After playing the Leviathan DLC I was left with inquisition and head cannons all over the place. The excellent story, as mentioned in my last review, unfolded smoothly and answered questions I never thought I had. It exceeded my expectations, and fortunately, the latest Mass Effect DLC, Omega, does the same. Featuring approximately four hours of action-packed gameplay, Omega left me quite pleased. This DLC is a must-by for any Mass Effect fan.
The following review contains minor to major spoilers. Please continue at your own risk.
You start off on the Normandy with an e-mail from Aria telling you to report to Dock 42 on the Citadel immediately. Her “assistant” Batarian, Bray, awaits your arrival, and makes a smartass remark about not having his autograph book for you to sign. As you pile into the vehicle with Bray and Aria, she tells you she needs your help to reclaim Omega, not only for her own benefits, but to in return give you eezo, fleets, and troops. For those who did not play Mass Effect 2, Omega is similar to the Citadel; a city that hangs beneath a giant meteor with metal supports. Aria has ruled the city/planet/meteor of Omega for over a thousand years from her couch in the infamous nightclub, the Afterlife.
Some back story: If you read the Dark Horse Mass Effect comics that bridge Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, then Oleg Petrovsky–the man who took over Omega–isn’t foreign to you. In the comics, Petrovsky takes Aria away from Omega, per The Illusive Man’s request. Cerberus troops overrun Omega, and Aria is left outnumbered. He eventually “lets her escape,” which you learn later in the DLC.
Omega’s early moments are slow as Aria constantly talks about wanting to take Omega back–and there’s a severe lack of conversational options. They also involve watching Aria’s fleet take on the protection fleet Cerberus planted around the Omega-4 Relay. Frankly, it’s a bit boring. But things quickly pick up.
Like any DLC that Mass Effect has to offer, Omega is jam-packed with new goodies. Leviathan introduced the assault rifle omni-blade, which added a blade to your assault rifle for heavy melee attacks. Omega introduces the shotgun omni-blade, which Vanguards will find especially useful. If you’ve played Vanguard, you know the most effective way to destroy an enemy is to use charge, followed by a shotgun blast to the face. My preferred method of attack in this DLC is to use charge, followed by Nova, and a melee attack with the shotgun omni-blade.You also get high-velocity assault rifle and shotgun barrels, which add more damage, a thermal sniper-rifle scope, and most importantly, Aria as a squad member.
The way Bioware brings Aria into the squad member is how I wish it had done with Jack in Mass Effect 2. Jack was touted as a “super biotic,” but when you actually used her, she was no different than any other adept. Aria, on the other hand, comes loaded with two unique biotic abilities: Flare and Lash.
Flare is an AOE attack that causes massive damage by sending out a huge biotic blast. If you feel cornered at any point, this is an excellent way to get yourself out of a tight situation. The cool down time for this ability is quite long, so when leveling up, do what you can to shorten it. Lash, although not as exciting as flare, allows Aria to latch onto enemies and knock them off their feet; similar to a more powerful Shockwave. She also starts off with both 1000 health and Barrier.
As you get closer to Omega’s core, you meet with Nyreen, the series’ first female Turian. Since Turians are based off birds, like most bird species, the female has a lack of headdress. Her voice is raspy like the others, and her eyes quite bright. Her frame is nearly identical to a male Turian, except that her angled breastplate protrudes more.
She, too, comes with a unique biotic ability: Biotic Protector. This is a powerful shield similar to the one Samara uses in the suicide mission at the end of Mass Effect 2. If you select the corresponding attributes as you level up the biotic Protector skill, you can also have it cause damage.
As Nyreen temporarily separates from the group, you later find out that she’s the leader of the Talons, a street gang that has in the past rebelled against Aria’s rule. As Aria and Nyreen make small argument over it, you sense tension between the two.
The fun begins once you reach Omega’s core. For the next two hours it’s nothing but heavy combat and interesting findings. Two new enemies are added to this DLC: Adjutants and rampart mechs. Adjutants are a new type of Reaper that Cerberus began developing and testing, and the main reason why Cerberus took over Omega in the first place–to breed them. Rampart mechs are heavily armored, can sustain more damage, and attack with an omni-blade when getting up close. Towards the end when you approach Afterlife, you’ll find a console with video logs going deeper into the Adjutants. They don’t really explain where the Adjutants come from, just that they are a new form of Reaper. Nyreen, however, shows fear towards them, implying that their experimentation on Omega had been going on for quite some time.
I’m not going to spoil the rest of the content, but I will tell you this: Buy it. Get the change from under the couch, under your bed, left over GameStop gift cards from over the years, I don’t care—Omega was whole-heartedly worth my $15. The last hour of brutal combat, mixed emotions, and unveiled secrets stirred the same feelings as Lair of the Shadow Broker. I’m willing to go as far as saying that Omega is Mass Effect 3’s Shadow Broker.
Like Aria once said, “don’t fuck with Omega.” Take back what’s yours!