Mass Effect 3: Omega Review (PC)

Mass Effect 3 is a great game. It is the epic finale to one of the greatest franchises in the genre. But looking closer, something is missing. Throughout the campaign, Aria T’Loak can be found sitting at the sidelines of the Citadel’s club. She repeatedly tells Shepard that the great have fallen; she has lost control of her personal paradise, Omega. She also mentions that she is going to retake Omega from Cerberus. This plot point is never returned to, so fans of both the location and the character might have felt a little bit disappointed. Rumours and reports mention a mission that would have filled this void, but digging through the game, its certainly not there.

In comes Mass Effect 3: Omega, the game’s second story-based DLC. For those of you disappointed, this chapter is for you. Like many, I enjoyed Omega in ME2 as a piece of Mass Effect lore. Returning to it should have been nostalgic and powerful. While Mass Effect 3: Omega does hit some high notes, it fails to identify as a stand-out mission.

afterlife

Omega has just one rule; You do not talk about Omega

Before we dismiss the DLC entirely, let’s finish this review. Because, truthfully, there is a lot of intrigue and fun to be had in ME3: Omega. Upon beginning the mission, Shepard and Aria plan an attack on Omega. And that’s it. The plot is much simpler than Liar of the Shadow Broker or Leviathan, which has Shepard piecing together clues. Instead, Omega has a straight forward objective, and the characters gradually push forward until the climatic conclusion.

The plot is a bit of a let-down, if only because we are used to so much more from paid DLC. On the plus side, however, is the first sighting of a female Turian. While this felt more like fan-service, due to its late inclusion in the franchise, it was fascinating to see the design. Her name is Nyreen, and she accompanies you on your fight for Omega. While Aria is an established character with a celebrity voice actress, Nyreen actually became a quick fan-favorite for me. Her presence in Omega gave me hope for the crime-ritten station.

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It is still unconfirmed whether or not she has flexibility

Nyreen isn’t the only refreshing touch-up from ME3: Omega. Another welcomed addition were the new enemies. While I won’t spoil too much, Omega throws more than just Cerberus agents at you. The only infantry that I will mention, however, were the rampant mechs. I am mentioning them because they are one of the two radically new enemy types. While the other add tonal value to the DLC, the rampart mechs are just annoying. They are standard, and always come in numbers. They have extended health, making the combat feel repetitive. Overall, they are not a welcome addition to the various types of Cerberus troops.

Keep in mind, this is a spoiler-free review. As much as I’d like to talk about the most memorable part of the mission, it happens at the end of the DLC. You revisit an area from the second game, and is pretty much what we all bought the DLC for. But this brings me to my biggest problem with ME3: Omega; the environment. ME3: Omega doesn’t take place in the familiar areas of the station. Nor is it like the multiple appearances of the Citadel throughout the trilogy; taking you to a different, yet notable, section each game. ME3: Omega takes place behind-the-scenes. I’m not talking about dark alleyways, but instead maintenance areas and other uninteresting locales. The repetitive blandness of the locations left a bitter taste in my mouth, but in a way, built up for the well-executed finale.

The last point worth mentioning when talking about ME3: Omega is the difficulty of the final battle. Omega curved in difficulty several times, but none more frustrating that the final battle. While this was easily the best part of the DLC, it was also the hardest. Why? Simply because they didn’t make it clear how to beat it. There is a distinct strategy that you will probably figure out after a few tries. After that, it is no longer aggravating, and is much easier to enjoy. Even so, I was playing on Insanity difficulty, so it may feel more natural on lower difficulty settings.

Aria-Tloak

Throughout the course of the game, she’ll make it very clear that she IS Omega

Overall, Omega was disappointing, but satisfying at moments. It wasn’t nearly as consistent as some of the series’ other DLC missions, nor did it hit their heights. With that said, it is worth playing for the context. If it feels missing from the main story of Mass Effect 3, you might want to pick this up after you have played some of the other more crucial DLCs of the series. ME3: Omega is not bad, by any standards, but it doesn’t live up to its expectations. It introduces some interesting elements such as memorable characters and enemies, but stumbles dramatically along the way. Its enjoyable at times, annoying during others. You can easily pass on playing it, but the vacation to Omega isn’t a waste of time.

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