Sunday, March 11, 2012

You should buy the Mass Effect 3 "From Ashes" DLC

The "From Ashes" Tarantino shot
It's all Mass Effect, all the time over here, but I don't feel guilty. For one thing, Mass Effect is amazing, and if someone doesn't want to hear about Mass Effect, I don't much care what that person thinks of my blog. For another, I know who the regular readers of this blog are, and I know that almost all of you play Mass Effect.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the "From Ashes" DLC that was released for Mass Effect 3. Anyone who bought the Collector's Edition automatically received the DLC for free. Everyone else, including me, has to pay ten dollars for it. It comes with a mission, which was pretty cool and took me about an hour (though that's just an estimate; I lose track of time pretty easily when playing Mass Effect). But the real reason to get the DLC is to get the squad member it comes with. Is it worth it?

Without going into spoilery details, yes, it is. You should get the DLC, and you should get it as soon as possible. Unlike Liara in the ME2 DLC "Lair of the Shadow Broker," the DLC character in Mass Effect 3 does not just join you for one mission. He joins you for the full game. And unlike Zaeed and Kasumi in their respective DLCs in ME2, the ME3 DLC character feels like a fully-formed, fully-integrated squad member.

Don't get me wrong, I loved both Zaeed and Kasumi, but their non-interactive conversations on the Normandy, the lack of a recruitment mission, and the instantly-unlocked loyalty mission for them made them feel like they were tacked onto the main game, which I suppose they were. The ME3 squad member, on the other hand, becomes as much a part of your group as any other squad member. Like the other squad members, he has fully interactive conversations aboard the Normandy (and not just with Shepard), and he'll shoot the breeze with you in the shuttle going down to missions.

If you're not convinced yet, this should seal the deal: he's awesome. Not only is he a badass in a fight (so are all your squadmates), he looks amazing, has a great voice, and has a compelling backstory that gives him a fascinating philosophy about the universe and the fight against the Reapers. He's definitely high on the list of squad members I like to bring along on missions because it's always interesting to hear what he has to say, and to see how people react to him.

Is he a romance option? I have no idea. I doubt it, and you'll know why when you see him. Then again, Garrus is a romance option, and as Gabe points out, he's got mandibles.

I'm excited to see what's next for my squad of heroes, including my DLC squadmate. If you're on the fence about purchasing him and have ten dollars to spare, I highly recommend you get him as soon as possible. Think of Mass Effect 3 as a cross-country road trip you're going on with your friends: you can make it to your destination and have adventures along the way without him, but if you pick him up, he'll make the rest of the trip that much more fun by being along for the ride.


  1. I got the DLC. I have to agree, Javik is pretty rad. I just hope his accent will grow on me. It's going to be tough to break into my Dream Team of Ashley, Garrus, and Tali, though.

  2. Ashley, really? I thought you liked Liara. Not that either of them are high on my list...