DLC Review: Arrival

Dr. Amanda Kenson. Trust me, by the end you’ll wish you’d left her like this.

Plot:  Sometime after the events of the suicide mission (again, you can play this dlc at any point but it makes logical sense to play this, not only after the suicide mission, but as the very last mission) Shepard receives a message from Admiral Hackett about a covert agent being kidnapped by Batarians.  Dr. Kenson’s team was investigating a Reaper artifact found in an asteroid in a Batarian-controlled system when she was captured & is now imprisoned on terrorism charges.  Your job is to go in alone & save her.  But that’s just the first half.  Once you do rescue her, you learn what her team discovered from the artifact: The relay in the system will allow the Reapers to invade, & they’ll be arriving in two days!


  • 1 assignment
  • 2 locations, the planet Aratoht & Project Base (both become inaccessible after mission completion)
  • 3 upgrades, Heavy Weapon Ammo (+15% heavy weapon ammo capacity), Medi-gel Capacity (+1), & Heavy Skin Weave (+70% health)
  • 3 achievements, The Ultimate Sacrifice (complete dlc), Last Stand (survive all 5 waves for Object Rho) & Covert Action (rescue Kenson without hostile attention)
  • Total gameplay time added: around 2 hrs

Cost:  560 MP

Yes, that is a Mass Relay in the background

Opinion:  I thought the story for Arrival was up to BioWare’s usual standards.  The storyline is interesting & how a few plot twists along the way.  At least for my playthrough as a Paragon, I really felt guilty in the end.  As usual, BioWare has Shepard making tough choices.  I’m very interested to see how the trial plays out in ME3.  Also, I know it’s kind of a weird thing to be excited about, but I liked that you actually get to see Hackett.  In ME1 he was just a voice on the radio.  But you actually see him face-to-face in Arrival.  I know, kinda strange, but I liked putting a face with the name & voice.

I think the issue most people had with Arrival that made them think it’s the worst of the three dlc’s is that the gameplay is much more straightforward than in Overlord & Lair of the Shadow Broker.  It’s pretty much what you’re used to, with two exceptions: One is that for most of the mission you’re completely alone.  That’s right, solo mission.  You only have a squadmate once you rescue Kenson, & that’s only until you reach the base.  This makes gameplay more challenging, depending on what your class is.  The only specialized enemies you face have shields & one heavy mech at the end.  My Infiltrator had little trouble, especially using Cloak, but the shielded enemies can be a nusience.  The second change is a very small one.  Not wanting to spoil anything, but at one point you’re captured & imprisoned.  The only way to get out is the control a security mech.  It’s an interesting idea, but the gameplay isn’t too different from usual, & it’s a very short segment.  Literally you just walk & shoot through 2 waves of mechs (3 per wave) & then take out the power box.

Admiral Hackett in the flesh

Those points aside, the gameplay still works just as well as it did in the rest of the game.  It’s just nothing groundbreakingly new.

I still recommend this dlc.  Although it is the weakest of the three dlc’s because it doesn’t add any new gameplay modes, it’s solid story makes it worth playing — if for no other reason than to see what happens in ME3.

– GamerDame


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Filed under DLC Review, XBox 360

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