The best-selling video game franchise Mass Effect has been at the centre of a storm ever since gamers pointed out gaping plot holes and broken endings with the last game in the series, Mass Effect 3 (ME3).
Though the developer BioWare tried to live up to its promise to fix the plot holes and endings with the Extended Cut add-on, the expanded conclusions did not fully reflect players' decisions over the course of the three games. Now, it is unclear if the upcoming single-player download for ME3 - Leviathan - will change anything.
None of the downloadable content (DLC) released to date has had any impact on the trilogy's ending. The forthcoming Leviathan DLC is based on a new storyline that precedes the events of ME3. The game's focus shifts to the origin of the Reapers and blends itself to the core of the Mass Effect story.
In other words, the DLC could merely add to the gameplay time, as it requires gamers to play through the entire ME3 game once more to obtain new dialogue and, just possibly, new ending options.
"Completing the downloadable content creates an additional rift in your ending. You can expect to see multiple Easter eggs, subtle changes, and references to its story when you reach the Extended Cut conclusion," says Mitch Dyer of IGN.
As Forbes notes, the Leviathan DLC will cost around $10 and could last as long as the Lair of the Shadow Broker add-on for Mass Effect 2, roughly two to three extra hours of gameplay. As the original ME3 game lasts about 30 hours and costs $60, the add-on represents considerably worse value for money.
DLC is supposed to provide value-added content to a game franchise. But such values depend on the quality and replay value of the original game itself and here, ME3 has already disappointed many fans. With the hero Shepard's role in the game all but over, DLC such as Leviathan has very little scope to change the course of the game or introduce a new angle.
Nevertheless, if IGN's first look at the DLC is accurate, Leviathan promises to bring a refreshing storyline with all the action taking place on board a cargo ship amid high tides and heavy rain. Expect unforgiving Brutes flanked by blood-thirsty Cannibals to await you.
Watch the Mass Effect 3: Leviathan DLC trailer below: