5

As a sendoff, Arrival is a shallow and dissapointing experience that ends Mass Effect 2 with a whimper.

Mass Effect 2 was no doubt a landmark game that brilliantly continued shepard's trek around the galaxy in search of spectres, intimacy with crew members and faithful opportunities to the deliver the pain with biotic powers and moment-to-moment moral decisions. The latest downloadable add-on doubt "Arrival" however, has very little of that. Sure, the core shooting aciton remains largely intact but the unforfilling story squanders the stirring setup that bridges the gap between Mass Effect 2, and the upcoming Mass Effect 3 and its also marred by numerous glitches and other bugs that render the asking price of $7 as simply not worth it. Short, unnecesarry and the lack of the magnificent storytelling that helped define Mass Effect in the first place makes Arrival a disappointing conclusion to one of last years best games and ends Mass Effect 2 with a whimper, rather than a bang.

Sent on a rescue mission to liberate a scientist named Dr. Kenson from Batarian clutches--Arrival immediately sets the stage for the events that are likely to transpire in Mass Effect 3 as the story teases you with the knowledge that the Reapers are knocking on earthly doors. Yet in spite of the cool premise, Arrival is shockingly light on plot-development. There arent any real decisions to make here and since Arrival is entirely a solo mission, there is very little in the way of dialogue and party interactions and it also strips down the combat--removing the tactical sensibilities of pausing, queuing up attack powers and executing them in tandem. Lance Henriksen as Admiral Hackett is the only note-worthy character here, but even he doesn't get enough screen time to make him seem like a solid contributor to what is ultimatetly a very shallow tale that lacks poignancy and impact.

So the action has to sustain Arrival and it does, mostly. Like i stated earlier, there are no party members that accompany you so the combat feels a little to simplistic for its own good. Yet if you still fancy the sight of watching enemies getting thrown all over the place via your tech and biotic powers, you might get some enjoyment out of the shooting mechanics and the environments you'll tread and shoot through are very much up to Mass Effect standard. Yet toss in a rather lame, early stealth sequence and some glitches here and here--the action might devolve into frustration from time to time. It's also very brief (much more so than previous add-ons) clocking in at around 90 minutes or less and since the story here is so unsatisfying, you probably wont get much of a "sneak-peek" of things to come in Mass Effect 3 which will hopefully tie things up with a bit more substance.

Even the biggest Mass Effect enthusiast probably wont get much out of Arrival, neither in terms of action or storytelling. It carries some of Mass Effect 2's strengths, but the lack of a coherent plot and much to simplified combat make it a far too shallow experience to warrant the price of admission.

Pros:
+The excellent shooting mechanics remain intact
+Same striking art-style, voice acting and soundtrack as in Mass Effect 2.

Cons:
-The story lacks substance and poignancy
-No remarkable characters or dialogue
-Far too simplified combat
-Numerous glitches and bugs intrude the fun.

Game Emblems - The Good:
Terrific Voice Acting

Game Emblems - The Bad:
Disappointing
Weak Story
Shallow
Short

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