You may stumble over some spoilers in this article. If you don’t want them then don’t read this just yet.
As a huge Mass Effect fan, I was eagerly anticipating any new single player content from Bioware and while the trilogy may be over, Leviathan allows us to revisit Shepard and Co, to uncover a mystery surrounding an alleged “Reaper killer”. Costing 800MSP, Leviathan lasts for around 3-4 hours and is a decent entry in the series’ DLC cabinet but falls short of what I was hoping for.
After receiving a message from Admiral Hackett, you are sent to a laboratory on the Citadel to meet a man named Dr Bryson. Here he tells you of a discovery that could impact the war and pretty soon, you are sent on your first of three missions, soon returning to the laboratory. Unfortunately this pattern is repeated twice more, which I found to be rather monotonous. The settings themselves are varied however; ranging from a creepy orbital base to an oceanic world enclosed by huge waves. The latter was very impressive to me, showcasing a beautiful vista, surrounded by destroyed ship wreckage. There is also new squad dialogue, weapons (previously only available through preorders), weapon mods and a few new war assets to discover.
Unfortunately the combat sections are nothing new. You fight the same enemies in the same style as you always have and with the exception of a couple of objectives added from multiplayer mode, there is nothing drastically different. Combat is broken up on the Citadel, where Shepard plays detective and discovers his next destination by finding clues in the laboratory. These act as filters on the Galaxy Map, narrowing down a group of planets to find the one you need. I personally enjoyed this game play element, even if it simply amounted to selecting objects that weren’t previously applicable and choosing the correct filters. This is somewhat optional however, as you can ignore the filters and just scan the planets one at a time.
While this story does have some moments of emotional engagement, it falls short. Where previous content succeeded were in its emotional character driven moments such as the moral issues in the ending of Overlord or your relationship with Liara in the Shadow Broker. However here, I found it hard to care about characters I had only just met and would rather see future content based on already established cast members. Still, the final reveal in Leviathan is enjoyable and makes an excellent addition to the lore of the series and answers a question a lot of players, myself included, had.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest flaws with Leviathan (as well as future DLC) is the fact that if you have completed the game before, you know how it ends. This doesn’t change it. All that is added in the ending is a small amount of dialogue. You still get the same end game decisions as you have done before. Therefore, some players may not see any reason to play it when they already know the outcome. But for those who have not completed it before, or who simply cannot get enough Mass Effect, it is a solid purchase well worth buying.
Written by Adam Bateman.