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The Catch-Up – Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker

LairoftheShadowBroker2

Let’s continue on our Mass Effect 2 DLC journey by following up Kasumi: Stolen Memory with another DLC featuring a new squad mate: Lair of the Shadow Broker with Liara T’Soni.

Before you even load up your saved game and head off to Liara, you can tell that this DLC is going to be longer and more action oriented when compared to Kasumi: Stolen Memory. Lair of the Shadow broker is 1.5 GB in size, has five new achievements to obtain and a chance to continue that relationship with Liara that you might’ve had in Mass Effect 1; that’s a huge file, but with the name Bioware, quality, size, as well as quantity pretty much go hand in hand. It took me at least an hour and a half to finish Lair of the Shadow Broker and I unquestionably got my 800 MS Points worth. If you haven’t played the DLC yet and have a thing against spoilers, relax, for there will be no huge spoilers here because I too have that same rule against spoilers when it comes to things I want to experience on my own. Now then…

Lair of the Shadow Broker, if you haven’t guessed, is a story mission involving the Shadow Broker’s Identity, Whereabouts, and Liara trying to get to him. Cerberus gives Shepard some information regarding the Shadow Broker and when you confront Liara about it, that’s when things start moving forward and you are, more or less, locked into the mission with no option of stopping and going to do another mission somewhere else. And to be fair, why would you stop at all? The DLC is so engaging and, personally, I wanted to be reunited with Liara and see how this story resolved itself.

*Pictured above: No Love for Garrus from Liara*

Feeling like the game would somehow change, I picked Garrus and Tali for my party members and went off to Liara with my Shadow Broker info; and to my disappointment Tali nor Garrus said a word and Liara didn’t even acknowledge them. It felt like something should have been there considering the history all of the characters have with one another, but the party members you choose have no impact on the dialogue spoken, save for one part near the end with the Shadow Broker. And even then, that’s only a couple lines. Your party members don’t even comment on the area around them while walking around examining certain objects. It may sound as though I’m nitpicking, but I was really hoping for something to come out of that. On a positive note, this is my only complaint about the DLC. Well, that and the 1.5 GB file size.

Something I wasn’t expecting to do in the Mass Effect Universe was fly a car through traffic while in hot pursuit. Yes, you read that right, you actually get to drive (of would it be fly) a vehicle in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC; and it may just be the fact that I skipped the Firewalker DLC Pack and the Hammerhead vehicle as a result, but I was pretty shocked when I had to control the vehicle and not crash into anything. It took me a few tries to pass that part of the DLC and it would be an understatement to say that I was glad to be done with that part and back on solid ground. The boss with the Shadow Broker’s Assassin that followed was another part that I was glad to be done with. Not because it was overly difficult of anything, but because I was running low on ammo (due to a previous dialogue choice) and the boss kept teleporting around the area and throwing biotic shockwaves at me. If anything, it was more about paying attention to your enemy (enemies) and staying behind the right wall of cover. The Collector Particle Laser was a huge help in this fight as the Assassin has Barriers and Armor on top of her health. Upon doing some research on this particular boss fight, I discovered that it is possible to knock the Assassin off of the balcony when you have removed her barrier and armor; I wish I could have accidentally done that, it would have felt so fulfilling considering everything she had put you through (mid-air fight, car chase, attempted murder, etc).

*That guy in unlucky…and was about to retire in two days*

I mentioned last week that I had no clue how to open the power wheel during my playthrough of the Kasumi DLC. I finally figured that part out again and even though it didn’t make everything vastly easier, I did feel better knowing that I could tell Liara to use her Singularity ability; which was very effective when fighting on top of the Shadow Broker’s Ship (spoiler?) in the middle of a lightning storm. Combining that with my Slam ability resulted in bodies being sent soaring through space and eventually shocked by lightning…good times.

Things finally began drawing to a close when I reached the Shadow Broker himself…itself…whatever the hell he was. He was a big dude and quite terrifying to be close to. If I had to compare him to anything without spoiling what he looks like, I’d have to say he’s somewhere between this guy and a Snorlax. Did I mention that whoever you picked as your 3rd squadmate (as Liara takes up a slot) gets K.O’ed for the duration of the fight? Why is there no love for the old team in this DLC?! Oh, and he’s got Shields, Armor and a barrier that nullifies biotic attacks and bullets. The plus side to that situation is the fact that you can run up to the dude and trigger a cutscene in which Shepard decides to drop his guns and take care of him “the old fashioned way” by punching him in the face. I don’t say this often, but that moment was full of “fuck yeah!”

*Not the awesome moment I was referencing, but Biotic Jedi throw is awesome nonetheless*

The aftermath of the fight is all spoiler territory and it would be wrong of me in so many ways to rob you of finding out what happens for yourself. All I can say is that I was okay with what took place and that it fit perfectly, it also adds some new gameplay options and me even saying that is getting close to spoilers. I can now see why the Shadow Broker is such a powerful entity in the Mass Effect Universe and why you don’t want to screw around with a person like that.

Lair of the Shadow Broker was a great addition to Mass Effect 2 and was everything I could’ve hoped for: it had action, action, action, Liara, more action, explosions and a good story. I can only hope that The Arrival is just as good, if not better.

In fact, here’s a spoiler for you: Next Week – Mass Effect 2: The Arrival DLC

*It’s the final countdown! (Doo doo doo doo….)*

Kyree didn't have an N64 or Dreamcast as a kid (so sad) and he doesn't remember finishing any of his PlayStation games, but skip to the PS2/GC/Xbox era and everything changed. He hasn't been outside to play tag in forever, but he can recall playing way too much Smash Bros. and even more Kingdom Hearts; seriously, he can recite lines from it. I think he may have a problem.

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