By Joseph Leray
BioWare and Electronic Arts have announced the final batches of downloadable content for “Mass Effect 3”: “Citadel” is a single-player campaign expansion, while “Reckoning” is a multiplayer pack containing new weapons, maps, and skins.
Like all multiplayer updates so far, “Reckoning” will be free, but “Citadel” will run to the tune of $14.99, or 1200 Microsoft Points on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Neither the press release or official statements on the game’s forums mention the Wii U version of the game, which launched with some DLC, but not “Leviathan” or “Omega.”
“Reckoning,” introduces new character classes to “Mass Effect 3”’s co-operative, Horde-like multiplayer section. In addition to the debut of the Krogan Warlord, Geth Juggernaut, Female Turian Raptor, Talon Mercenary, and Alliance Infiltration Unit, “Reckoning” features new weapons and equipment mods as well. The multiplayer pack will be available next week, on the 26th.
Meanwhile, as a capstone to the long-running Shepard trilogy, “Citadel” will have players traipsing through the titular space station alongside their favorite teammates from “Mass Effect” and “Mass Effect 2,” assuming they weren’t murdered by Saren or killed by a group of mercenaries. Rest in peace, Ashley and Zaeed. Or not, actually -- you guys weren’t my favorites.
As you might expect for a set of missions that take place in the interstellar political hub, “Citadel” is about investigating and quashing a conspiracy targeted against Commander Shepard. Even after the story line is completed, though, players will still have access to new areas within the Citadel, including a casino, combat arena, and Shepard’s own apartment.
To accommodate the extra content, “Citadel” weighs in at a whopping 4 GB -- while PC and PlayStation 3 users will be able to download the whole thing, the DLC will be split into two parts on the Xbox 360 to get around Microsoft’s 2 GB cap. According to BioWare community manager Chris Priestly, users will pay for the first pack and download the second for free. Players won’t be able to access “Mass Effect 3: Citadel” until both pieces are installed.
"Citadel” has been in the works for months at BioWare’s Edmonton studio, prompting BioWare to bring in a group of eight writers (including lead writer Mac Walters), composers Sam Hulick, Sascha Dikiciyan, and Cris Velasco, and voice actor Seth Green. Previous downloadable content for “Mass Effect 3” was developed at BioWare's Montreal studio, who are also taking point on the next "Mass Effect" game .
“Citadel” will be available on March 5, and is likely the last piece of narrative content in the sprawling sci-fi opera until the release of “Mass Effect 4” (or, as I prefer, “M4ss Effect”).