mago's Arrival (Xbox 360) review

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Arrives And Leaves Way Too Soon

I have to start off by saying that Arrival has the fastest elevators ever seen in a Mass Effect game.  Said elevators do not require loading times and you are in and out of them in seconds.  Honestly, what more do you need to know? If you're still not convinced that Arrival is worth your money after that amazing piece of intel then I suggest you continue reading because I'm not so sure myself.

 Remember that guy from Mass Effect Prime?
 Remember that guy from Mass Effect Prime?
The best part of Arrival is the contents of the story.  Admiral Hackett contacts you and asks you to rescue an associate of his, Dr. Amanda Kenson, who has allegedly found evidence of an imminent Reaper invasion during an undercover operation and has been captured and locked up in a secret Batarian prison.  Arrival has an interesting twist or two and does an excellent job of making the Reaper threat feel like a very real problem that will need a solution and soon.  It serves as a great setup for Mass Effect 3 and leaves me itching for more dialog wheels and moral choices.  I'm probably going to finally finish my final playthrough of Mass Effect and begin another of Mass Effect 2 as I wait for the third installment to be released.
Now, Hackett demands that you go in alone or don't go at all, so this entire mission is a solo affair.  The last time Bioware had you go solo, in the Overlord DLC, it was excruciatingly frustrating because the player was pit against far too many enemies with pretty much no cover to use.  I think I literally spent an hour writhing in silent rage, contemplating breaking the controller as I attempted to complete the last battle in Overlord.  Thankfully, Bioware has corrected this (for the most part) and Arrival's combat sequences feel much more balanced for rolling without the aid of your allies.  That being said, there's nothing terribly interesting or different here.  The scenarios that Shepard gets into are things you have seen and done before and even playing on Insane never really present a challenge sans one part.  That section is much like the final confrontation in Overlord in which you are surround by numerous enemies with minimal cover, but luckily it isn't necessary to survive this encounter which redeems it in my book.
 And you thought the numbers were significant here.
 And you thought the numbers were significant here.
With it only lasting roughly 2 hours, the length is a big party foul of Arrival and makes it the shortest of all the add-ons for Mass Effect 2.  It's probably a little hard for the average consumer to justify this amount of content for $7, but if you are heavily invested in the world of Mass Effect this is an easy purchase and will scratch that itch you've neglected since Lair of the Shadow Broker came out.  Just don't expect it to blow your mind.

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