Developers Bioware have announced the final Downloadable Content (DLC) for Mass Effect 3 (ME3), bringing an end to the adventures of popular protagonist Commander Shepard and his allies. EA and Bioware announced the new DLC, called Citadel, will launch on 5 March. Unfortunately, European users will have to wait an extra 24 hours; the release there is scheduled for 6 March.

In what is likely to be a "bittersweet send-off" to its characters, Bioware's DLC screenshots hint at the return of Liara, James and Kaidan.

Meanwhile, Citadel will also have additional content allowing users to explore new hubs and a different mini-story added to give a perfect swansong to the hugely popular game. Citadel will send Commander Shepard on one "final sentimental journey".

Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 Bioware Mass Effect

The DLC is a large file; Xbox 360 users will need to download the content in two chunks (cost 1,200 MSP in total). Citadel will not function without the first pack.

There is no such concern for PC and PS3 users; for them, the final episode of the Mass Effect 3 story is a one-file download costing $14.99 (approximately £10).

Explaining the plot of the new DLC, Bioware community manager Chris Priestly wrote on the developers' official forum: "When a sinister conspiracy targets Commander Shepard, you and your team must uncover the truth, through battles and intrigue that range from the glamour of the Citadel's Wards to the top secret Council Archives. Uncover the truth and fight alongside your squad - as well as the original cast from the original Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Mass Effect 3: Citadel offers one final chance to see the characters you have known for years and rekindle romances."

Executive producer Casey Hudson also gave one last hurrah to Mass Effect 3's characters: "The team has poured heart and soul into Mass Effect 3: Citadel. As the launch of these chapters near, the feeling around the studio is bittersweet."

Check out a trailer for the preceding DLC, Omega, released in November:

[Courtesy: biowaremasseffect/YouTube]

Earlier this month, Bioware announced that the next game in the Mass Effect series would not feature Commander Shepard and also warned users that speculation suggesting the game would be called Mass Effect 4 was wrong. They insisted the new game would have an entirely new cast and plot. Bioware announced the next Mass Effect game in November last year. The game will use the new Frostbite 2 engine from Dragon Age III: Inquisition.

In their fourth quarter results in 2012, EA (Electronic Arts) announced that Mass Effect 3 grossed over $200 million (£132 million).