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Mass Effect 2 DLC PDF Print E-mail
Written by Starfox / Silver Sorrow   
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 21:05
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Mass Effect 2 DLC
Zaeed: The Price Of revenge
Normandy Crash Site
Project Firewalker
Kasumi: Stolen Memory
Lair Of The Shadow Broker
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Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker

Project Firewalker (Firewalker Pack)

Type: Additional Missions / Playable vehicle

As we said in our review of vanilla Mass Effect 2, the game didn't first come with a ground vehicle. Released a few weeks after the game, the task of the Firewalker DLC is to introduce players to the M-44 Hammerhead, an armored hovercraft that replaces the good old Mako from the first game. On the plus side, the empty room in the Normandy docking bay is finally filled; on the minus side, the Hammerhead can only be used in missions that were designed for it (you can't decide on a hunch to go accomplish with it one of the missions from the vanilla game; these missions were designed to be accomplished on foot and the Hammerhead needs significantly more room to manoeuver).

Which is a shame. I guess it really doesn't matter anyway, since most of the planetside missions are pretty much linear point-to-point exercises with very little room for exploration (or improvisation, I might even go so far as to say). A hovercraft would just get stuck in the corridors of Omega, but I think there'd be enough clearance to make Aria blast a brick through her knickers, at least.
 

Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker

To this effect, this DLC also contain 5 different missions on different planets which will put the Hammerhead in almost any situation it may encounter (volcano world, frozen lands...). The vehicle itself does not handle like the old Mako at all. For one, it doesn't have any wheel. Instead, it is propulsed a few feet above the ground with three specially designed engines. You can perform jumps with it (which are mandatory in a lot of situations) and you can give an acceleration boost to close important gaps or to evade some incoming fire. The Hammerhead features one unique weapon, a rapid-fire missile launcher with tracking capabilities (in other words your missiles will lock on the first target on the line of fire -- which may not be the one you are actually aiming at). It is also to be noted that unlike with the Mako, you can't exit the Hammerhead whenever you want but only at specific locations. The fact is there's no reason to exit it most of the time as the vehicle comes with a feature allowing you to gather resources and the only times that you are proposed to exit it it's because it cannot go where you have to.

I got the hang of the controls quickly for some reason (I'm usually terrible at this sort of thing), and I ended up having a blast and a half on all of the missions. Why can't all DLC be this fun??
 

Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker

The set of missions itself will lead Shepard on the track of two Cerberus scientists Dr Cayce and Dr O'Loy who vanished after the crash of their ship, the MSV Rosalie. Why and how will be yours to discover. Fortunately for you, the Rosalie also transported the only prototype of the M44 Hammerhead. The missions are specifically tailored for the Hammerhead with quite unusually large areas (unusually large compared to Mass Effect 2 Vanilla missions, of course) and various accidented terrain that can only be overcome thanks to the jump and acceleration capabilities of the vehicle. Some missions feature only jumping puzzles and others come with additional opposition (Geth that for some reason are very interested in the research lead by the two scientists).
 

Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker Mass Effect 2 DLC: Firewalker

The weird part about the Hammerhead though is that the vehicle HUD doesn't feature any kind of indicator regarding its status. You don't know if it has shields, you don't know if it has been damaged or not... Most of the time it's not a big trouble, not in this series of missions anyway. But the vehicle is not indestructible as it was proved to me in another DLC so some kind of damage indicator would have been a minimum and that cost the DLC half a point on the final score.

Not one of the bad guys ever got me! I floated like a hovercraft and stung like an armed hovercraft! Which is what I was...um...driving. Well. Never mind.

Overall, the Hammerhead is fun to use but the missions are short and once they are over you'll leave the Hammerhead in the hangar for good. Unless you buy a DLC that makes further use of the vehicle (at the time of this review only one other DLC makes use of the Hammerhead: the Overlord Pack).

The DLC is bittersweet: it's fun, but short and you don't get to use the Hammerhead again, except in Overlord. A real shame. Maybe Bioware will bring back planetside exploration with the Hammerhead in the next game.

The Firewalker Pack was the last free mission-oriented DLC for Mass Effect 2.

Missions bonuses:

  • one upgrade schematic (Biotic)
  • one strange Prothean relic (Captain's cabin customization) which may be a reminder of a mission from the first Mass Effect. It's real purpose is as unknown as Shepard's VI.

DLC Rated 8/10



 

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