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Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker Review

Since the release of Mass Effect 2, players have been clamoring for a real expansion pack instead of the scant offerings such as new weapons and armor. The two new characters, Zaeed and Kasumi hardly took more than an hour to complete their offerings and the recently released "Operation Overlord Pack" looked to be the expansion fans were hoping for, but it turned out to be little more than a very linear and short taste of more action. The Lair of the Shadow Broker expansion makes up for all of that and more.

Cerberus has ascertained (by questionable means, I’m sure) a lead as to the location of the Shadow Broker’s lair and it’s your job to team up with Liara T’soni and help bring down this mysterious force. As you delve further into the 3+ hour expansion, you’ll uncover the secrets of the Shadow Broker. This expansion extends the story arc that is established in the “Mass Effect: Redemption” comic book, in which Liara and a drell named Feron recover Shepard’s body from the Shadow Broker and turn it over to the Cerberus Corporation. It isn’t necessary to have read the comic for the DLC to be entertaining but it’s a very good companion. If you have followed the story diligently then you will not be disappointed by the way the characters are portrayed in-game.

liara and shepard

Liara is noticeably hardened and less naïve than she was in the first game; this is evidenced by her new job on Illium. Throughout the expansion she expresses opinions similar to that of a “renegade” Commander Shepard. This new Liara offers sort of a reprieve for the gamers who were annoyed by her demeanor from the first game. For the duration of the expansion Liara is required to be in your party at all times. She is still a biotic and veterans of the first Mass Effect will recognize the return of her signature Singularity. In addition, she also has the abilities Warp, Stasis, and Atari Scientist, which is a class specific role that allows you to either upgrade her biotic abilities or her weapons. You can also continue your romance with her, provided that you had a romance with her in the first game.

The main problem I have with the expansion is that the environments are not particularly diverse and there are not many opportunities to explore. The story is also not as evolved as it should be, and unless you read the Mass Effect: Redemption comic you then you are not going to get the whole story; at that point, it really devolves into “go here and shoot that.” That being said, it is a fantastic addition to the game and should add at least a few hours to your play through. Lair of the Shadow also does a very good job of bridging the gap between Mass Effect 2 and 3, while also being ambiguous enough to fit almost anywhere inside of the Mass Effect 2 storyline. I won’t spoil any major plot points but there are some major perks for finishing the expansion pack, especially if you haven’t completed the game yet.  New boss fights, an epic story, and 200 achievement points await you inside of the Shadow Broker’s Lair all for the low, low price of 800 Microsoft Points.



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