have you believe, but every second of this 90 or so minute story is full of memorable dialogue, some well earned character development and some of the best fire fights and set pieces out of the entire Mass Effect 2 game - previous DLC included!

It has a surprising amount of variety too it, aswell. It'll start from a crime scene at Liara's apartment where you, with another Asari Spectre, are to find any clues as to Liara's whereabouts, eventually escalating to a high speed car chase through the street ways of Illium. Even the typical third person combat is still somehow made to feel much more fun with incredibly aggressive enemies who have a habit of throwing flash bang grenades to keep you on the move. LoTSB even has itself two boss fights to content with, both of which are actually more fun than the ending boss in ME2 main story - though it didn't really have to try too hard to top that one. Even while dismissing the end game boss for ME2, LoTSB's boss battles are both fresh takes for Mass Effect boss battles and one such battle really goes to great lengths to showing you the full power of a trained Biotic.

The spotlight's on you, Honey! So why don't you give us a smile?

The story that pulls you through the gameplay is also reassuringly well done, too. Liara fits right back into your squad (even if only temporarily) as if she never left and there's a huge amount of dialogue throughout this pack, most that may strengthen the bond your Shepard has with Ms Tsoni. Most of the dialogue is scripted, however, with a surprising lack of choice with the goings on in Shadow Broker. There still exist a few small scale situations you can decide to manipulate in your favour, but don't expect much in the way of alternate endings or such. There's still alot more in-game dialogue than you'd expect, between Shepard and Tsoni, which elevates more of the comic relief you may remember she brought to the proceedings in the original Mass Effect.

What the story really has going for it is the relationship between Shepard and Liara. Depending on your relationship with her previously, there may be extra scenes where you two will grow all the more closer, or may actually decide to call it quits and stay as friends. As is expected from BioWare, the characters of Liara, The Shadow Broker (and hell that Asari Spectre's pretty damn awesome too) is what will pull most Mass Effect fans for the purchase rather than the overall arc.

If there'll be more of this in Mass Effect 3, then AWW YEEAH!

Which is certainly a plus side, since while the story gives plenty of reasons for some explosive and high octane set pieces, it may still feel just a little underwhelming with the ease it takes to bring down the Shadow Broker. Such a huge figure in the Universe of Mass Effect you'd think w would seemingly deserve just a little a bit more effort than a 90 minute skirmish.

Much like previous story focused DLC packs, this one doesn't give much screen time for your other compatriots, either. There'll be a small couple of references to show that they do exist; but commentary from who tags along is noticeably bare. But in any case, the ending of LoTSB gives a great deal of closure to Liara's place for Mass Effect 3 and if anything is starting to shape up the many beginnings for the Mass Effect 3 story and the characters roles. I'd spoil far too much to go into specifics about what the Post-Story content gives you, but suffice to say this DLC will give you some unexpected extra playing time after the stories done and dusted.

Lair of the Shadow Broker is very much a leaping success with closing up one of ME2's, initially, notary dead end, being Liara. The actual story and gameplay that tapes all this up also just happens to be incredibly fun and some of the best action that Mass Effect 2 has to offer, currently. It may disappoint with its length, but its sheer quality with the characters and the opportunities it offers to speculate all the more for ME3 are most certainly not to be missed by anyone who's played Mass Effect 2, let alone if you're one of the many who've been apart of the Loyal Normandy Crew circa 2007.

6 Comments
Posted by WalkerTR77

I love mass effect, but I've been pretty much writing off the DLC so far. This review might just turn that around though.

Edited by Yummylee
@WalkerTR77:  
Jesus, reading through this again, it's abit of a mess lol. Though I start writing it up mostly out of the post-hype I had after completing Lair of the Shadow Broker =P 
 
But cheers, anywhoo and if there would be any ME2 DLC that's worth it, it's definitely this.
Online
Posted by BibleDoctor

Amazing piece of DLC, and a great review. 
  
Good stuff.

Posted by Jayross

Good review, looking forward to trying it out!

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

Your review has convinced me to buy it! Good job! xD

Edited by Yummylee
@TaliciaDragonsong said:

" Your review has convinced me to buy it! Good job! xD "

Dis is veeery good thing! 
 
Also you're meant to read it in Colossus' voice to have it make any iota of sense.
Online

Other reviews for Lair of the Shadow Broker (Xbox 360)

    No joke, the best Bioware DLC period 0

    There's times where I don't quite like what Bioware does with their downloadable content. Ever since the original Mass Effect had 2 pretty mediocre DLC releases, it's like they almost got offended and they went crazy bringing out one after another not only for Mass Effect 2 but for Dragon Age: Origins. However that created another issue: their new DLC plans haven't been exactly stellar since they just come out with a huge ton of content yet they feel somewhat insubstantial, not quite as bad as b...

    3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.