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Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC Review

Mass Effect 3: Citadel LogoYou know how when your boyfriend screws up,  he goes out of his way to make it up to you? He gets you chocolate, flowers, a romantic dinner for two, jewelry, a basket of kittens, a handful of winning lottery tickets, and your own personal jet-pack? Then you say, “Honey, it’s okay, you just forgot to pick up my parents at the airport, I’m not even mad anymore,” and he says, “No. I love you, and I want to do this for you.” Boyfriends do that, right? Anyhow, getting back to the point…

The Citadel DLC is like that. It’s pure, unapologetic fan-service, and I loved every minute.

Light spoilers ahead!

The very last single player DLC to be released for the Mass Effect Trilogy, Citadel is divided into two parts: story and exploration. In the story section, Commander Shepard is enjoying a new apartment and some shore leave when, of course, trouble comes to call. Shepard is attacked by new henchmen calling themselves CAT6, led by a mysterious figure intent on ruining Shepard’s life.

The storyline begins with some solo combat, then some fun infiltration in casino, followed by more combat with your whole squad in tow.

The combat is a delight. Your new weapons are terrific, from the high powered pistol to the throwback M7 Lancer. Miss the fun times in ME1 when your guns overheated and needed a cooldown time rather than a new thermal clip? You will love the Lancer. I am never putting that gun down.

The new enemies are standard fare with a few twists. I recommend taking some engineers with you to take down the shields and armors. The CAT6 Heavies are especially tough to take down. The final boss is a rough battle. I beat it on Normal without dying, so I can only imagine what the fight is like on Insanity.

Of course, the best parts of the story section are your companions. They are who the DLC is really all about, and I would recommend cranking down the sound effects and music and turning up the dialogue volume so you don’t miss a line. The dialogue is hilarious, incredibly well written, and even in this area of the DLC, everyone gets a moment or two to shine, including Joker, Steve Cortez, Samantha Traynor, Liara’s VI Glyph, and WREX.

Liara, Shepard, Kaidan, Wrex, Miranda, and Garrus looking badass in front of the Normandy.
Shepard. I should go.

To sum up, the story side is a lot of fun to play, and worth replaying with different companions at your side, just to hear what they have to say.

But the plot isn’t why you should buy this DLC. The party is why you should buy this DLC.

After saving the day, you’ll get a chance to explore the Silversun Strip, play in the casino, arcade, and battle arena, hang out with your companions one-on-one, enjoy some alone time with your love interest, and throw a party to end all parties with every single surviving squadmate. I was laughing so hard at some lines I had tears in my eyes.

I played the DLC for almost six hours last night, and there is STILL content I haven’t gotten to, so I have no complaints about the $15 price tag.

Citadel is a light-hearted romp. Some might complain that it doesn’t fit into the rest of the dark, serious story, but that’s okay. Citadel was touted as a “love letter to the fans,” and it delivers that love in spades. Loaded with Easter eggs, references to other areas of nerd culture (your apartment is in a building called Tiberius Towers, for one), as well as poking fun at itself, Citadel is hands down the best DLC BioWare has ever produced. Better than Lair of the Shadow Broker.

If you’re a fan of the series and you want one last chance to spend some time with all the characters you have come to love over the past five years, get this DLC right now. You will not be able to stop grinning, even through the tears at the sad but sweet conclusion.

About the author

Rebecca Veverka

A lifelong Cleveland, Ohio native, Rebecca is the second member of Word of the Nerd that likes to be called Bex. What are the chances? An Anglophile, science and history buff, and avid gamer (both video and tabletop), Bex also spends her free time crafting, illustrating, reading, and getting into amicable arguments with strangers on the internet. She has entirely too much free time. One of her greatest accomplishments is that she's only suffered one minor head injury in her lifetime.

1 Comment

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  • Excellent review Rebecca, this English archaeologist loved it. I wish.. I wish that ME3 would had something of its eccentric humour since Shakespeare himself showed how the greatest Tragedy can be heightened and deepened by occasional comic interludes. And Citadel was very funny especially with Tali as your girlfriend (the moment when Shepard and Tali do the Hollywood movie star couple bit out side the Casio comes to mind). And as for the protagonists – pure comedy genius!

    One really nice development was having the whole team involved in the missions even though you couldn’t control them I always felt a bit guilty leaving most of the on the bench as I invariably picked Garrus, Liara and Tali.

    In addition getting back an overheating rifle was a delight especially since on a repeat play through I got to use it all the way through.

    And together with my Mass Effect Happy Ending (MEHE) it makes the game pretty damn perfect. Its just a shame that its all over. Its an even bigger shame that no one else makes games like this and it will probably be years before anything as good appears. Ah well, just have to hope that Bioware rediscovers its Mojo with Dragon Age Inquisition.

    Thanks again for your review Rebecca. Its nice being reminded that there other people on the planet as weird as you.

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