The first batch of Mass Effect 2 “paid for” content has arrived in the form of an extremely short playable mission covering a mysterious master thief and her quest to find the stolen memory core of her dead lover.
Fitting into the Mass Effect 2 story arc like a pair of mustard-coloured M & S Y Fronts two sizes too small, the DLC can comfortably be polished off in well under an hour.
What it does give you for your 560 MS Points is the chance to fire up Mass Effect 2 again and take your Commander Shepard out of hibernation for a trudge around a whole new location. Without giving too much of the (extremely short) storyline away, you decide to help Kasumi with her quest, adding her to the Normandy’s roster and hopefully securing her useful services for Mass Effect 3.
Kasumi is a master of stealth and security, so she can pretty much hack through any system or door. She can also render herself invisible with a nifty localised stealth cloak. Though you don’t get to control her directly in the DLC, you can certainly see how useful she’d be in future missions because she barely gets a chance to stretch her legs in Stolen Memory.
Short, ridiculously easy and somewhat jarring in the way that it doesn’t quite fit into the rest of Mass Effect 2′s action, Stolen Memory is best treated as an appetizer for another play through of the main game itself. A far more worthwhile pursuit.
In addition to the Kasumi paid-for content, Mass Effect 2 players can also download and deploy the Firestorm Pack, introducing the player to an important new piece of hardware, the Hammerhead Hover Tank. The Firestorm Pack gives you a mission structure based around recovering this vital piece of tech, before using it in various sorties and missions to get an idea of how the tank works. It feels like a supercharged anti-grav version of the Mako from the first game. Unfortunately Bioware seem to have forgotten to give the thing any armour, because even the weakest opponent in Mass Effect 2 can seemingly turn the tank into a smoking pile of scrap, and frustratingly during Hammerhead missions you don’t have the option to exit the vehicle and take on the enemy face to face.
The tank is armed with scanners, vertical take off and land capability for medium length jumps, and a main pulse cannon that’s quite a respectable weapon. The scanner hints that the Hammerhead may well be used as a direct replacement for the Mako and the planet scanning in Mass Effect 3, but Bioware really need to consider beefing up the things armour a tad before they let it loose again.
To summarize, the first batch of downloadable content for Mass Effect 2 is a little on the light side, and though the Kasumi mission is relatively cheap, it’s over so quicky that you’d better hope you don’t sneeze while playing it as you’ll miss the lot.