Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker Hands-On - New Story and High-Speed Car Chases

We get our hands on this soon-to-be-released downloadable content for Mass Effect 2.

BioWare's space opera sequel Mass Effect 2 has already offered players hours of hybrid shooter and role-playing adventure, but the developer isn't done yet. The next downloadable content for the game, Lair of the Shadow Broker, is described by BioWare as the "most premium DLC" for the game yet and will be the "richest in scope," since it not only will include five new levels (of which one is open-ended), but will also introduce content that will actually start bridging the gap between Mass Effect 2 and the next game in the series. The DLC will be released next week and will let you reconnect with an old friend, Dr. Liara T'soni, the blue-skinned asari researcher from the first game with whom you, as Commander Shepard, could have a romantic relationship. This time around, the good doctor ends up in a whole heap of trouble with the crime lord known as the Shadow Broker--the mysterious figure who has been referenced in both Mass Effect games--and it's up to you to rescue her. Please be advised that this story may contain minor spoilers.

Lair of the Shadow Broker opens with an ugly police scene.

Lair of the Shadow Broker takes place during the main Mass Effect 2 game on the planet Illium and begins with Shepard receiving a note from Liara to meet her at her home. Obviously, if you decided to have that special relationship with Liara in the first game and have imported your saved character to Mass Effect 2 to play the DLC, your interactions with Liara will be different. In any case, after reading the message, you can transport yourself immediately to her lodgings, which have been ransacked and covered by far-flung-future police tape (digital light displays with a scrolling ticker that reads "Police Line: Do Not Cross"), with Liara herself nowhere in sight. The local authorities were already prowling through the wreckage and demanded we leave the area, though a high-ranking asari agent, a Spectre (the special operatives of the Citadel Council, like Shepard) named Tela Vasir, pulled rank and cleared us to enter the apartment.

In a brief conversation with Vasir, we learned that Liara had apparently fled the scene moments ago, but we deduced that she must have left a note, or at least some clues, behind. After briefly searching her apartment, we found a picture, keyed to Shepard's identity, which changed to a landscape of an alien planet whose relics were part of the doctor's collection. We then scanned each relic until we found a hidden data disc with a recorded transmission of Liara conversing with an underground contact about the Shadow Broker's next move at the Dracon Travel Center, a huge downtown high-rise. The transmission ended with both Liara and her contact spooked by the sound of a break-in and both characters fleeing downtown.

We immediately transitioned over to the building--by way of a loading screen--with our team, while Vasir hopped into her hovercar to cover the building from the roof down. Our party entered the building to find not only that it had been blown up by explosives, but also that dozens of its employees had been gunned down by professional mercenaries whom we eventually encountered in the bombed-out office space, ducking down beneath the partial-cover flaming desks and torn-up computer terminals.

We finally made our way to the top and were just too late to save the informant from being shot, though Vasir was on the scene, claiming that she, too, had been too late and that the Shadow Broker's henchmen had already fled. Because we hadn't seen the shot ourselves, we found the agent's story to be highly suspicious, and moments later, our suspicions were confirmed when Liara herself emerged from the shadows with a gun trained on the Spectre, accusing her of murdering the contact and raiding her apartment. At this point, Vasir attempted to make a dramatic escape, finally leaping into her hovercar to escape into the Illium night.

High-speed car chases await you in this new DLC.

Our party leaped into the nearest vehicle, a hovering taxi, and gave chase as part of Mass Effect 2's new car chases, which act a bit like a futuristic arcade racer with a Z-axis. Vasir's vehicle appeared onscreen with a bright-red marker and left a bright-red contrail, so she was easy to track, although the underhanded agent also had explosive mines that she left floating behind her that threw our own vehicle off track. Since our own vehicle didn't have any weapons (it was a taxi, after all), we couldn't do much other than try to follow Vasir around every tight turn and not slam into oncoming traffic. Fortunately, the game autosaved several times over the course of the chase, so it wasn't frustrating. Finally, the chase ended when Vasir had a head-on collision and went spinning out of control. We pursued the agent and leaped out of our vehicle to pursue on foot, at which point our play session ended.

Lair of the Shadow Broker will be available this Tuesday, September 7.

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Discussion

177 comments
cicerohellmann
cicerohellmann

This DLC is just a Battle Cruiser shooting endorphin in my brain!!!!

brado147
brado147

i'm liking this DLC so far. Good story, the perfect ME2 gameplay. I pay for quality DLC, like some of DA:O, Borderlands and ME2. But again, it's quality. and personally, I believe that people shouldn't give a damn about what other people buy. I think everyone hates reading xbox vs ps3 or DLC flamewars. The forums, from my point of view, are for giving our opinion about the game itself.

008Zulu
008Zulu

I like this DLC, the best one they have released so far.

Evil_Mr_Jingles
Evil_Mr_Jingles

It's just idiotic how somebody can waste so much time and energy on something they don't care for, it must be because they can't get any kind of fulfillment from their sorry, weak and pathetic lives. Exactly what part of "optional" do you not get? don't like it, then don't buy it! duh!!! Who the **** do you think you are telling others the way they chose to spend their money is wrong?

Bowserpwns
Bowserpwns

@NeilCardiff oh and honestly the fanboy claim doesnt give you any justice. your only saying fanboy because your arguing with people who like this game and perhaps you dont. i would defend any game with dlc. the entire point of dlc is to add to the experience of a game already great...why do you think so many great games have dlc? i just love how when people are cornered in an argument with no way out they just pull the classic "well...well.....your just a FANBOY!".......

Bowserpwns
Bowserpwns

again...this is a perspective of opinion....if your goal was come on to this forum and convince us "fanboys" that were getting ripped off its clearly not working...if you love the game enough youll pay the extra money....its all your conspiracy theory garbage about corperate companys only wanting your money and not wanting to give you good games thats just annoying.... on that car analogy....you just said yourself that the car drives fine...which would mean that the car is FINISHED...just like me2... so please do us a favor and just ignore us all as you said because we clearly dont care about your opinion

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@mypetmonkey You are obviously a shill and worth ignoring. As for the people willing to pay for DLC's you are nothing but succers paying way over the odds for snippets of gameplay. On that note, I have a car to sell you, drives fine, if you want the rear seats they'll be on sale next week for extra. BTW the only people whining are the fanboys crying about people not worshiping their beloved game.

Leria
Leria

Ah, but remember.... once you realize that you are paying 120 dollars when it comes down to it for what IS an UNFINISHED game..... won't you have a bad taste of bile in your mouth at realizing how BADLY you were ripped off? I darn well would!

Bowserpwns
Bowserpwns

@ mypetmonkey i agree with you man, all this whiny people complaining that all this dlc means a game is unfinished? thats why companys have DLC....it lets people show what games they are most interested in by buying their dlc's......i can gladly admit ive bought all of the me2 dlc...and the me1 dlc as well...and any future dlc that bioware releases for me2 (as well as me3 when it comes out). and i will buy it with my HARD EARNED money from my JOB that ive saved up with :)

mypetmonkey
mypetmonkey

DLC haters are a dead set geese... Nice fallback on the "fanboy" call from the "tight ass" crew. What i'm against are whinging gamers who seem to think the industry runs for free. Gamers that call a game "unfinished" when they probably wouldn't have on release day. I suppose you're working for free? If you have a job how often do you turn up and get told "yeah we're not paying you because our product isn't selling"? How do you think a company sustains itself over the 2-3 development time of a game? They've got staff to pay, they've got to pay them decently to keep the best. Production cost still need to be paid. Private jets? Million dollar bonuses? This isn't merchant banking. Show me one case of that? One article showing that any software development company dished off millions to its staff in bonuses? It's tight asses like you that will ruin the industry. It's people like you that see companies folding. You don't want it don't buy it, then don't. There is a heap of DLC out there i haven't bought (Borderlands, ME2 costume pack, FORZA 3, Alan Wake). But don't write-off peoples hard work and effort. The gaming industry isn't a charity just for you. Just because you bought their game it doesn't mean they owe you anything.

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@Vruc I agree, it is getting ridiculous now and it's only going to get worse with idiots prepared to pay for all these DLC's. The sort of comments here are music to the software companies as they realise that these suckers will pay and pay and pay. Their excuses are as endless as they are stupid, especially the one that EA/Bioware needs money, yeah, vastly rich companies like EA/Bioware always need suckers money, private jets and million dollar bonuses don't grow on trees you know.

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@mypetmonkey WOW, you certainly are getting very upset at my opinions. I didn't realise that this comments section was just for you and your yes men. There should be a fanboi only warning that negative comments will get moronic replies from ass kissers like yourself.

Bowserpwns
Bowserpwns

@Vruc i understand that dlc is a money scam. what i dont under stand is certain people that say the game itself is unfinished. i played my first play through on me2 without ANY dlc and i still loved the game and in my opinion was very finished. then everytime a dlc came out it convinced me to go back to the game for another playthrough. seriously... i dont care if this is a money scam...EVERY company in the world needs to make money...and the more money i give bioware the more money theyll have to make me3 one of the best games to date :) bioware needs money to make quality games as much as any game company...their not like blizzard...hoarding cashes of money and letting it sit

wexorian
wexorian

No one telling you to buy it io bought ervery dlc and fisnihed this one too, this dlc is very cool, with good story , new mehcanic flyng car i mean , and oustanding final, who dont want to buy it dont post ridiculus posts :D

Vruc
Vruc

@ NeilCardiff - finally, someone who understands that DLC is stupid money scam, that's miraculously working. Why should "bridging" DLCs be needed at all? Mass Effect is a trilogy, all one should need are the three games; and will they justify me missing out on content on the ME3 disks when I have both previous titles, yet I don't intend to buy DLCs? Aren't they "optional"? Seems pretty much mandatory to me to have them, otherwise you don't receive the full experience... Not to mention ME2 has cut content beyond belief. Kasumi DLC? Please, 90% of her dialogue and a working NPC squad member Kasumi is on the game disk. All weapon packs? They're in my CE art book, so they've existed for two years, yet EA decided not to include them (and that's why Geth look ridiculous with regular shotguns, unless you download the FirePower DLC, which miraculously fixes them). Plus, LotSB has things that should have been patched in; yes, those old free bug fixing things called patches. Squad members can get their powers retrained only with this DLC? Seriously, they can't add that simple code with a patch? Pft. By a couple of years from now people will have to pay to get even game braking bugs fixed, I bet.

mypetmonkey
mypetmonkey

@NeilCardiff yeah because 2 whinging gamers compared to 9 overall pages of positive comments on the DLC isn't convincing enough... Additionally whats to say it isn't a preview of Mass Effect 3? Tight pessimistic gamers.... that's all ya'll are :D Don't want it? Don't buy it.... Just don't whinge about it.

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

This DLC is advertised as "bridging the gap" between ME2 and ME3 therefore ME2 was not finished. @mypetmonkey I think you're trying to convince yourself that this isn't a rip off, not us.

mypetmonkey
mypetmonkey

@organbank But if you feel that way and you don't buy it.... how exactly are you being ripped off? You are lamenting the days when digital distribution wasn't an option. You're just a pessimistic glass is half empty kind of guy, when in fact the glass was full and now is overflowing. You obviously can't see the difference between a half finished game and a finished game. What your getting is content usually scrapped before final cuts. Then they spend time and money on (developers don't work for free) bringing it up to speed.... AND THEN THEY GIVE YOU THE OPTION TO BUY IT. You don't need it, it won't be necessary for Mass Effect 3 (hell it might even be included in Mass Effect 3). Bioware never gave away additional content to its games for free. Never... ever... ever.... Q&A never means looking at a game and saying "is there absolutely nothing we can add to this game".

organbank
organbank

@mypetmonkey no, what it boils down to is that I have enough sense to know I am being ripped off, and lament the days when you paid full price for a FULL product. Most of all I'm lamenting the fact that Bioware is no more, instead we have this crappy developer called EA/Bioware who does not even have a budget for Q&A.

steve216
steve216

The best ME2 DLC yet, its longer than the other ones and still leaves some trails after your beet it.

ermac1986
ermac1986

Heard this dlc was good but incredibly short. Roughly how long would you guys say it would take me to beat it? Debating on getting it.

wexorian
wexorian

this Dlc was good, and with outstanding Ending :)

mypetmonkey
mypetmonkey

@organbank... I too am incredibly pissed off at JK Rowling for not putting the entire Harry Potter series in the first book. Why should I have to pay for 6 additional books when she could have taken her time and put it in one book? I now understand your rage.... What it boils down to is that your tight... but whatever... fight the man! He's holding you down.

bokela
bokela

I hope Miranda will forgive me getting a little initmate again with my first love - Liara :) Should have imported the save from ME1, damn! :) I think this is gonna be just epic, specially getting to see Illium from more closer perspective driving around the city. I imagine that from the moment I saw Illium and looking down the buildings and traffic.

Bowserpwns
Bowserpwns

@organbank dude...your overuse of the word fanboy is very annoying. so what if continuing the story of a game is their hidden way of getting marketing money. as most people said you dont HAVE to buy it its for people who are willing to shell out a little bit extra money to get a continuation of the story on the game they want to spend it on. you cant tell me you havent at least considered buying a dlc of any kind. i mean come on all the calll of duty's dlc has been MAP packs and look how many people forked out 15 bucks for a couple of new maps not including the ones that were in call of duty 4! its all opinion and youve clearly stated yours...so quit trolling this channel and go somewhere else

dave_gene_pico
dave_gene_pico

@organbank I agree with you. The video game industry is horrible with these cheaply-produced DLCs. DLC, in my opinion, is a game-makers way of making you pay $60 for an unfinished game, and then saying you have to pay more for the rest of the game. Back in the day, you had EXPANSION PACKS that gave you months of extra gametime. Now you have 10-hour DLC packs. Granted that expansion packs would cost more than DLC, they offered way more to do. ... With that said, I played both ME1 and ME2 and was entertained. It's not a real RPG and we were totally shafted on "data carrying over" (Barely anything you did from the first game really changed how you played the second - saving or leaving the Council gave you the same stonewalling, Kaiden and Ashley have the exactly same lines unless you had a romance with them, where you get one extra sentence), it is an incomplete game that they are making the fans buy... but it's their money. THEY OBVIOUSLY DON'T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT YOUR FACTS. So let them waste their money.

organbank
organbank

@mypetmonkey how can you even compare an expansion pack to the DLC? That has to be the most moronic statement even made by a fanboy. Also, again ROFL at all the fanboys who try to pass off MARKETING as facts. Please, pull your heads out of your collective fanboy butts and stop ruining the industry with this blind moronic support for con artists such as EA/Bioware. On the Bioware Social site in the ME2 General forums there was a thread made based on the comparative content analysis of ME1 and ME2. It is clearly shown that ME2 has less than half of the content of ME1. These are FACTS not MARKETING BS spun by PR guys which you fanboys blinding think is fact.

Rizer
Rizer

I played it. Totally worth the money.

Wolfie600
Wolfie600

Played it and in my opinion the best DLC there is for this game.. I had alot of fun well worth the points.

dwithrow
dwithrow

Its a cool DLC with a great ending! I enjoyed it and worth the 800 MS points

nsx3000
nsx3000

I finished ME2 just a couple days ago and started playing Starcraft 2. Looks like I'll put SC2 aside for a few days and play this DLC, or all the DLCs for that matter.

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

G_Monkey
G_Monkey

With the overlord package we got to see some more of the horrors that Cerberus commits all in the name of human dominance and we had some harsh decisions to make and the musical score and sound design for that DLC was phenominal And finally with the layer of the shadow broker we finally get to move the main story forward a little bit, we get some enlightenment on a mystery that mass effect has kept us in the dark with for 3 years and we get to reunite with an old friend who becomes and even more powerful ally at the end of the DLC. So I am really confused as to where you get your information that makes ME2 not only a rip off but also that it has less content then ME1 Seriously dude I agree with Bowserpwns when I say go back and Harass the Halo crowd for a bit. 'nuff said

G_Monkey
G_Monkey

4- Music- In ME1 the music was appropriate but it also came off as kinda beep beep boopy for lack of a better term. In ME2 the music is appropriate for the atmosphere and is comparable to some really good motion picture sound tracks. 5- Finally we get to DLC- In ME1 once you were done, that was it. All the DLC had to be completed before the final mission. Both the DLC's were really short too. That's right there was only 2 DLC. One- Bring down the sky, was decent. The second one- Pinnacle station- Not so hot and they didn't really impact the story or your morality a whole lot aside from one life or death decision at the end of bring down the sky. In ME2 at launch there was a whole slew of DLC that was free- Zaeed the mercenary was one, and there were a few free weapon packs along with launch exclusives like the terminus package. Later DLC included new vehicles, new armor pieces, a new squad member and new side quests. While not contributing to the main story as a whole the side quests made for up to 8 hours of great extra questing on a game that for most people had started to gather dust from being played to death. With the new character Katsumi Goto we had the chance to restart our story and see how we faired with an extra gunner in the final mission. (conclusion to follow)

G_Monkey
G_Monkey

@organbank seriously dude. Where do you get your information from. ME2 Has so much more content in it as opposed to ME1 that they had to ram it onto two disks so that you could experience it all. Let's go through the content shall we? 1- Main story- In ME1 You visited 4 or 5 planets chasing down a rogue spectre all the while hunting down clues about the reapers. In ME2, you have to go all over the galaxy from planet to planet and on space stations and everything to find your team and then do their loyalty quests on top of playing missions where you bump into the collectors. 2- Side Quests- In ME1 the side quests were kinda just tossed together, the environments were all pretty much the same from quest to quest. Aside from one or two there wasn't really any story to them other than "go fetch" In ME2 The level designers went nuts, they got to create unique environments each of which had an interesting story that was relevant to the main plotline and also most of them gave you something that would help out in future missions 3- Customizability- In ME1 You could buy a few variations of every armor and weapon but for the most part it all looked the same, in ME2 you have crazy amounts of customization, you can buy parts for customizing your armor, you can color it in multipe combinations making yourself a night in shining armor or a menacing assassin. (continued in next message)

G_Monkey
G_Monkey

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dwithrow
dwithrow

@organbank We can all tell that you never played either Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2, know your facts before you run your mouth!

omegazx100
omegazx100

again bio ware awesome love what u did to this game im looking forward on getting it

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

lazycomplife
lazycomplife

There are 5 major types of DLC: 1. Arcade Games - Titles that are sometimes so good they could be released in hard copy form, but for every great one there is a lot of garbage. I own many Arcade games on my 360 (my favs are South Park Tower Defense, N+, Castle Crashers, and Battlefield 1943) 2. Added content to a game - This adds a good few hours to a game. ME2 DLC is added content, Borderlands (minus Underdome) is added content, etc. Bioware and Gearbox are doing great with their DLC. Oblivion has great DLC also. This is the good stuff. 3. Map packs - Usually not worth the price, but you'll buy it anyway if you play the game very often. Sometimes great maps like "Garden" from Gears1 will come along (I really liked that map) and make me feel like I'm getting my money's worth, but most of the time I feel ripped off. (MW2 has worst map packs ever, and everyone usually skips maps they paid for; may I mention Carnival and Trailer Park?) 4. Themes, Avatar items, Gamerpics - Microsoft's way of milking your money, but you may purchase it anyway because they don't allow the use of an internet browser. Microsoft's point based system often lures me into purchasing these types of DLC, because of the leftover points I have after purchasing an Arcade game or DLC I wanted. 5. JRPG DLC. Buy them all and keep the imports coming!

mypetmonkey
mypetmonkey

@organbank Did you even play ME2? What part wasn't finished? If the DLC content was included originally I would barely be bothered to play it through again. DLC gives me a reason to import the finished game character up the difficulty and have a differing experience. Games are finished on release. It's additional released content not a damn patch. If you feel like your getting ripped off.... don't buy it... you... don't.... have... to... Expansion packs have been around for decades... Get over it.

ptown58
ptown58

Anyone who cant except this as a semi new revenue generating "tool" (I hear that's how they speak) for game companies probably lives in Disney land full time.

ptown58
ptown58

I love the game and cant wait for new content but some games are getting smaller with more and more dlc (the day the retail comes out ???) for an extra cost, it's pretty obvious like with Kane and Lynch 2 but then you have gta4 which is huge but with out more missions gets stale just goofin so more dlc at a cost.

Kitein0
Kitein0

@organbank Don't like it, don't buy it. Simple. ME2 my first time through with no DLC lasted longer than ME1 ever did. So I dunno what you're talking about. Seriously, you're a tool. I feel ashamed for wasting my time replying to you but I had some meager hope of actually getting through to you. That's really cute how you try to bypass the censor too, grow up. If anyone's a blight on the industry its people like you.

organbank
organbank

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Bowserpwns
Bowserpwns

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

organbank
organbank

@mypetmonkey no the game was not the full version on release. On release it had less than half the content of ME1! With all the "DLC" content, the game now has about 3/4 of the content of ME1. Funny how blind fanboys liked to bend over and be ripped off. Keep it up fanboys, at this rate when we buy a game all we will get is the load screen and then we will have to pay extra each time we want to play it....