Mass Effect 3: Omega Review

Mass Effect 3: Omega's action is as good as it's ever been in the series, but shallow storytelling squanders this add-on's potential.

Aria T'Loak once presided over the Omega space station, where exotic dancers entertained and enthralled onlookers, and outlaws trafficked drugs and weapons without the threat of government scrutiny. In Mass Effect 3: Omega, Aria is on the lam, ousted from her position as the station's self-appointed dictator by the pro-human organization called Cerberus. But Aria misses home--and craves the power she once so flagrantly flaunted. And now it's time to return to the Terminus Systems to regain her lost rule.

Aria's convictions are compelling; if only the downloadable add-on in which she prominently figures were equally tenacious. Omega disappointingly leaves behind the Mass Effect series' narrative complexity in favor of pistols and profanities, and replaces its moving dialogue with sci-fi military chatter. You spend the majority of the time shooting guns as Commander Shepard, often with Aria at your side providing support, stopping for a few moments so that your companion might update the mission objective and remind you how badass she is before you once again peer down the scope of your battle rifle.

Granted, Omega's action is quite good, and the environments do a great job of communicating a sense of "bigness" that the series' level design sometimes lacks. You catch glimpses of aerial battles raging among the station's cylindrical spires and reddened skyways, and dropships enter from above as if part of a larger assault. Even when industrial-looking zones threaten to blend together, visual touches like a force field's swirling red glow, and Aria's forceful biotic eruptions, provide color and character. Open combat environments encourage you to stay on the move, and troopers and centurions frequently flank you, forcing you into the open--and possibly into view of a hulking atlas. New enemies like the rampart mech are particularly aggressive, and that aggressiveness makes the final combat sequence an enjoyable challenge.

These mechs aren't afraid to get in your face.

Omega's primary problem is that it forgets that what makes Mass Effect 3 special isn't the shooting itself--it's that you care about why you are shooting in the first place. Aria has always been an intriguing figure, and depending on your responses to her in dialogue, you might find that Commander Shepard has more in common with her than you once realized. But whenever Aria gets a chance to shine, BioWare drops the ball, reducing her to a petulant, potty-mouthed sociopath. The series has never fully shied from strong language, and Jack had her share of profane moments. But those moments punctuated that character's lingering insecurities and tough-love leadership qualities, whereas Aria's F-bombs during combat are unnecessary and grow repetitive.

Aria has a few tough-love moments of her own, but in a series that explores complex personalities, she is disappointingly one-note. When she finally gains the opportunity to encourage her subjects with a rousing speech, glitches take over, with the pirate queen teleporting and pirouetting as if the laws of physics and common sense no longer apply. The shallow characterizations continue with Omega's other primary personality, a female Turian called Nyreen. She and Aria have a complicated past--one that could have used some development. Unfortunately, Nyreen has a limited amount of screen time, which is a shame, because she provides a moral balance to Aria's consistent egotism.

Aria takes another moment to look sour and disinterested.

The character roster is rounded out with a villain who fits snugly into the "guys with accents are evil" category and who has too little screen time to make much of an impact. In that sense, he personifies Omega at large: lacking impact. The content is purely self-contained, in contrast to Mass Effect 2's wonderful add-ons, which were pleasantly inserted into the adventure at large. Once you finish Omega, the galaxy doesn't care, which is just as well, since you don't make any substantial decisions anyway. You can't return to the space station, you gain no crew members or Normandy guests, and Aria is deposited back on the Citadel--a bizarre circumstance fully at odds with her character arc.

What's left is all that combat, which seems to go on interminably with too little to break it up. The action is good at least, with level designs and enemy behavior that encourage you to do more than take cover in one safe spot and blast bullets and biotics until no foe is left standing. But you do all that fighting without ever feeling connected to what you're fighting for--and you do it without your trusted friends at your side. Shepard even quips that seeking out a crack squad for a vital mission is an all-too-familiar goal. And you know there are tough times ahead when even Shepard acknowledges the repetition to come.

The Good
Fun combat in atmospheric environments
New aggressive enemies and smart level design keep you on the move
The Bad
Interesting characters go to waste
Weak story and dialogue
Glitched cutscenes
5.5
Mediocre
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Mass Effect 3

About the Author

GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

Discussion

17 comments
rykeut
rykeut

I'm interested in this. I haven't played this one, yet, but I've played Leviathan. I wonder if the two were planned as appeals to two different market segments. Leviathan contributed a Hell of a lot to the story, but was light on the action. Many reviewers, on the other hand, are saying that Omega is an action spectacle that's light on the storytelling.

icebox98
icebox98

i liked the new ceberus mechs for being more challenging and harder to kill than the me2 security mechs

. would have loved it if the dlc re-openned the omega markets though

theCCyberDDemon
theCCyberDDemon

The biggest problem of Omega DLC is the fact that a new potential character recruitment was thrown out to the garbage. There is nothing about RPG in there but just action, that can be bad and good at the same time. Level design is absolutely alien, all musics gives that boost. So why waste it for the nothingness?

fredlamirande
fredlamirande

I was bored and I reinstalled ME3 and tried this DLC over the weekend. Overall, I like the new abilities from the 2 new characters the combat and the environment, but those cinematic glitches are everywhere! This DLC does feel like it was rushed and could've been much more. Omega Looks and feels great but the bad cut-scenes and a strange lack or good conversation choices and rpg choices makes this DLC rather disappointing. The early parts of if looked promising tho...

wumpscutnut
wumpscutnut

I was just looking forward to going back to Omega.. I loved Omega in ME2 and I thought Aria was a very interesting character (and hot to boot). But now it seems Bioware has reduced her to a potty mouthed, generic drone.

This DLC had so much potential which makes it even more disappointing. Imagine being able to go back to Omega and explore tons of new area that wasn't accessible in the past, meet new and interesintg characters, gain new squad mates, be emotionally moved... nope. More generic call of duty BS. 

Highsis
Highsis

You are being too generous.

 

It was an absolute garbage as an RPG. As a shooter, I would have given the same score but there were nothing in the DLC to call it RPG.

ILuvMe3
ILuvMe3

Only thing I liked about this DLC really were the adjutants :) those were sweet and I was glad they added them from the Invasion comics.

majalvega
majalvega

After reading "Mass Effect Volume 3: Invasion" comic, this DLC makes every sense! 8.0 score to me.

CaesarIIII
CaesarIIII

I can't wait for Mass Effect 3-Alpha ....... ( Sarcastic Voice )

Stringerboy
Stringerboy

Yep Mass Effect is dead to me. Thank you Hack Walters and Lazy Hudson.

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

"Omega's primary problem is that it forgets that what makes Mass Effect 3 special isn't the shooting itself--it's that you care about why you are shooting in the first place."

 

No, this is EA/Bioware's primary problem ever since the acquisition. Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3 and more DLC than you can shake a stick at...over and over again they're ramming the point home.

 

"We want to go after Call of Duty fans! We'll do JUST ENOUGH to pretend we still care about our old RPG audience to string them along and keep them buying as much as possible, but they aren't who we're really gearing our games towards anymore."

501stormtrooper
501stormtrooper

Oh maannn. I'm starting to miss that Shadow Broker quality in BioWare's DLCs :(

stripesonfire
stripesonfire

Think Kevin hit the nail on the head. I didn't play the DLC but I was actually looking forward to it. However, once it came out and I started hearing more details about it and watching some videos it definitely seems relatively lackluster and like a wasted opportunity.  Shame.

 

This DLC would have been a great way to re-introduce Zaeed, Wrex, or even have a Batarian as a squadmate.  So much potential for Omega but all of that is wasted on a mediocre corridor crawl.

Crimson_Erskine
Crimson_Erskine

Honestly, the same could be said for the third installment as a whole. The writer should be shot, hung, stabbed, beheaded, and put in acid. To ruin a series like that should be punishable by either death or permanently barred from writing again.

zepedachemical
zepedachemical

Very good review. I have to hold off getting this and Leviathan due to my limited data plan anyways.

USAPATRIOT21
USAPATRIOT21

Have any of the DLC content for ME3 let you add a new member to the Normandy?

BIOJECT
BIOJECT

Haha the most honest review Gamespot has ever given. I like how the game still receives a 7/10 from users. Just shows how many gamers have poor taste in quality games. 

Pr0ving4Gr0undz
Pr0ving4Gr0undz

I guess I will wait for it to be on Deal of the week then.

TheKeef
TheKeef

I walked away from the ME series after this latest title bored me to death over and over.

 

Gunplay was awesome. DLC, Story, Ending, Scanning, I could go on and on why this game sucks for a conclusion to an epic.

philMcCrevis
philMcCrevis

I'm really starting to like this kevin Van guy.  he isn't afraid to slam anything that doesn't live up to his expectations.  would like to see him take on some really high profile releases so i can get his take without undue influence

demondayzzz
demondayzzz

This DLC was pretty poor, but it still could have been salvaged if it unlocked Omega (as an alternate to the Citadel, for example) or Aria or Nyreen as a squadmate, or you could romance Aria, etc. etc.

Instead it was basically a chore, with tons of wasted potential. I would have liked to see Garrus join the mission, as he was Archangel after all, and see how he reacted to Nyreen (and maybe try to set them up like Cartman does in the 'Cupid Me' South Park episode)- anything to make it more interesting than it was.

I agree with Kevin's review pretty much entirely. The DLC was quite buggy and didn't have the attention to detail that Mass Effect usually has. Even if the ending is already decided(ly crap) and the DLC wouldn't really effect the rest of the story of the game, they could still have made a fun, Shadow-Broker style DLC with flying car chases or whatever, rather than butcher one of my favorite locations in the ME series.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

Great review, Kevin!

X-Robert
X-Robert

The thing is, they charge us 15 dollars, if it was in the game when the game launched in March, everyone would be happier. Damn you EA!!! For rushing a potential masterpiece into the "wreck" we saw today. 

pedrote
pedrote

5.5 is too harsh in my opinion.

 

Maybe a 7 or 7.5, for production values and overall design. Omega feels alive at least, unlike many rushed and crappy DLC I've played in my life.

brunocj2
brunocj2

I was actually looking forward to buying this. Not buying it now... seems like a waste of time and money, specially after reading other's posts.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

Petrofsky was the diappointment of the DLC however, although the reactor scene for Paragons does make him shine a bit. Bioware simply did not flesh him out enough either because they ran out of space, or because he was fleshed out in the Invasion comic line, which this DLC is actually a conclusion of.

 

This is not a 5.5 DLC, but it isn't truly great....its a 7.5 or 8 DLC. The next one is the big one with everyone returning, the entire writing staff and all the voice actors. This one was done by a different team.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

Kevin, you completely missed Aria's character development.

 

If you are Paragon, you actually convince her to be less of a sociopath and in the end actually spares her enemies and starts actually caring for the people of Omega. I guess you did the Renegade path.

 

In fact what Aria does with Petrofsky is dependent on how you treated her and Nyreen throught the DLC.

 

Nyreen and Aria also foil eachother well.....Aria will sacrifice anyone to get what she wants while Nyreen is prepared to sacrifice herself to save the people of Omega. This goes to the heart of ME3's Paragon and Renegade system and ME3's main theme about sacrifice. Nyreen has all the screen time she needs because Bioware simply knows how to develop characters well. Hell, in Leviathan, Ann Bryson is a fully developed character in 5 minutes of screen time.

 

But the glitches are pretty bad and the DLC could have better connection to the main game. Aria returning to the Citadel is for people who did not finish her merc quests (however, the script could explain this far better). The Xbox 2 GB limit hurts the DLC bad...its 1.99 GB, they ran out of space, hence the glitches and missed oppurtunities to connect the DLC better to the game. Its also overpriced.

 

Also, ME2's expansions did not insert into the main campaign all that well either

Telekenesis123
Telekenesis123

What is so hard about making good DLC?  It seems like they are obsessed with offering as little as possible for the highest price and are constantly testing how low they can set peoples expectations of what they get for their money.

 

DLC has become a completely unpassionate and cynical affair which seems to be mandated by suits and out of touch number crunchers rather then people passionate about making games and a rich experience.  Time and time again bad bad slapped together DLC, we were much better in the days on expansion packs considering DLC's history of low quality.

Melchior111
Melchior111

I Agree with Kevin on this one, the dialog was bland as hell

wumpscutnut
wumpscutnut

@majalvega You shouldn't have to read a comic book spin off to understand DLC thats linked into the main canon game. This DLC should make sense and flow with the story on it's own and since it doesn't I won't buy it. At least not until it's cheaper. Really sucks too because I'm not one of the ME3 haters, I loved ME3 and couldn't wait to go back to Omega since it was one of my fav. places in ME2 and I love Aria as well.

ILuvMe3
ILuvMe3

 @majalvega

 True. If you read the Invasion comics, it makes much more sense. But unfortunately for people who havnt read Invasion, it doesn't make much sense therefore this DLC sux.

icebox98
icebox98

@Taz_12_Dave the gunplay and the merchs, i liked. the rest was mediocore. a 7.0 score would fit

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

 @501stormtrooper 

You're going to be missing it for a long time to come...unless, of course, you primarily play Bioware games for the multiplayer component or kinect support or what not.

 

Those things will be getting some serious attention from EA in future "Bioware" games.

icebox98
icebox98

@stripesonfire it is an intresting dlc besides the fact that bioware missed MANY POINTS they should have considred and that it doesnt add ANY connection to the main story *must be because its was arias secrete mission* and that they didnt add omega to the map as we all expected......

 the good is that it adds new powerfull weapons *especialy the assault rifles*, new intresting enemys *the merchs and the adjutants* and you even get to see a turian female. amd if you are intrested to see the save shepard ending minus playing the multiplayer, aria gives you an ems of 400 at the end

illd give it a 7.0 if i was the one rating

smurfa1
smurfa1

 @stripesonfire

 That was exactly what I thought too. Even though I don't like Zaeed it would have made sense. Not even to be able to visit Omega afterwards makes it a total letdown.

ILuvMe3
ILuvMe3

 @Crimson_Erskine Okaaaaaayy. That is pretty hilarious BUT I don't think it was that bad. And I think ou would have trouble with that plan since there is more then one writer. haha

 

ILuvMe3
ILuvMe3

Did I also mention there were so many gameplay AND cinematic glitches!?!?!?!?!?!?! Ugh....horrible

rebelguy0
rebelguy0

 @BIOJECT Yeah, because if you dislike it, it becomes fact that it's bad. Sure thing. Idiot.

cwd633
cwd633

 @philMcCrevis The one guy on Gamespot or any corporate game review site that actually tells it like it is. (Have I mentioned he's lost over 90 pounds?? Kevin, if you see this, my hat's off to you sir!!!

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

 @PodXCOM

 Except he missed key details that make some of his criticisms hollow and inaccurate.

 

This review shows he bull rushed this DLC.

H0rizon
H0rizon

 @texasgoldrush I'll only argue that Leviathan would have been better if it was there from the start.

Slade968
Slade968

@ILuvMe3 @majalvega  Good call. After I read yall's comments I read the comic before I started this DLC. Definitely added to the experience. Thanks!

nait2k4
nait2k4

 @texasgoldrush  @PodXCOM Kind of interested to hear the details as well, am tossing up whether or not to purchase this so if you have a more informative take on it, I would love to hear it.

Slade968
Slade968

@501stormtrooper @nocoolnamejim I've lost hope. Fucking EA... May they burn in hell. Bioware is dead and so are the rest of the great companies. (except for Valve, STAY STRONG). 

Sure, Bioware might release another great title but it will be a DLC laden pay-to-play blood sucker that you will have to shell out 100 bucks to actually have all the content. Then it will be rushed (like ME3) with some CoD effects crammed in to pull in the all the kiddies and dumbasses.  FUCKING EA!11!!!! OSIJH:SDGHISOUEH

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