Mass Effect 3: Omega Review
Sigh. Ever since Mass Effect the first, each new piece of DLC (well, not the weapon packs or useless multiplayer nonsense) has brought a little more excitement to an already stellar series of games. We've battled aliens on an out of control asteroid, piloted hovertanks around lush, green landscapes, fought underwater Reapers, even picked up a new crew member or two; even the lamest of Mass Effect DLC packs added something to the narrative. I'm afraid all that has changed now. The last story-based DLC for Mass Effect 3, Leviathan, somehow managed to steer clear of the shroud that hangs so obviously over the newest pack, Omega. What am I referring to? It's the feeling that, once you've seen the main game's end, none of these little side stories matter. Not one bit. Thus Omega stands as a decent effort in which no emotional ground could have been gained, and probably should have been included in Mass Effect 3's main game or held for a sequel.
The Omega DLC takes Commander Shepard and crew back to Aria T'Loak, the morally ambiguous kingpin on outpost Omega. It seems she's once again lost control of the outpost (we helped her regain leadership way back in Mass Effect 2) and needs Shepard's help to bring things back under control. This time, though, a renegade Cerberus general has assumed control of Omega, and he's got a Reaper, Adjutant, doing his bidding. Good setup, right? I thought so, too. Sadly, things devolve into mindless shooting galleries with little room for any but the most obvious Paragon or Renegade choices. And once the smoke clears... surprise! Mass Effect 3's ending ensures none of it matters one little bit.
What really drives home the pointlessness of this event is that not only have you helped Aria before (in Mass Effect 2), finishing the mission leaves no discernable imprint on how the rest of the game plays. Garrus, who fans know found his way to Omega in between the events of the first and second game, has nothing to add to any of the dialogue, despite it being a homecoming to a place he spent quite a bit of time cleaning up. Seeing him stand around (provided you have him alive and on your team) is jarring; why not add a line or two to the discourse? No one visits a childhood home with the same emotions in tow as swinging by the grocery store on the way home. Stranger still, once you complete the Omega mission, the outpost totally disappears from the Galaxy Map. What? The Omega DLC just doesn't feel like part of the Mass Effect 3 story.
If you are the one guy who still hasn't seen (or heard about) Mass Effect 3's final 20 minutes, maybe Omega will be more to your taste than it was mine. I'll admit is was nice to see the surroundings I was so familiar with once again, but knowing that my choices made no real difference truly sucked the fun right out. I like blasting bad guys as much as the next commander, but the lack of emotional weight makes Omega just another pointless series of hallways chockful of mildly challenging cannon fodder. If you have as much of a connection to the Mass Effect universe as I, and so many others, do, you'll probably download and play through Omega no matter what, but don't expect it to add anything to the overall experience. It can't and doesn't.
Final Rating: 70%. The lack of emotional weight makes Omega just another pointless series of hallways chockful of mildly challenging cannon fodder.