Game Review: Mass Effect 3 – Leviathan DLC

To pick up a game long after you have completed it is a strange feeling, especially when you know a game developer still has more downloadable content to add onto it. Having owned my Xbox 360 for close to a year has made it an entirely new experience to own a game that still has more content in the making. Mass Effect 3 is a game where I had to revisit my female Shepard again to play the Leviathan DLC.

It’s not the first time I had to load up a previous game save after completing it. The Extended Cut DLC is one instance of this. The difference between doing the Extended Cut and Leviathan is the Extended Cut tries to add onto what currently exists in the ending. And for an ending, you can’t help but want to know what an additional add-on to the existing ending would do for the entire game experience. Leviathan, on the other hand, is a whole new mission that fits somewhere in between the middle of the game. It does feel a tad awkward to play this new mission when I have already walked my Shepard through every aspect of the game from start to finish. Regardless, it hasn’t stopped me from buying Leviathan and diving back into the world of Mass Effect 3. It is just great to be able to revisit my Shepard and all of the characters again.

The Leviathan DLC sends your Shepard to meet Dr. Bryson in his lab on the Citadel to talk about his discovery concerning a rogue Reaper named Leviathan. Before Dr. Bryson has a chance to explain to Shepard the full details of his research, Dr. Bryson’s assistant gets possessed and shoots the poor doctor dead. The assistant tries to come after Shepard next, but is able to restrain him until the C-Sec officers arrive.

During the assistant’s interrogation scene, he claims to have blacked out and has no recollection of shooting Dr. Bryson. All he remembers is that he suddenly felt as if he was in a cold and dark place. When Shepard tries to push the assistant to tell him/her everything there is to know about Bryson’s research on Leviathan, the assistant suddenly clutches his head and screams in pain. The assistant is taken away to get medical attention, but clearly Shepard has his/her work cut out for them as the curious case of Leviathan gets a whole lot more mysterious and dangerous.

A large part of the DLC plays out like a detective story as many other reviewers have pointed out. Shepard kind of takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes with EDI acting as Watson. You have to scope out the lab for clues that will lead you to Leviathan. This new aspect of the gameplay is highly enjoyable. I got into guiding Shepard around Bryson’s lab to interact with the various objects and research materials scattered throughout the room. Discovering what is relevant to the search for Leviathan isn’t difficult to grasp as you just click and see if certain objects are the pieces you need on your quest. The DLC does offer new weapons and mods, and you obtain a new room “decoration” for Shepard’s cabin––a husk head that screams at your Shepard every time you click on it. The husk head was a strange thing to pick up as a souvenir to take away from this mission though.

Once every clue has been gathered (there are several times you will have to go back to Bryson’s lab to gather additional clues), Shepard pinpoints the location of Leviathan to a watery world. The new locations in the game are much moodier, creepier, and also spectacular to soak in as you play. What isn’t fun is having to fight against waves of enemies, but if you played and beaten the game before, it’s nothing you haven’t already done.

Confronting Leviathan towards the end of the mission does give you a better understanding of the Reapers and where they come from, but doing this mission post-end game is a bit useless. Obtaining the new weapons and mods don’t really help much either when you are a player just coming back to play this new mission after having beaten the game at least once. Same goes for gaining this mysterious rogue Reaper as a war asset.

I agree with a lot of reviewers who have said this mission is sort of worth getting if you haven’t played the game before or are in the middle of finishing it. If you are a hardcore Mass Effect fan who wants more time with Shepard and are interested in more lore, then it’s worth the Xbox points. As for me, I’m quite satisfied with this DLC. This became one of my favorite missions to play for Mass Effect 3. It is also nice to hear new recorded dialogue from your Shepard as well as the crew. It’s a reminder of just how good this game is.

Reviewer Rating: 8.5/10

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