Mass Effect 3 ‘Omega’ DLC Review: More of the Same

It’s important, when sitting down to review a game, to judge that game on what it is rather than what we wish it was. It isn’t fair to ask a game to be something it fundamentally is not, and get mad at it for failing to change its nature.

So in the case of the “Omega” DLC pack for Mass Effect 3, I’m forced to ask what the game is and is supposed to be, and try to judge it on the merits of that, rather than lamenting that it is not something I wish it was. In those terms, Omega is a fast-paced, longish bit of Mass Effect 3 DLC with a lot to offer — a couple new baddies, a few new weapons, the chance to revisit the often-beautiful and expansive locale of Omega, and an opportunity to fight alongside one of the more intriguing characters in the series in Aria T’Loak.

What it is not is especially gripping, or illuminating, or even exciting. It is a story of you, Commander Shepard, fighting some military battles, in a game that’s filled with stories of you fighting military battles. Aria commands troops and directs you to choke-points. You protect doorways and clear enemies. Other characters appear. There is light arguing over which strategy is the best strategy, and a little moralizing as well.

To judge Omega by what it is, I think, is to say that it is good. It is a sizable piece of DLC and you’ll get your money’s worth. And it is very much more of the same in terms of what we’ve seen before in Mass Effect 3, and that makes it unremarkable. In the end, it’s as much a competent addition to the game as it is a tiresome one.

Mass Effect 3 ‘Omega’ DLC
Platforms: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: Nov. 27, 2012
MSRP: $14.99

Pirate Queen Aria T’Loak was ousted from her throne on Omega, the den of scum and villainy nearest to known Reaper territory pre-Reaper War. She was thrown off the station by Cerberus, though, not the Reapers — Cerberus being that pro-humanity group that has fallen under Reaper control (you know…more or less) and therefore is also evil. Eventually, Aria means to go back and kick Cerberus’s ass off the rock.

And that’s the story of this DLC. It’s pretty straightforward: In order for Shepard to get what he needs from Aria, which is mercenary troopers and that magical Element Zero, with which the Omega asteroid is rich, he needs to help remove Cerberus from the station. Oh, and there are some thousands of folks still living on said station, and they could probably use a hand, too.

The next three hours send Shepard and Aria gunning through the tunnels, halls, buildings, clubs, mines and reactors of Omega, and if there’s one thing the DLC gets right, it’s the tour of that enormous asteroid-turned-space station. There are a ton of huge, sprawling locales to play through (though for the most part, your path through them remains entirely linear), and though Omega is mostly various shades of brown, at least there are some cool places to look at along the way, filled with humming machinery and coursing water and electricity. This is Omega as we haven’t had a chance to see it yet — not just “Bad Guy Citadel,” as in Mass Effect 2, but a viable living and working space, where it makes sense that civilians might endure the criminals, at least if you stretch your imagination.

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22 Comments on Mass Effect 3 ‘Omega’ DLC Review: More of the Same

Wesker1984

On November 28, 2012 at 1:33 am

I played it and it was awesome, probably the best DLC of Mass Effect 3. But i would have liked to gain a new teamate for our team and i had hope that maybe this DLC will offer us the resources needed to defeat the reapers without using the crucible giving us the perfect refusal ending of some sort. Another missed oportunity.

Dennis Watermelon

On November 28, 2012 at 2:29 am

Even Wesker1984 is starting to realise how stingy EABioWare is. When your own fanboys start noticing cracks, that’s when you know your company has severe problems.

doonerbandit

On November 28, 2012 at 3:44 am

I find it hilarious how a final boss battle and a happy ending was dismissed as being “video gamey” yet delaying the liberation of Earth so the Asari equivalent of Pablo Escobar can get her throne back isn’t?

Ebalosus

On November 28, 2012 at 4:52 am

Y’know what, this is EXACTLY what Mass Effect 3 needs more of: More EFFing shooting galleries.

Hey Bioware! Where the EFF is the RPG in your RPG-shooter, and on that note: Where the EFF are the vehicle sections!?

Aedelric

On November 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

Newsflash Ebalosus, Mass Effect stopped being a true roleplaying game right after Mass Effect one.

I have no interest in shooting gallary gameplay, I prefer roleplaying and story with deep and meaningful consequences. Plenty of other companies provide that and it is to them that my money goes these days, not Bioware/EA.

Vicekeridan

On November 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

By the looks of it, this was no Lair of the Shadow Broker.

Wesker1984

On November 28, 2012 at 11:11 am

@Dennis Watermelon
Even if i was a total jerks some months ago i was always open for a better ending for my second favorite games franchise. Dont get me wrong i stil love Mass Effect 3 as a game but Bioware miss many oportunity to please their fans. Omega is a very good DLC but it was their chance to provide us some change in the plots or the endings.

R-man

On November 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Yeah, it stopped being a pure RPG, and began being an RPG-shooter at ME2… however, ME2 was GREAT. My favorite game in the series despite Liara not being there… however, ME3 almost turned completely shooter… It’s RPG elements were shallow and after a few playthroughs even things I loved about the game began to wear on me… The ending definitely didn’t help counter that… only to speed up the jading.

Not sure whether I want to buy Omega with the rather tight funds I have right now being a college student… Maybe I’ll just save my money… It’ll go down in price later anyway..

Rista B

On November 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Con: $15 price tag is absurd.

EAoware has no shame.

R.J.

On November 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Pretty consistent with everything else I’ve read. Lots of shooting, not much in the RPG department, and perhaps most importantly, there isn’t really anything that seems like it justifies the price tag. Even if it clocks in at a lengthier time than other DLC, I would expect something more in the quality department rather than the quantity department to justify the increase.

Fletcher

On November 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm

It’s a shame really. There was a lot of potential with this dlc. In the end though it became a overpriced dlc that really does nothing to the game in the end. Do we get more military assets? Sure but considering how easy they are to obtain in the game to begin with, why do we even need them? Heck, all they really had to do to make this dlc worth the price was make Nyreen a permanent squadmate. Even then however, we would just be scratching the surface on what could have been done with this dlc. Take for example the fact that the Omega 4 Relay should just be sitting there. Mass Effect lore has mentioned that Cerberus set up facilities on the other side of that Relay regardless of the ending you chose in ME2. Why can’t we go over there and find out whats been going on? Heck, there could be something on the other side of the Relay that’s really game changing. Unfortunately, I doubt we will see anymore big changes to the ending of 3.

Well, looks like I won’t be buying this dlc. The price is too high for what we get.

S.J.M

On November 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Sounds like Bioware missed the trick again. Whilst I get that they want to put more content out to please fans of the game, I just cant get over how pointless it is when the ending of the game is known and that ultimately the DLC’s add nothing to that. Sure, it adds a few more hours of gameplay leading up to the ending, but theres plenty of missions already very same-y to the last.

I didnt buy the last DLC, I wont be getting this one. If there is one more DLC to be offered by BW, i’d be interested to see how they go about making it fit to the game. The game doesnt need another shooting gallery, I do not think it even needs another squad mate.

Kevin

On November 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm

On the other hand, the Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition is 19.99. So spend 5 bucks more for RPG heroin with an updated engine. Something tells me BG will have a lot more than just a few hours of play.

Wesker1984

On November 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I doesn’t get all the hates about the fact Mass Effect 3 is less-rpg than the others, less RPG than Mass Effect 1 yes but not less than the 2. The customisation/leveling up elements of ME3 are more present than those of Mass Effect 2.

Does this mean you are all RPG gamers only and shifting to a more action-shooter design just -up your realms of speciality making Mass Effect 3 harder for you to play? If this is the case i can understand that.

In my case what attracted me to Mass Effect when the first was released was the dialogue wheel and the fact that our main character can really speak with a voice during the dialogues selections.

My only problems with Mass Effect 3 is it endings. Bioware ed up the endings just for the sake of including a useless online mode. The Mass Effect universe doesn’t need online mode with such a great scenario.

Less RPG elements and more action oriented is the least of my problems in my case, i doesn’t play a game for it gameplay but for it story and it fun-factor. If i love the story and i have fun to play with it i will love the game in overall. What i want and need in a good game i love to play is a proper ending who make us want to replay it and Mass Effect 3 ed this with its last 15 minutes of pure fun and story with plotholes and the lack of a last boss fight.

Harbinger you were the one who deserved the place of the big bad guy. The catalyst should have been a projection of you and not a complete different entity that nobody care!

BigZ7337

On November 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm

There were two things that I wanted from the Omega DLC to make me think about buying it and maybe replaying ME3 and regaining any sort of trust in Bioware: New permanent interesting crew-mates and another hub-world to explore for multiple hours (That was one of my biggest complaints from ME3 other than the ending. There was only one hub-world, and it was the smallest version yet of an area that had appeared in each game). From this review, it apparently doesn’t deliver either of these, so at most I might just watch the youtube videos of the dlc like I did with Leviathan. :/

Hemlock3630

On November 29, 2012 at 8:32 am

*sigh*

I had hopes that this would somehow effect the main game.

No interest in playing a ‘why are we taking time out from trying to stop the reapers to help you get your asteroid back?’ DLC.

If it doesn’t have a cause and effect to the main storyline, there is no reason to play it.
I didn’t like Aria enough, and am not intrigued enough by a female turian (I can Youtube it thanks) to spend $15.

And as for getting a new party member in the main story line? Would be nice, and may have tempted me, but again, only if they were a fully integrated character.

fluxarc

On November 30, 2012 at 2:03 am

I have to agree that making Nyreen (The female turian) a permanent squadmate would have made the Omega DLC that much more intriguing, even more so would’ve been the expanding of Omega as a more deeply explorable hub world.

Still, I’m a big enough fan of ME to go ahead and get the DLC. I generally find the characters wonderfully woven, and Aria T’ Loak has to be one of the most engaging female characters in the gaming universe for me.

Dean Pokorny

On November 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I think they deliberately made ME3 for younger audience with really shallow character development and no mystery in third part. It feels like dumb action game like one review said. I am not saying younger are dumber but they don’t need much deep structure of something. So I am disappointed with third.

When they decide to turn to action because of demands of major publisher they changed policeis.
It is the same for me in music industry but I refuse to make songs they want, I would stick to my style and Bioware also needed to but they didn’t.

I agree with review of one website. It is for Omega but for me it is also the same for ME3.

“All in all, Omega feels like a dumb action movie within the Mass Effect universe — gorgeous and exciting, but empty and implausible at the same time. If you mostly come to the series for the alien environments and gunfights in space, then this is a fun addition to the core game’s setpieces. However, if you’re most interested in great plot, dialogue, and characters, this won’t hold much of interest for you. Either way, the quick three-to-four hour experience doesn’t quite feel worth the steep $15 price tag, but is a quality addition to the overall game in spite of its brevity.”

Anonno

On December 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Sorry, but they lost me completely when they forced the Multiplayer on us. Until they do a massive overhaul and make the MP and Single Player entirely separate, I refuse to have anything more to do with the game.

PJ

On December 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm

That’s a solid review. Spot-on.

COD Liver Oil

On December 4, 2012 at 6:29 am

Mass Effect has become so incoherent and diluted that even Michael Bay would be ashamed to go anywhere near it. Omega continues the trend of meaningless, overpriced DLC that had no business being left off the disk to begin with. BioWare has become a cancerous force in the games industry and anyone with any integrity or sense needs to leave as soon as possible to prevent their already-damaged reputations from being destroyed completely.

hemlock3630

On December 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

@Wesker1984 “Does this mean you are all RPG gamers only and shifting to a more action-shooter design just -up your realms of speciality making Mass Effect 3 harder for you to play?”

ME3 was easy…..

And I say this as a person that isn’t used to shooting style games.