Mass Effect 2: Overlord

FeatureMass 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: Overlord

Overlord, the latest and largest of the Mass Effect DLC packs, is a mixed bag in the best possible way. It's a medium-sized adventure that never lets one gameplay element dominate for too long, leavening the expected duck-and-cover combat with openworld exploration and a dash of environmental puzzling, all wrapped up in a story that builds to a satisfying and pathos-heavy finale. It is almost exactly what you want from a low-priced downloadable add-on.

It begins, as all these things do, with a new marker added to the Galaxy Map. There you'll find an abandoned Cerberus research facility, dead bodies strewn all over the place and signs of an almighty struggle everywhere you look. Once you discover the chief scientist, conveniently also the lone survivor of the massacre, you start to unravel what went down.

Turns out Cerberus has been researching ways to combine the human mind with that of the Geth. The result turns out to be an adorable little Labrador puppy called Scraps McKenzie, who joins your crew and amuses everyone with his mischievous ways. Actually, no. The result is a murderous Virtual Intelligence that has taken control of all the technology on the planet, and now plans to beam itself into space so it can spread to other worlds. Announcing its presence by howling in an often-incoherent digital roar that is genuinely unnerving, it makes for an effective - if mostly unseen - enemy.

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Mass Effect 2 Overlord DLC dated

Duke: Manhattan Project for XBLA too.

Microsoft's latest Xbox Live schedule has given us solid dates for the Mass Effect 2 Overlord expansion and the Xbox Live Arcade re-release of Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project.