chris2klee's Lair of the Shadow Broker (Xbox 360) review

Bioware offers its best DLC yet.

Lair of the Shadow Broker is the latest DLC for Mass Effect 2, and the first to start bridging the story over to the forthcoming Mass Effect 3. It continues the mission with your old teammate Liara, as she hunts the titular Shadow Broker, a mysterious information trader that has been whispered about throughout the series. Liara has a grudge to settle, and you can expect a lot of action as you make your way through the roughly 2 hour experience.

While the combat will seem instantly familiar, the Bioware team has tried a few different things here, with a couple of interesting boss battles, and a neat (if not overly complicated) car chase sequence. It's all very exciting, but the really great part is where the fights take place. The level design is fantastic, and really gives you some great moments of feeling like you're in a big budget sci-fi movie. The DLC is more expensive than previous add-on missions, but you can feel the extra cost in production value here.

Another place that it's obvious Bioware took more time was with the voice acting. One of my biggest issues with Overlord is how little dialogue there was, and how your teammates become suddenly mute. Thankfully we get a very talkative Liara, along with good voice work for villains and other characters. The conversation trees are as great as they ever were, and the incidental banter between Liara and Shepard is often pretty funny. Your other teammates are still mostly mute, but at least some attempt has been made to reference their presence in the DLC.

At $10 ($3 more than previous mission DLC), Lair of the Shadow Broker delivers a great package even at the higher price. The production values are pretty high, and their are some great extras after you finish, including my personal favorite: being able to respec teammate's skills. Achievement hunters can look forward to 5 more to hunt, and there is some fun reading to be had for those that are looking for more lore about the Mass Effect universe. The DLC isn't without its problems, the other teammates are still a little too mute for my tastes. While there are some good bits of character information to be gleaned, most of it is delivered through data files you find in the mission and don't add any conversation options. Even with these problems though, This is the best of the Mass Effect DLC to date: combining a great mission, good character development, and stuff to mess around with after you finish. If you are a Mass Effect 2 fan, you should definitely pick this up.

1 Comments
Posted by Jayross

Nice review.

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