Mass Effect 2: Kasumi - Stolen Memory DLC Review

   12/04/2010 at 08:22       Phil May       6 COMMENTS. - Score 2/5
 - Mass Effect 2, Bioware, DLC, Xbox 360, I shall call him Eduardo

Mass Effect 2’s first batch of premium content arrives in a blaze of glory. Or rather in a small green cloud of slightly fart-smelling smoke.

Bioware’s superb sequel to their Sci Fi franchise was nicely well rounded and packed with plenty to keep you occupied as you took the fight to the collectors as a revived Shepard. Bioware’s first DLC for the game feels a bit like a Sunday newspaper colour supplement, full of padding but with very little to get your teeth into.

It covers the story of a mysterious thief, the best in the business. The curvaceous Kasumi doesn’t look a lot like her Dead or Alive namesake (more’s the pity) but she approaches Shepard to enlist his help in recovering her dead lover’s memory core from a nefarious businessman. The storyline is so shallow that it’s virtually impossible to say any more about it without ruining the content, but seasoned Mass Effect 2 characters will whip through the bulk of the DLC’s mission in double quick time (certainly under an hour, even if you really make a meal of it).

The best thing to say about the DLC is that you do get a new location to explore that’s worth a bit of your time. The worst thing to say about it is that it’s jarringly out of sequence with the rest of the game, particularly if you play it once you’ve completed Mass Effect 2’s main quest. You’ll see what I mean when you dip into it. 

Kasumi is an engaging character, so let’s hope that Bioware make good on their promise to carry over mission saves and assets from your Mass Effect 2 experience through to Mass Effect 3, as Kasumi’s stealth cloak and lockpicking expertise could definitely come in handy.

At least it’s cheap (560 MS Points) so completion freaks will buy it regardless. It’s just extremely light on content and not what we’ve come to expect from downloadable episodes for games.

Alongside the Kasumi missions, most Mass Effect 2 buyers will have also had the chance to download the Firestorm Mission Pack. In this, you’re tasked with recovering a prime piece of hardware for the mysterious Illusive Man. The P451 Firestorm Hovertank.

This juicy piece of tech looks like a cross between the hovertanks in Judge Dredd and the nasty Big Trak clone from the first Mass Effect game. The tank has the ability to perform VTOL-style jumps, and packs a hefty punch from its huge main pulse cannon. The tank can also engage scanners around any interesting artifacts or collectables, allowing you to harvest them for later use.

Unfortunately, the designers chose to clad the thing in tissue paper because even a couple of hits from the pissiest enemy will bring the thing to a stuttering smoking halt. Alas you don’t get to jump out and take on the enemy clad in your fancy new armour, so the Firestorm missions are slightly frustrating and annoying. Not least of all because you’ve no idea when the tank’s about to blow up (no armour gauge, nice bit of crap design there Bioware) and when it DOES blow up, you have to start your chosen mission all over again right from the moment your shuttle landed. That’s extremely poor.

All in all, you’re probably better off having another play through of the main game to try and polish off your achievements and hone your team before Mass Effect 3 than bothering with either DLC. The tank needs some serious improvement, though it would make a good replacement for the tedious planet scanning at least.

Disappointing then in both cases, but we’re told that Mass Effect 3 should be arriving sometime next year so sit tight and wait rather than sullying the memory of an excellent game by playing two pieces of pretty duff DLC.

User Comments:

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oneiros - on 12/04/2010 at 14:20 wrote:
Haven't played the Stolen Memory DLC, and that's party due to how awful the free Firestorm pack was. I reckon the Hammerhead was designed as a replacement for the Mako, then (quite rightly) ditched. Shepard's own personal armour can take more shots than this hovertank, and poor (read: no) checkpointing in the new levels (or at least, the one I bothered to play) meant that I turned this off within minutes of downloading it.

Very disappointing...

peej - on 12/04/2010 at 14:27 wrote:
Yup mentioned all that in my review :)

The Hammerhead still does the scanning thing, and so it's probably going to end up being even more tedious than the planet scanning if this is going to be the new method of picking up minerals and stuff in ME3.

A pity. Beefier armour and giving the team the ability to get out of the ship and hunker down to take the enemy on from cover would be a better move.

Suddenly worried that Mass Effect 3 is going to be a bit pants if the whole thing's going to hinge around how good you are in a tank.

nekotcha - on 13/04/2010 at 23:14 wrote:
I quite like the planet scanning actually, there's something quite therapeutic about it.

HairyArse - on 20/04/2010 at 16:45 wrote:
Anyone else put-off by the cock close-up relating to this article on the front-page? Tut-tut....

peej - on 20/04/2010 at 16:49 wrote:
It's the lack of cock that's probably causing more consternation.

strangeed - on 20/04/2010 at 17:04 wrote:
I played the Hammerhead missions and was underwhelmed. I was never really in any danger since the tank has the range to take out any of the big bots well before they start replying.

Jumping and boosting around was fun for a little while, but the scanning is annoying.

I had more hopes for the Kasumi content. What a shame. Might still get it in order to crest lvl 30.

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