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

Along the way, Omega introduces a few new tricks that you have to deal with. First, there are the ever-present Cerberus troops, who love to lay down turrets in your path, throw smoke grenades, snipe at you and generally scream a lot. Mixed in are Rampart mechs, a stronger version of the robots you scrapped en masse in Mass Effect 2 and 3, which have been outfitted with new gear and are quite a bit more front assault-oriented than previous versions. Finally, there’s a new monstrosity I won’t spoil, except to say that it’s treated as if it’s the scariest thing ever, despite the fact that Shepard and his team routinely mow its ilk down with little difficulty. It’s certainly no banshee.

Speaking of Shepard’s team, you won’t have your usual squadmates through the course of Omega — rather, you fight alongside Aria almost the entire time, and are often joined by the female turian Nyreen. Both characters bring something to the experience: Aria is driven by revenge (although what exactly she’s revenging, I’m not sure) against the Cerberus general who betrayed her (according to the Codex entry), while Nyreen is a former soldier who sides with Omega’s people, rather than Aria’s lust for power. They’re continually arguing over how to handle the battle against Cerberus, but it’s not much of a debate, really — Nyreen wants you to not blow everyone up, and Aria could care less if you do.

As it turns out, despite this debate coming up again and again, there seem to be precisely zero consequences to your choices in terms of whether you are willing to sacrifice the innocent or not. In fact, it’s not even much of a choice: The one moment in which Shepard gets to make that call in any meaningful way feels more like a “gotcha” moment in which the game tricks you into doing something unnecessary, rather than a real moral conundrum. It’s represented as an interrupt during a heated moment, and by letting it pass, I wasn’t treated to any negative effects at all. Saved everybody. No problem.

The weakness of Omega is that there are little to no stakes involved at all. First off, we all know how this ends: Shepard and Aria retake Omega. Neither will perish during the fighting, since Aria is ensconced on the Citadel for the duration of Mass Effect 3. Nyreen’s a likable-enough character, but underdeveloped and seemingly existing only to counter Aria; she’s not enough to drive the story, and she’s not even around for about half the DLC. Who cares about the faceless thugs and “civilians” of Omega? Not me, unfortunately.

And so the resultant experience is, all in all, rather boring. Why are we fighting a war on Omega at all? We can say it’s for all those apparent poor souls trapped on the rock, but it’s really for “eezo,” which is the Mass Effect universe’s equivalent of oil. And we don’t need it that badly, really, because we know how the whole thing ends. There’s no new insight into the minds of the increasingly evil-for-evil’s-sake Cerberus organization, little in the way of character development for Nyreen or Aria, and too few moments that don’t involve Commander Shepard pumping bullets into noggins.

I found Omega competent enough, but unexciting, in the end. Maybe it’s Mass Effect fatigue at this point, or perhaps the heavy emphasis on action on Omega over RPG elements, or maybe it’s just that the storytelling in these DLC excerpts has found no real way of conveying smaller tales that are worth hearing in the frame of Mass Effect 3. That said, if you want to revisit Omega, see its locales, and shoot lots more guys — that is, if you want more of the superficial elements of the Mass Effect 3 formula — then it’s here, and there’s a fair bit of it, and you’ll feel your $15 was well-spent. The rest of us, though: we might be a little bored.

Pros:

  • Lengthy, competent DLC that finally takes us back to Omega
  • Lots of fights that take place across a number of Omega locales; most of them are gorgeous
  • Spending the entire DLC with two “new” characters — Aria and Nyreen — is a cool approach
  • New enemies change up some fights fairly significantly
  • Several varying set pieces that change up the action

Cons:

  • There really are no stakes and nothing much gained by “taking back Omega”
  • Aria and Nyreen are kinda fun, but not especially deep characters
  • Not much story here that’s meaningfully new or different
  • Choices are rare and don’t feel significant
  • Very little in the way of RPG stuff — mostly, this is shooting and shooting and shooting

Final Score: 75/100


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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.