Mass Effect 2's first substantial piece of downloadable content since the game's release, "Kasumi - Stolen Memory," does a lot of things right as far as DLC goes. Problem is, it also does a lot of things wrong.
Presenting gamers with the chance to add another member to their crew of galactic misfits, Stolen Memory has you travelling to the Citadel to recruit the titular Kasumi, before heading off-world to break into a vault belonging to a very angry South African man.
Sounds good in theory! The problems come in the execution. And I'll have you know before we go any further, I'll need to bring up some spoilers in relation to this DLC.
Off-World – Stolen Memory gives you a new planet to explore, Bekenstein, which is the setting for an art heist you're there to help out with. It's a beautiful planet, all blue skies and green trees and water features, and makes for a pleasant change from all the space stations and metal corridors you're used to from Mass Effect 2's main storyline. The actual mission is also refreshingly different. While criminally short, it tasks you with wandering around the home of arms dealer Donovan Hock, undermining his security in an attempt to get into his art vault. It's hardly challenging, but it's nice not to have a mission revolve entirely around gun play.
Doesn't fit – This entire piece of DLC just feels wrong in its timing and its intent. It's April, and this game came out in January. If you're keen enough to be buying this, you're also probably keen enough to have finished the game. So why am I recruiting somebody for a mission I've already finished? And why am I getting emails about it from a man I've already told in no uncertain terms to piss off, and who probably wants me dead? This would have been fine if, like Zaeed, it was available close to the game's launch. Coming so far after its release just seems disjointed.
Boring– It doesn't help that Kasumi is boring. You'd think that an art thief who looks like a Sith Lord would be an interesting character, but no. Her lines are delivered in a sterile monologue, her story is never properly explained or developed, and her mission isn't long enough to get a feel for the character. Don't go expecting her to contribute much to a full playthrough of the game, either, as like Zaeed she's not available for inter-mission chats.
I appreciate that Stolen Memory is trying something a little different, but for me, coming so long after I'd finished the main storyline it just feels a little pointless. I don't need any more crew for a mission that no longer exists, and even if I did, I'd need someone a lot more interesting than the disappointingly bland, love-sick thief on offer here. Maybe some post-game DLC is in order next time?
Kasumi - Stolen Memory was released on April 6, 2010, as downloadable content for Mass Effect 2 on the Xbox 360 (version reviewed) and PC. Sells for 560 Microsoft Points. A copy of the DLC was provided for review by the publisher. Played mission to completion, which took around 45 minutes.
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