Sunday, 2 December 2012

Mass Effect 3 Omega Review

The three heroes of 'Omega', Aria, Shepard and Nyreen

The ‘Omega’ downloadable content is the newest story related update for the critically acclaimed Mass Effect 3 and was released earlier this week.  It takes Commander Shepard and drops him/her into the bowels of Omega, a space station home to some of the worst criminals in the galaxy that is now under the rule of the terrorist organisation Cerberus.  Shepard joins forces with Aria T’Loak, former big boss of Omega.  If Shepard can help aria retake her station she will give Shepard ships, soldiers and resources that may help in the battle to save all life in the galaxy.

‘Omega’ is one of the better pieces of dlc for Mass Effect 3.  So far the majority of the extra content for the game has been multi-player content, with the only other piece of story content (other than the extended cut) being ‘Leviathan’.  Where ‘Leviathan’ offered a mystery story ‘Omega’ is a straight up action story.  From start to finish it’s Shepard and Omega against Cerberus.  And it’s great.

Revisiting the Omega space station last seen in Mass Effect 2 the player is taken through the dirty and gritty under-hive of one of the most lawless places in the Mass Effect Universe.  Many of the other locations featured in Mass Effect 3 are planetary environments and as such are large, fairly open areas.  This is scrapped in ‘Omega’ in favour of dark, tight tunnels that turn combat from army vs. army battles into small, desperate skirmishes. 

Along with the change in setting is also a change in squad mates to accompany you.  Gone are your companions from the main game, instead replaced by the leader of the assault on Omega, Aria T’Loak, and a new face to the series Nyreen Kandros, former Turian soldier and current leader of the Talon Gang that make Omega their home.

What makes Nyreen stand out as an addition to the series is the fact that she is the first female Turian to appear in the games.  To date female Turians have only appeared in the extended media, but Omega marks the first time one has appeared in the actual games and focuses as much on her as it does Aria and Shepard.  A former Turian soldier that was thrown out of the military after she developed biotic abilities she came to Omega and met Aria.  The two of them became close friends and allies until Nyreen became disillusioned with the way of life on Omega.  Since that day she disappears, only to return during the Cerberus occupation of Omega as the leader of the Talon gang, with the mission of freeing the citizens of Omega from Cerberus rule.

Nyreen Kandros, Mass Effect's first female Turian

Nyreen is a great addition to the Mass Effect universe, and it’s great to spend more time with Aria and see some more depth to her character rather than just ‘crime lord’.  Along with some great action sequences, a brand new set of environments to travel around and new characters ‘Omega’ is a fun addition to Mass Effect 3 that helps to build on what was already in the game, as well as continuing on plot threads introduced in the comic series.

Great fun to play and has some excellent new additions to the game and the series as a whole.  My only complaint with it is that Nyreen does not stick around beyond the dlc into the main game as a new squad mate companion.  8/10.


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