So I finished up The Arrival. It was fun.

#1 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

This is for the Mass Effect 2 DLC, but it since it feeds right into 3, I figured it'd be better here. 
 
So, yeah. The last piece of downloadable content, The Arrival, I finished up yesterday. Not only was I reminded how stiff the cover system is, but I was brought back into the fold in a pretty severe way with Duke Shepard. I enjoyed this, though. I can understand the whole issue with being forced to blow up a Mass Relay and kill a few hundred thousand Batarians, but I wasn't really phased by the action. 
 
So, excited about Mass Effect 3? Playing through the last piece of 2 just brought back a bunch of memories about how I don't think I want to play through 2 again. 
 
Don't have much to say, just a bunch of random thoughts. My only question is what the issue people had with The Arrival? Was it mainly because of the Mass Relay destruction sequence?

#2 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4513 posts) -

@Napalm: I think the issue with Arrival was that after Lair of the Shadow Broker, they expected something deeper like that. Arrival was only 5-7 bucks, Shadow Broker was 10. It's not like Bioware doesn't price their DLC according to the amount of time and effort they put into it.

I liked Arrival. I liked the end of it, I liked the story in general. I felt like they could've padded some of it with good conversations, but as it is, it was worth the money and did get me pumped/ready for ME3, which is what it was designed to do.

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#3 Posted by Shard (106 posts) -

In my opinion it was about the how either choice, paragon ot renegade, didn't matter as the outcome is pretty much the same.

#4 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@Shard: What choice, specifically? 
 
@Oldirtybearon: I thought there was some good conversational stuff in there. I don't remember there being much conversation stuff in Lair Of The Shadow Broker, though I think it was left to the cinematic emotional stuff with Liara. The Arrival was a little under two hours, and if I remember LotSB was a little over three, (or around it).
#5 Posted by morrelloman (605 posts) -

I just finished 2 for the 6th time this weekend. I also did just enuff on another playthru to scoop up all the DLC cheevos. I love 2. Arrival was the weakest it terms of breadth of content (compared to overload and shadow broker) but it was so combat heavy and I think really sets u up for three. In terms of both story and combat style.

I gave in and played the demo and 2 pretty much takes all the best stuff from 1 and 2 and improves on it. From graphics to movement to deeper skill trees it think they did the best they could and I'm all kinds of wet. Arrival itself was just okay, but it definitely succeeds in prepping you for 3 whilst saying a whimpering goodbye to 2.

#6 Posted by Yummylee (21204 posts) -

I'll just leave my user-review here to best ''summarise'' why I thought Arrival was rubbish. <3

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#7 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@Abyssfull said:

I'll just leave my user-review here to best ''summarise'' why I thought Arrival was rubbish. <3

That's too much text for a two-hour downloadable content that is ostensibly there to just set up the events of of the next game.
#8 Posted by TheGorilla (227 posts) -

The Arrival was awful. Shepard kept shouting things like "they've spotted us!" even though no one was with him. It was like he had snapped and gone totally fucking insane. The horrible truth about Mass Effect is that Shepard is schizophrenic and the Council was right all along. The level design was poor and the game's enemy AI simply doesn't work without Shepard's party to take some of the fire. If you liked the Arrival you might be a bad human being.

#9 Posted by Yummylee (21204 posts) -

@Napalm said:

@Abyssfull said:

I'll just leave my user-review here to best ''summarise'' why I thought Arrival was rubbish. <3

That's too much text for a two-hour downloadable content that is ostensibly there to just set up the events of of the next game.

...Oh c'mon, it's not that long.

Fine, well the TL;DR version is: none of your choices matter, the gameplay is made up of too much standard fare (and losing the ability to command a squad was so stupid and weird) and overall Arrival is completely pointless with nothing to allow it to stand out. It's also very short, and while Shadow Broker was pretty short too, that was at least made up of a lot of new, distinctive environments, boss battles and Asari sweet talk.

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#10 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

I enjoyed the The Arrival. I never saw what was "bad" about it. At best, I can understand not thinking it was particularly special, but whatever, I enjoyed it.

#11 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@TheGorilla said:

... game's enemy AI simply doesn't work without Shepard's party to take some of the fire.

Actually, I'm going to call you on this and say that mechanically, the cover system isn't strong, varied or snappy enough to stand up on its own with one person. The enemy ai is fine. It's your standard flanking and cover system.
#12 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

It was ok'd the story was meh and tr lack of choice was lame. Really didnt like it

#13 Edited by believer258 (11561 posts) -

@Abyssfull said:

@Napalm said:

@Abyssfull said:

I'll just leave my user-review here to best ''summarise'' why I thought Arrival was rubbish. <3

That's too much text for a two-hour downloadable content that is ostensibly there to just set up the events of of the next game.

...Oh c'mon, it's not that long.

Fine, well the TL;DR version is: none of your choices matter, the gameplay is made up of too much standard fare (and losing the ability to command a squad was so stupid and weird) and overall Arrival is completely pointless with nothing to allow it to stand out. It's also very short, and while Shadow Broker was pretty short too, that was at least made up of a lot of new, distinctive environments, boss battles and Asari sweet talk.

Well, that. I didn't even play Shadow Broker and I didn't much like Arrival. I don't really feel any animosity towards it, but its only point was to setup Mass Effect 3. Wait, Believer, does that not mean that it did what it set out to do? Well, yeah, but in a rather lackluster and boring way. It's like driving to your local Wal-Mart in your Dad's pick up truck versus driving to your local Wal-Mart in your very own brand-new sports car. Both get the same job done pretty well and there's no shame in either, but one of them is definitely preferable to the other. A more interesting Arrival DLC would have been much preferred.

I just called blowing up hundreds of thousands of sentient beings so that a worse catastrophe could be postponed "boring". That even further proves Arrival's failure.

#14 Posted by FreakAche (2948 posts) -

I honestly have no idea why people hated Arrival so much, especially when you consider that a lot of those people are the same ones who heaped ridiculous amounts of praise onto Shadow Broker. Both DLCs are simply interesting continuations of the Mass Effect story. Nothing more, nothing less.

#15 Posted by Yummylee (21204 posts) -

@FreakAche said:

I honestly have no idea why people hated Arrival so much, especially when you consider that a lot of those people are the same ones who heaped ridiculous amounts of praise onto Shadow Broker. Both DLCs are simply interesting continuations of the Mass Effect story. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Shadow Broker has you contending across new environments (The Shadow Broker ship exterior was like nothing found in the main game), with two whole new boss battles, while playing along with a new (temporary) party member who you can also potentially further your relationship with. You take down one of the most mysterious and prolific characters of the universe, The Shadow Broker himself, to which said position is then taken up by Liara. There's even a bloody driving sequence in there, and don't forget all of the awesome character files you can read.

What does Arrival have? Arrival is like everything you've already done in the main game, only now you're on your own for some weird reason. The combat portions were lame, the story was pointless (Arrival, within the bigger budget of ME3, would of been better suited as the opening to ME3 - if not a playable prologue before the opening when the reapers attack). Oh, well I guess you do get to control a MECH for like a minute, die because of how hampered you are with the slower, clunkier movement, and repeat. They do also try to mimic the confrontation with Sovereign as well, by putting you up against a hologram of Harbinger, but it didn't amount to anything besides ''hey, the Reapers are still coming''.

I honestly don't know how anyone could insinuate that the two are anywhere near the same level.

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#16 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

The actual outcome of The Arrival makes thing extremely interesting. Or, they could just write it off in Mass Effect 3 at some point.

#17 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

I played it recently and it was okay.  But, I played it as an infiltrator and sneaking into the base alone and busting someone out seemed fitting and I was cool with not having a squad.  It probably works a little less with other classes.
 
I think it was just hyped up to be more than it was and a great game with pretty good DLC closed with a relatively weak entry.

#18 Posted by Veektarius (4539 posts) -

I played all three DLCs for the first time, back to back, this past weekend. Unlike you, OP, I still think ME2 is fun to play, though its cover doesn't measure up to newer systems like Deus Ex and Gears. I had a lot of fun zipping around with charge, blasting people at point blank with a shotgun, and zipping to the next before the people around him could take me down, even if it wasn't the safest way to go about things.

I thought that the hate for Arrival was overhyped - the story was decent, and I actually really enjoyed the incidental dialogue as I chewed through the Project forces. It really made me feel like an unstoppable force. However, when I did die, I usually lamented my lack of squad support. And why did I go alone? Because Hackett was worried that three people would worry the Batarians more than one? Would he be reassured if I told him one of my crew can completely disappear and another is the galaxy's greatest assassin? The real reason is this - there isn't a single word of spoken dialogue from any of your basic ME2 companions in any of the DLC, and they finally got sick of trying to cover up for it and just told you they can't come. And that felt really stupid.

The other thing to hate is the choice of whether to warn the Batarians. Why exactly didn't I warn them? Because I got interrupted by the doctor and lost my train of thought? Or was I just in too much of a hurry to take ten seconds to say, "Hey, leave your planet, I'm going to blow it up" after she interrupted me? Sure, I'd expect no more than a fraction would heed my warning, but instead the game forces you to accept that you left the Batarians completely oblivious, nevermind that you made the choice to sacrifice them in the first place. Yes, it was the 'right thing', as Hackett says, but it's probably the biggest decision Shepard has made in the whole series, and you get no input in how he makes it. Any player who would rather not have made that choice has every right to hate the DLC.

#19 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -
@Napalm
The actual outcome of The Arrival makes thing extremely interesting. Or, they could just write it off in Mass Effect 3 at some point.
That's the lead in into mass effect 3, that's why the game begins on earth
#20 Posted by DeeGee (2113 posts) -

I just thought the ending of Arrival made no sense.

I mean, can someone explain to me why they blew up that Mass Relay? I would genuinly like to know. There's the whole "This is the relay they will use to go to any point in the galaxy!" business, but I just don't buy that as an actual explanation. What do they gain by destroying the relay? 300,000+ people killed in an instant.

And the Reapers just fly to another relay instead, and the invasion starts as planned. Unless ME3 can explain that Shephard spent the few months he bought with all those deaths working on the plan to save the galaxy, all he did was needlessly kill a bunch of people a little sooner then the Reapers would have killed them.

He might as well blow up Earth, I mean the Reapers tear the shit out of that too.

#21 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -
@DeeGee Yeah, I guess Shepard bought us time but I know my Shepard would never have allowed that to happen
#22 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@DeeGee: It takes decades to to exterminate a race of beings. It wasn't overnight. Not even for the Protheans.
 
@Dany: Derp. I was talking about the Batarian genocide. I assume that's just a reason for you to care about getting them on your side, I suppose.
#23 Posted by DeeGee (2113 posts) -

@Napalm:Exactly. He has so much time, it made no sense to kill all those people just to add a few more months of safety.

#24 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@DeeGee said:

@Napalm:Exactly. He has so much time, it made no sense to kill all those people just to add a few more months of safety.

Some concessions had to be made to lead up to Shepard's story and bring him back to Earth. There's no point to question it further. It made sense in the moment. A few more months is better than getting caught up in the fury of Reapers in the next ten minutes.
#25 Posted by Veektarius (4539 posts) -

@DeeGee: A few months is a pretty big deal where it comes to war preparations. If A) they're going to die anyway, and B) other people have a statistically improved chance of living because of it, the decision makes perfect sense. it might be cold-blooded and you wouldn't have made it yourself (and I conceded that's a flaw of the game) but don't say it makes no sense.

#26 Posted by Doctorchimp (4067 posts) -

I still haven't played this or Shadow Broker, Kasumi, and Overlord....

I'm still waiting for them to go on discount. EA could have made some easy money on me. I'm finishing up Mass Effect 1 right now and then I think I'll take my time with Mass Effect 2 and just pop Mass Effect 3 in to play multiplayer with friends until I'm ready.

#27 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1405 posts) -

@DeeGee:

If the relay was left intact, the Reapers could have basically gone immediately to the Citadel, Earth, or any other populated planet in the galaxy. Obviously we don't really get a sense of it in the games, but even FTL travel is slow as shit when you're talking about the size of the galaxy. By forcing the Reapers to proceed to the next relay, that delays their invasion by quite a while, and given that absolutely NO ONE would be prepared for an immediate attack, any sort of delay would raise their chances from none to slim.

#28 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4513 posts) -

@Doctorchimp: They were heavily discounted over Christmas.

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#29 Posted by HatKing (5768 posts) -

I liked the lose-lose choice presented at the end of it and I wish the series as a whole had more of those all along. It was pretty much that, the Kaiden/Ashley choice, and kind of the very ending choice of ME2.

#30 Posted by Zleunamme (647 posts) -

I was hoping the Illusive man would talk in Shepard's head a say that, "You are no different then I am" after blowing up the relay. A couple issues I have with this DLC is the reuse of character/art assets is so obvious. Admiral Hackett looks like grey haired Zaheed. The imprisoned scientist resembles Dr. Chawkas in civilian clothes. Nobody on the Normandy was concerned that Shepard was gone for three days. I'm guessing Bioware didn't have time to record additional dialog for Joker to bridge that gap. Why does the Alliance or the Council care about a batarian planet since they are at odds with each other. What is frustrating is that Shepard is put into an morally ambiguous situation. The option of choice is inconsequential. The purpose of the dlc was to lead into Mass Effect 3. I know I sound like I am complaining but I like it little more Mass Effect to keep it going.

#31 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

@DeeGee: I think they made very clear that he didn't have much time at all 2 days max I think, and the Alpha rele it's pretty much like the Omega 4 rele, the only difference is that Alpha links directly to dark space, Also they're Batarians how cares if they die!, but I can agree that the DLC wasn't so great compared to the others.

#32 Posted by big_jon (5707 posts) -

I was not a big fan.

#33 Posted by Hailinel (23676 posts) -

@Napalm said:

@DeeGee said:

@Napalm:Exactly. He has so much time, it made no sense to kill all those people just to add a few more months of safety.

Some concessions had to be made to lead up to Shepard's story and bring him back to Earth. There's no point to question it further. It made sense in the moment. A few more months is better than getting caught up in the fury of Reapers in the next ten minutes.

So it's casual genocide, then. :P

#34 Posted by ick_bop (110 posts) -

"Damned if you do, damned if you don't situations? FUCK OFF, My Shepard is a PARAGON and should have been able to use his magic powers to transport the Batarians into the bottle planet of Kandor! Heroes should never be forced to do shitty things!"

#35 Posted by pyromagnestir (4195 posts) -

@Doctorchimp: Hey man, pretty much every mass effect dlc has been on sale for about 2-3 bucks a piece or less at some point, you're just not paying attention.

#36 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Napalm said:

@DeeGee said:

@Napalm:Exactly. He has so much time, it made no sense to kill all those people just to add a few more months of safety.

Some concessions had to be made to lead up to Shepard's story and bring him back to Earth. There's no point to question it further. It made sense in the moment. A few more months is better than getting caught up in the fury of Reapers in the next ten minutes.

So it's casual genocide, then. :P

OK fine, I see where you guys are going with this. They had to find a way to get him back to Earth so that when the Reapers did start to invade, it could feel "personal" and he could see it first hand. Sure, they could have found another way to get him to Earth... hopefully through means not so, violent, but I can see where they were going. Beside, I think it still falls in line with Shepard always having an issue with the Alliance/Council in some form, or him always getting in trouble for something. This is just another one on an already long list of, "well goddamn Shepard. Again?"

#37 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -
@DeeGee: They gain time.  If you don't think it matters, let the timer click to zero.  You get a nice cutscene of the Reapers harvesting all life in the galaxy.
 
Granted, the bureaucrats completely fucking wasted all that time, but at least Shepard tried.

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