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Mass Effect 3 has had a tumultuous year so far, with its day one DLC controversy, ending fiasco and the too-little-too-late Extended Cut DLC. Now that BioWare has answered (most) questions concerning the fate of Shepard and the Normandy’s crew, fans are curious as to what single-player DLC will be offered next. Rumors, leaks, and hope are all fans have until someone lets the pyjak out of the bag (bad joke, I know). With San Diego Comic-Con 2012 now in the past, the only “official” information about future single-player DLC is contained within a picture:
A picture is worth a thousand words and I have asked a few people in the Mass Effect community about their thoughts concerning this image, as well as what they would like to see in future single-player DLC. But first, I will brush upon the leaked Leviathan DLC that hit Reddit forums back in June.
Late June, DLC files were found and extracted from the Extended Cut, and subsequently posted on the BioWare Social Network. The files included new dialogue from the main characters and something even more interesting: A storyline focusing on a Reaper defector named Leviathan. The premise of the DLC involves Shepard rescuing a scientist, Ann Brynson, who is located at an indoctrinated mining facility. Leviathan has been controlling this area for ten years.
Leviathan has been mentioned before in the series’s past, both directly and indirectly. “The Leviathan of Dis” is revealed when a planet is scanned in Mass Effect 1; it is categorized as a derelict starship, however. In Mass Effect 3, the Batarian Balak—who you can choose to keep alive in Mass Effect 1‘s DLC “Bring Down the Sky”—explains that the Hegemony came across an inactive reaper that is people accidentally reactivated. Fortuantely, this rumor is fact: EA announced at their 2012 Summer Showcase that BioWare is indeed coming out with the “Leviathan” DLC and it will be available later this summer for PS3, PC and Xbox 360. Rejoice!
ARE WE GOING TO KAHJE?
The few members of the Mass Effect community that I reached out to have a strong feeling that the picture BioWare released at San Diego Comic-Con is strongly linked to Kahje. Taken from the Mass Effect wiki: Kahje is also dotted with Prothean ruins, which has shaped the religion and society of the hanar. Mount Vassla, an underwater volcano, is at the heart of one of the largest Prothean ruins. From this information, at the screenshot provided, it looks like our next mission may involve Shepard going to Mount Vassala. The appearance of Kahje in the fourth issue of Mass Effect: Homeworlds may have a connection to the DLC as well.
WILL WE TAKE BACK OMEGA WITH ARIA?
For those who have read the comics, it seemed almost obvious that one of the missions in Mass Effect 3 would involve teaming up with Aria to take back Omega from Cerberus. However, that never happened. Instead, players assisted Aria in getting the mercenary groups—Eclipse, Blue Suns and Blood Pack—back under her control, and eventually received the “Terminus Fleet War Asset.” After those side missions, players could get drunk at Purgatory’s bar and wake up to Aria glaring at them on her couch, but nothing more.
What players are hoping for is a mission initiated by Aria asking Shepard for help. Clearing Omega of Cerberus is somewhat of a priority and also an unsolved problem upon the end of Mass Effect 3. The DLC will also give BioWare the opportunity to introduce a new enemy, theAdjutant. That, of course, depends on whether or not the development team can control the hostile husk’s teleport ability, which is what caused its eventual cut from the final game.
In Mass Effect 1, players encountered some different quests and dialogue based on their chosen background and psychological profile (Spacer, Earthborn, or Colonist, and Sole Survivor, War Hero, or Ruthless, respectfully). Mass Effect 2 did not venture very far into Shepard’s life, excluding moments questioning Cerberus’s motives or receiving an email from Captain Hannah Shepard, Shepard’s mom. There are even fewer mentions of Shepard’s background in Mass Effect 3, which is why a statement from Michael Gamble may be hinting at Shepard-specific DLC. Gamble told Joystiq, “That single-player DLC, whatever it is, will still be about Shepard, not someone else in the universe. Mass Effect 3 is Shepard’s story, so the single-player DLC for the game will probably focus around Shepard.” Some fans are hoping for more romance-centric DLC; however, that would not please all fans, nor would it be completely necessary. That said, BioWare has a creative writing team and they vow themselves on listening to their fanbase.
Even though future DLC pertaining only to Shepard has been made clear by Michael Gamble, one wonders why we never actually visit the Turian homeworld Palaven during the game. Yes, we made a trip to Palaven’s moon Menae, but the homeworlds of the other major races are given the spotlight (Rannoch, Thessia, Surkesh). Concept art of Palaven can be seen in The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3 and it was eventually let known that Palaven was indeed cut from the game. Many are hoping for a DLC similar to The Lair of the Shadowbroker, providing more closure on the Turian/Krogran conflict or letting the player know that his or her efforts paid off in the end, saving the planet from imminent destruction.