Mass Effect 3 Leviathan was released on the 28th of August and is the first story based DLC for Mass Effect 3. The premise is quite simple, Commander Shepard must investigate the location of the Leviathan, something that was mentioned way back in original Mass Effect. The leviathan reportedly killed a Reaper entirely on its own, and since the first Reaper Shepard encountered required multiple fleets to bring it down, having Leviathan on your side could prove to be valuable asset in the war against the Reapers.
The DLC is broken into three acts, each beginning with a visit to a new location on the Citadel before heading off to a new world for some Leviathan hunting. Thus the DLC is only playable if you have access to the Citadel. The pacing is a mix between intense gunfights were enemies seek to overwhelm you and more slow dialogue focused scenes that act to build on the mysteries surrounding Leviathan.
The whole experience feels very much like Mass Effect 1, as you race from one place to another in an attempt to track down Leviathan all the while being completely in the dark to the real truth. However this darkness is eventually lifted when you finally find Leviathan and thus gives the ending to the core game so much needed additional context.
Furthermore the DLC gives access to two new weapons, the M-55 Argus Assault Rifle and the AT-12 Raider Shotgun both of which were only available through Pre-ordering from selected retailers. It also gives access to additional Weapon Mods which were only available through the Multiplayer, including the Assault Rifle Omni Blade, Ultralight Pistol Materials and SMG Recoil System. All of these mods can be picked up on a single playthrough. The new weapons and mods are nice but ultimately serve as extra content compared to the core of the DLC, which is the story. Playing on the normal difficulty taking time to speak to crew members and search levels for goodies results in roughly three hours of gameplay.
Those that love exploring the galaxy and scanning every possible planet will be pleased to know that an additional system is also added to the game, complete with encyclopedic entries for each planet, and a number of new war assets to aid you in your final battle with the Reapers.
Many of Mass Effect’s voice actors return plus a few extras, all of which give solid performances. The only issue I had was in understanding the voice of a particular ‘plot important’ character. While it wasn’t Bane from Dark Knight Rises bad it ‘could’ warrant turning on the subtitles just to help dispel any confusion. The music is on par with what we’ve come to expect from an Mass Effect release and helps to match the tone as events both dark and creepy unfold.
Review Round Up
Graphics: 5/5 - The locations range from a barrencliffside to the dark halls of an mining colony. The final location is especially well done and makes good use of the game engine.
Sound: 4.5/5 – The music and voice acting helps to convey the tone of this adventure. Sadly the understanding of one character’s dialogue lets it down.
Gameplay: 5/5 – The final fights in each level, plus the investigation work, all add something new to the Mass Effect experience
Longevity: 3/5 - One playthrough on Paragon and another on Renegade you would have seen all that is here.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5
Leviathan is the first in what will hopefully become a series of new campaign DLC. Like Mass Effect 2′s Lair of the Shadow Broker this is worth playing just to unravel the mystery; the gunfights and new items are just the topping on the plot pie.
Mass Effect 3 Leviathan is available to download right now for 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox 360, PC and on the Playstation Network for £6.50