Mass Effect 3: From Ashes Review

You're probably asking yourself, "Why would The Gamers' Temple get the Mass Effect 3 DLC review out before the review for the game it's attached to?" Well, full disclosure, I'm still playing through the unbelievable space opera's final chapter. We should have a full review up in a few days, but we thought we'd cover this amazing DLC package to whet your appetite. Though Mass Effect 2's Lair of the Shadow Broker remains my favorite Mass Effect DLC, From Ashes comes about as close as you can get to Lair's extremely high bar.

Warning: This next section contains some spoilers. If you don't want things ruined, I kindly point you toward my introduction and conclusion paragraphs. That's about all that is safe.

From Ashes takes Shepard and crew back to Eden Prime, a human colony that will be VERY familiar to those who have been with the series since the 360-exclusive original. It seems that a Prothean artifact has been discovered, so Shepard and his/her crew must race to defend it and claim it as their own. What is the mysterious artifact? I won't spill the beans, but let's just say Pauly Shore would approve.

Like any new destination in the Mass Effect universe, Eden Prime yields more experience and a few items here and there. But like the Mass Effect 2 DLC that had Shepard visiting the wrecked Normandy, From Ashes really succeeds as much on a nostalgic level as it does a pure gameplay or story one. And also like in Mass Effect 2, this DLC provides you with a shot at adding an optional character to the Normandy's crew - something you should ALWAYS jump on. Best of all, though, is the feeling that From Ashes doesn't feel "separate" from the main game; choices made here are optional, but can have serious, far-reaching consequences. Every single developer in gaming needs to pause and take notice of this. People want substantial, game-affecting DLC packages and in a Mass Effect 3 world, another set of multiplayer maps or new costumes should be a source of embarrassment and ridicule for the companies that provide them.

You got your hands on From Ashes one of two ways: Either a code was packed in with your Collector's Edition or you chose to buy it off Xbox Live or The PlayStation Network. Personally, I couldn't care less HOW you got the DLC, just THAT you got it. Though I imagine long time players will get more out of From Ashes, no Mass Effect 3 player should be without this DLC.

Final Rating: 94%. No Mass Effect 3 player should be without this DLC.


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