BioWare recently released the Lair of the Shadowbroker DLC for Mass Effect 2, now reviews are coming in thick and fast, and by the looks of things it is well worth the 800 Microsoft/BioWare points. Metacritic’s unique scoring system has given the DLC a metascore of 90/100 along with an impressive user score of 9.8, the metascore is derived from 7 reputable reviews, whereas the user score is derived from 10 user reviews.
The Shadow Broker story itself though rolled off like a perfect SciFi tale that took you along for the ride. After a brief introduction to the mission that consists of you going to Ilium and speaking to Liara T’Soni you are on your way. You travel to places like Liara’s apartment which has a piece of your old N7 suit that was found when she helped the Shadow Broker find your corpse to help recreate you.
It is obvious that she admires you, with a nice glassed in display of your old suit. Then you even get to fight around Hotel Azure, an erotic hotel getaway in Ilium. They don’t mention that straight up but its worth looking around one of the hotel rooms to find a little Easter egg conversation that explains why it is so erotic.
Liara is a welcome presence, but this excellent add-on’s greatest attraction is the electrifying battle environment that plays host to its final act. Lair of the Shadow Broker’s second half finds you battling for survival on the hull of a massive space vessel swathed in a blanket of undulating clouds. This vertigo-inducing setting may very well be the most breathtaking yet in the series, and the conflicts that erupt as you search for a way into the ship provide a terrific lead-in to a grand finale.
And while it controls a mite stiffly, a brief vehicle chase through Illium’s dangerous highways of the skies is another highlight that similarly provides a fantastic sense of place. Mass Effect 2′s AI idiosyncrasies and cover-related discomforts can still intrude from time to time, but those disturbances are minor. Lair of the Shadow Broker is a quality piece of content and a great reason to head back to the bridge of the Normandy SR2.
You do get to spend some quiet time with Liara, which is appropriate, given your history of friendship and, perhaps, romance. She doesn’t join your crew as a permanent member, but that doesn’t diminish the value of this great new addition to the Mass Effect universe. The Lair of the Shadow Broker is worthy of your time (more than two hours) and your money ($10, or 800 Microsoft points). If for no other reason, buy it to experience what is likely the best combat environment yet for a sequel rightfully lauded for its visual artistry.
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