When BioWare released their single-player DLC for Mass Effect 3, I rather stupidly did not have a save that would allow me to access any of it. I kept 3 save points, and I kept rotating which ones I saved over, therefore all my saves are from Earth. Once you’re on Earth, there’s no going back. Literally. Cortez crashes the shuttle shortly after dropping you off, so yeah, that ship has sailed, so to speak. Now that all of the DLC is out and Shepard’s story is officially over from BioWare’s standpoint, I decided to start over my game and finally play some of this DLC. First up, the Leviathan DLC.
I knew nothing about the Leviathan DLC, and I’m glad I did not. The basic story behind it is that an Alliance scientist has been tracking rumors of a beast that possibly killed a Reaper by itself. When Shepard visits the scientist to get more information on how to recruit this beast as a War Asset (it’s all about the War Assets, don’t forget), the scientist’s assistant becomes indoctrinated and kills the scientist. So now Shepard has to find the beast, if it indeed exists, all on her own.
I had an absolute blast playing this DLC, primarily because it is structured almost like a murder mystery. Shepard has little information about what or where this beast is or where the scientist’s other assistants may be doing research, and since the scientist is quite dead, she must search for clues in the lab herself and whittle down where she should go next. Not every clue she finds is relevant to the case, which made it all the more fun and the sleuthing not as “easy.”
Spoiler alert, there is such a beast, and when Shepard finds it, she is treated to an incredible history of the Reapers that I never once fathomed. I’m fairly certain my jaw was dropped during the entire sequence with the Leviathan itself. I am doubly pleased that the Leviathan’s tale became part of my Mass Effect codex so I can read it at my own pace and digest it further later. The history of the Leviathan and the Reapers is actually so incredibly important to the overall story that I’m disappointed this wasn’t part of the original game. Then again, that could just be me, since I love backstories to pretty much everything.
My only complaint about it is that the sequence where James Vega suddenly appears in the research lab is abrupt and feels really unnecessary. I still have no idea why he suddenly showed up and why he suddenly left. I talked to him at every chance I had, and I never really got a good answer as to why he was there. Even when he was part of a particular cut scene, I didn’t feel like his presence was necessary. However, this randomness lasted a total of 30 seconds, and he was quickly forgotten after I said out loud, “That was weird.”
While playing on casual difficulty, the Leviathan DLC took me approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to get through, which I think is a damn good bargain for 800 MSP ($9.99). It’s also definitely not as tedious as the Overlord DLC from Mass Effect 2 was, so I can heartily recommend this one to friends as well as say I will not grumble about replaying it with future playthroughs (definitely can’t say the same about Overlord).