Continuing my obsession with finishing Mass Effect 2 & all its dlc’s (I’m not sure why, since that just means I’ll have to wait longer for ME3), I recently finished the Lair of the Shadow Broker. The Lair is the longest & most expensive of the dlc’s. Although it was released after Overlord, this was actually the first major dlc pack I heard of. Like Overlord, this pack can be played before you’ve finished the suicide mission, but it’s recommended you play it after. The dialogue assumes you’ve finished it. I’ve heard many say it’s the best of the three dlc missions. But is it?
Plot: Shepard receives a message from Cerberus intel that they’ve gathered information about the possible location of the Shadow Broker, but because of Liara’s past they think it’s better if you give it to her. Liara agrees to work with you to hunt the Shadow Broker down, especially when she learns that her friend, who she thought had been killed by the Broker’s agents, was actually alive & imprisoned at the base.
- 1 mission
- 1 temporary squadmate (Liara joins your squad for most of the mission)
- 1 location, Shadow Broker Base (becomes a 2nd hub after completion)
- 1 bonus power, Stasis
- 6 upgrades, 1 damage upgrade for each weapon & 1 Damage Protection
- 2 cabin items, Shepard’s dog tag & Shadow Broker Base ship model
- 5 achievements, Detail Oriented (use all information terminals), Most Dangerous Game (defeat assassin), Heart of Darkness (confront Shadow Broker), The Hard Way (complete dlc on Hardcore or Insanity) & Catching Up (talk with Liara on the Normandy)
- Total gameplay time added: 3-4 hrs
Cost: 800 MP
Opinion: I think this is the best dlc out of the three. In the end you feel very satisfied with yourself. First of all, you finally get to meet (& kill) the Shadow Broker, the mysterious figure you learned about from the first game. Second, it’s nice to have Liara back in your squad, even if it is just for the mission. You can upgrade her abilities like any other member in your squad.
I’ve heard some people say the dlc’s are the best part of ME2. I’m not sure if that’s entirely true, but I know I had more fun playing through The Lair than any other part of the game. The gameplay switches up a lot. It starts out basically enough, with you running around buildings & fighting enemies. But about an hour in you get what, in my opinion, is the best part of the dlc (at least gameplay-wise): You finally get to fly a sky car! I wished you could do that for the entire game, & you finally can. Not only that, but it’s during a chase. The sky car chase was my favorite part of the entire game, not just the dlc. I think a large part of that was because of the constant commentary between Liara & Shepard. It’s hilarious, & had me grinning the entire time.
While we’re on the subject, the running dialogue between Liara & Shepard is what really made this dlc enjoyable for me. Yeah, your squadmates chime in from time to time, but usually it’s only during cutscenes. But I enjoyed the banter during the mission. It’s very humorous, & really shows the personality & camaraderie between the two. I especially liked when you’re fending off enemies waiting for Liara’s hacking tool to open the door & Shepard comments, “Remember the old days when you could just slap omni-gel on everything?” I really hope this carries over to ME3.
The battle to board the Shadow Broker’s ship is also impressive. It’s very similar to the end of ME1 when you’re running around the outside of the Citadel. It has the same massive-scale feel. Plus it’s fun to use the lighting rods on the ship to electrocute enemies. And while I don’t want to spoil who & what the Shadow Broker is, the battle with him is unique. It’s singles combat with you & Liara, & you have to use melee attacks.
Overall, if you own ME2 you owe it to yourself to get this dlc. It’s the best one, with never a dull moment. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out in ME3, & hopefully the changes we saw in this will carry over.