Throughout the Mass Effect series there have been many elusive presences in the galaxy, none more so than the Shadow Broker (the Illusive Man falls short on a spelling technicality). Thankfully with the new DLC for Mass Effect 2, titled Lair of the Shadow Broker, we are finally getting some answers about this mysterious character.
Back in January Commander Shepard’s world came to an end when he went down with his ship during a Collector attack. Unbeknownst to him a battle for his remains ensued in which the Shadow Broker agreed to retrieve his body for the Collectors, but one thing he did not expect was his team’s loyalty postmortem. Long story short, Liara is able to steal Shepard back. Now, in this DLC Liara and Shepard get a meatier set of missions than those previously played in the second game, taking on the Shadow Broker, no less.
At this stage in the game the controls and gameplay should be familiar to the player. However, this does not mean that BioWare is afraid to add new elements to the universe. Like the Hammerhead before, a new vehicle has been added to the gameplay. A little while into the DLC Shepard must chase someone through the sky streets in a taxi of the future, and though the attempt at giving the players something new is worthy of a round of applause, it might be a little unenthusiastic because the manipulation of the car is actually quite shallow.
Other than this, Lair of the Shadow Broker quickly becomes an entertaining jaunt down memory lane, with an epic sense to it as the first game did when working towards the final confrontation with Saren. Shepard starts off on Illium, where he will have to travel through a few larger buildings before finally getting to search out the Shadow Broker’s ship. These sections are comparable to the missions that came before while on this planet (such as Thane’s recruitment), with a lot of combat while working through a couple of buildings. With the similarities in mind, the level design is still fresh, living up to the high standard of the rest of the game. Eventually Shepard makes it to the Shadow Broker’s ship, which harks back to the same look and gameplay of the final level of game one in which Shepard must make his way up the side of the Citadel. With that said, this time around there is something much more satisfying when flinging enemies into the air because there is a chance that they will be hit with a burst from the electrical cloud above.
The Shadow Broker has been a man of legend within the Mass Effect series, and the encounter with him will definitely satisfy all of the fans who have been waiting for this moment. Plus, if the Mass Effect series continues as it has before, there is a good chance that the events that unfold following this face time will have a great impact on Shepard’s future, with the possibility for some great missions (whether it be in future DLC packs or in the third game itself). Only time will tell for this, but there is no harm in keeping fingers crossed. Until then, be sure to take advantage of the additional content following the final battle, which provides a lot of random insight into the main characters of Mass Effect 2, as well as nods as far back to events of the first game.
Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker is every gamers dream when it comes to amazing downloadable content. The story is strong and ties back to past events, finally providing closure for them and promise for the future, making it a must have for all fans of this universe.
Final Grade: 9.5/10