ME3 Omega DLC: A Decent Fight For Omega
This week, Mass Effect 3's Omega DLC hit the PSN, Origin Network, and Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Omega sends players on a mission to take back Aria's cozy little hive of scum and villainy, with a promised number of new enemies, two new (temporary) party members, and several hours of new gameplay and content. It delivers on all counts.
For those of you still sitting on the fence, wondering whether or not it's worth a purchase, I'll save you the read: Yes, but don't expect to be blown away...
We'll start with the stuff that Omega does right. I loved the aesthetic of the content, and even the one area of Omega the player visited in Mass Effect 2 felt both new and fresh. The visual design of the two new enemies, the Rampart Mech and Adjutant, is excellent, and the layout of each area, while slightly linear, was varied enough to keep me playing.
The story, while it did suffer it's weak points, was good, as well. I enjoyed the deeper look into Aria's character, and the subtext between Aria and Nyreen was interesting to watch. Astute fans will notice a few nods to previous games in the Mass Effect series, and there were more than a few occasions where I actually couldn't help but laugh at the humor the writers tossed my way.
Gameplay-wise, letting loose torrents of devastation with Aria's biotic abilities (which are, in a word, obscenely powerful) was strangely satisfying. The Rampart Mechs and Adjutants had a few neat abilities (the former could temporarily shield themselves from damage, while the latter combined the teleportative power of the Banshee with a bit of the Brute's raw strength). Aside from those two, however, it was just more of the same. By this point, most players are aware of pretty much every trick Cerberus has up its sleeves, and most of what's thrown at you in Mass Effect 3: Omega is the same stuff you've already gotten used to taking out.
This time, however, you've got a terrifyingly powerful biotic on your side. End result? The DLC simply didn't feel particularly challenging, save for the final confrontation with General Petrovsky.
Speaking of Petrovsky, I'm still not sure what to think of him. On the one hand, he's a fairly dignified, interesting villain, and a man of apparent honor. On the other hand, it seems like the writers tried way too hard to pump him up as a military and tactical genius, even though we only see one or two flashes of his supposed brilliance, and a few scenes - particularly the one with the chessboard - feel forced and unnecessary.
I also would have liked to have a few meatier side-quests in Omega. More of a focus on exploration and force-building would have been nice, too, rather than the rigid, mission-to-mission system the game seems to have settled for.
In closing, Mass Effect 3: Omega is certainly a fun way to kill a few hours, but don't expect anything revolutionary or mind-blowing. At the end of the day, it's simply more war assets and a few neat little sidequests.
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A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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