Mass Effect 2: Firewalker Pack

Mass Effect: The Stories So Far

Reap the spoilers: a review of the wider universe of books, comics and add-ons...

Looking forward to Mass Effect 3? Of course you are. If you've only played the first two games, though, you've barely scratched the surface of BioWare's amazing sci-fi universe. There are books, comics and of course, a whole stack of downloadable add-ons that fill in the gaps, take you to places Shepard doesn't get to go, and explain details you may have missed - like exactly why everyone hates Cerberus so much. But which ones are worth your time, which are essential if you want to appreciate the full story, and which can be skipped? We've checked them all out. For you.

Mass Effect 2 DLC Roundup

Mass Effect 2 DLC Roundup

Firewalker Pack and Kasumi - Stolen Memory.

It's been interesting to see BioWare, consummate master of the long-form narrative, come to terms with the new storytelling territory offered by downloadable content. After fumbling the ball with a drab pair of morsels for the original Mass Effect, it's been far more proactive with its sequel, as well as its sibling, Dragon Age. It's not been an easy journey, however. Finding ways to insert new, compelling tales into enormous pre-existing stories, and making those tales resonate on their own terms, is a skill that the RPG behemoth is arguably still grinding towards, one painstaking XP point at a time.

Mass Effect 2 has fared better than Dragon Age, that much is clear. There's not really been any DLC that can compare to Return to Ostagar for sheer pointlessness, and even the less compelling offerings have either been free (as in the case of the Normandy Crash Site interlude) or easily ignored (as in the case of downloadable sunglasses for Thane).

What is most exciting is that the two most recent additions to the Mass Effect tapestry showcase a developer that is using DLC not to suck up more cash by offering more of the same, but to play around with parameters of the original game in novel ways.

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