|System: Xbox 360, PS3*, PC|
|Release: March 5, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Violence|
by Jenni Lada
It is the end of an era. Mass Effect 3 is finally, really ending and it's going out with a bang. The Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC is out, and it's changed my life. Well, not really. But it did rob me of about four hours of sleep the night it was released, keeping me up until almost 2AM, and caused a ten-minute giggle-fit the following day when I watched Shepard and Javik make their movie debut. This is an add-on for the fans—Mass Effect 3's "Shadow Broker"—and isn't an optional experience.
The new adventure begins with the best order ever: Take some shore leave. The Normandy needs repairs, the crew's been overworked, and Admiral Hackett orders Shepard to Anderson's apartment. Except it isn't his anymore. The moment she arrives, Anderson calls in to give it to her as a gift. Thanks, Dad-Shepard-Never-Had! Here she gets a huge suite with a fireplace, bar, art gallery, and hot tub. All I ever got from my dad was a used car.
Anyways, the good stuff ends quickly before Shepard gets a chance to enjoy it. After exploring her awesome digs, she gets an invitation for sushi with Joker. She gets the VIP treatment at what's apparently the hottest restaurant on the station and is sitting down to a nice meal when some Alliance officer named Maya Brooks runs up, saying people are trying to kill her. Again. And they're different people than last time. Then mercenaries show up to shoot stuff, and Shepard falls through a gigantic fish tank and down the sides of some buildings. Her identity has been stolen by a mysterious figure who's hired Cat6, a group of fearsome former Alliance renegades, to kill Shepard. Shepard goes through used car lots, a casino, Citadel archives, and the Normandy.
I think what I love most about the Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC is the script. It's as though BioWare asked all of its staff to bring their best Mass Effect fan fiction to the break room, and the silliest, funniest, and cheesiest ones provided fodder for Citadel. From Shepard getting an incredible apartment from Anderson, to Vega ordering a pizza during a mission briefing, to bumbling and adorable new NPC Brooks telling Commander Shepard that friendship is her secret weapon, Citadel is easily the kind of DLC of fanboy and fangirl dreams. Yet, despite the silliness, it does make sense within the canon of the Mass Effect universe.
So there's one reason to buy it. The other is for all the content. I know Mass Effect 3 Citadel is being billed as a DLC add-on, but I think "expansion" is a more appropriate definition. This thing is huge, over 3GB, and it's worth every bit of space it's hoarding on my PS3's hard drive. There are nine missions, a whole new area of the Citadel to explore, romantic interludes galore, a massive apartment that can be customized, two new weapons, and I lost track of how many new weapon mods. And all of your squadmates from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 who survived and aren't normally part of your team come back and join your squad in the Combat Arena. It is everything I have ever wanted in a Mass Effect add-on. There are so many violent and non-violent moments to enjoy.