Quantcast
Review: Mass Effect 3 Citadel - Destructoid




Mass Effect 3: Citadel  




Review: Mass Effect 3 Citadel photo
Review: Mass Effect 3 Citadel

2:00 PM on 03.06.2013

The Final Farewell


It’s been a while—over seven years, in fact—since Mass Effect was first announced. At the time, it was being pitched as a classic 1970s sci-fi flick that you could play. Your decisions, they said, would have dramatic effects on the final outcome, and your progress would transfer between games—a pretty unique concept at the time.

Now, the degree to which the series lived up to its very lofty goals is very much up for debate, but with Citadel we’ll see the alleged end of the narrative portion of the trilogy. Regardless of how you feel about the combat or the ending to ME3, the multiplayer additions or whatever else – it has become one of the most talked-about series ever. I think they’ve added something worthy of that original vision.

Mass Effect 3: Citadel (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PC)
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: EA
Released: March 5, 2013
MSRP: $15

I remember a few years back I read a blog post by one Cliff Bleszinski about he saw a new hope for the legacy of classic like Star Wars in the nascent stages of Mass Effect’s development. The vastness of the universe, the sympathy of the characters and the scale of the conflict were the foundations of that analogy. Recently, I’ve begun to think that each of the games was respectively built around one of those three things. Mass Effect 2, the best of the series, was given life by the interactions within the ragtag group of outcasts, and my biggest take-away from Citadel was the degree to which it matched the best that 2 had to offer.

That said it also fits in with 3, even if it is a bit ham-handed at times. Thematically, Citadel is still trying to give some sense of closure to the whole journey, but it still doesn't quite get the job done. After what was for many a 150-hour epic, though, it's clear why letting go of the thing is so difficult.

The DLC begins with Shepard being called back to the Citadel for repairs and maintenance on the Normandy and shore leave for the crew. Given that this is supposed to take place in the middle of one of the largest galactic wars in hundreds of thousands years, and that the continues existence of everyone in the galaxy is at stake, I really hope I’m not the only one that finds all of this a bit hard to swallow.

Once Citadel is pretty confident that you’ve bought into the flimsy pretense for a vacation, it smacks you in the face, in a grand, sophomoric “HAHA JUST KIDDING” prank. What follows isn’t necessarily the best subplot in the series, but it’s comes wrapped with a delightful spark – bringing back nearly every squad mate that’s lived up to this point. There’s no apparent purpose behind the grand reunion, other than bringing back a bunch of fan favorites for one final goodbye. One that feels even more gratuitous when you know how this tale ends.

Really, Citadel nails nearly everything it needs to. Much like Lair of the Shadow Broker, it has the perfect combination of comedy, combat and intrigue. It’s so well put together that I can’t help but fall in love with it, but it also comes with some really unfortunate baggage.

Most of the people who will be playing Citadel have finished Mass Effect 3, and while the DLC doesn’t change the ending, it’s impossible to separate the two. Knowing the tragic conclusion to Shepard’s journey, knowing what happens to your squad and the absolute horror of their war for survival, places the carefree merrymaking squarely within one of two contexts.

The pessimist will see this add-on as a commentary on the futility of it all; on the absolute pointlessness of our own pursuits of happiness. The optimist will see a light amongst the darkness, a small flicker of the human spirit in the face of insurmountable odds against a cold, uncaring evil.

Even with the rather imposing context of the rest of the Mass Effect series placed squarely on the shoulders of this final narrative arc, it is never bad. Combat is passable, as always, with a few fun twists later on. There are a few light puzzle sections that are rather similar to Kasumi’s mission from 2.

The pithy banter between Shepard and her squad is rarely quite as fun as is it here. Seth Green doesn’t quite get to stretch his wings as much as the comedic work horse of the cast, but everyone’s got some great lines – particularly Alix Regan as Specialist Traynor.

For those of us who are heavily invested in the series, for whatever reason, it means putting away something special. This was a modern sci-fi epic that attempted, at least, to give the player a voice. I don’t think this trip quite took the path that anyone thought it would, but it’s been an interesting ride.

If this is how BioWare wants to close Shepard’s chapter, I can live with this. It’s not a perfect finale, but it’s one that highlights the best we’ve seen from the series so far, and it’s not without its own set of endearing idiosyncrasies. 



THE VERDICT - Mass Effect 3: Citadel

Reviewed by Daniel Starkey

8 /10
Great: Impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash. Check out more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Mass Effect 3: Citadel



3:00 PM on 03.12.2013
Mass Effect 3: Citadel soundtrack free for Origin users

To celebrate the release of the final piece of content in Commander Shepard's canon, BioWare has made the Mass Effect 3: Citadel soundtrack free to download. The only catch? You have to have an Origin account to get it. ...more



2:45 PM on 03.04.2013
Prepare for Mass Effect 3: Citadel with a launch trailer

Tomorrow marks the release of the Citadel downloadable content ($15) for Mass Effect 3 on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. I'm not so sure about this new "threat," but I like seeing so many familiar faces return. Frankly, th...more



6:00 PM on 02.21.2013
Final Mass Effect 3 DLC to give Shepard a proper farewell

Today, BioWare officially revealed the last single-player DLC for Mass Effect 3 -- the add-on that will effectively end Commander Shepard's story-arc. Entitled Citadel, the DLC will feature one last trip to the series' i...more




BioWare

12:30 PM on 08.25.2014
Shadow Realms, the new BioWare RPG, has a lot of strong and unique ideas

Anytime you sit in on an early look at a new videogame, the presentation's sort of structured the same. Throughout the introduction to the title, the developers always -- always -- pepper the speech with catchy phrases a...more



7:16 AM on 08.13.2014
BioWare states that one complete playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition is 150 hours

Today at EA's gamescom press conference, BioWare's Aaryn Flynn talked a bit about how long Dragon Age: Inquisition would take to complete. The answer? If you did everything in one playthrough, it would take roughly 150 hours. Sounds like a lot, right? Well let me break that statement down based on my experiences with the game at a recent preview event.more



4:10 AM on 08.13.2014
BioWare announces modern fantasy story-based 4 vs. 1 multiplayer RPG Shadow Realms

At the EA press conference today, BioWare announced its next project, Shadow Realms. Jeff Hickman, the Studio General Manager discussed its inspiration in old school pen and paper role-playing games, before elaborating on how...more



View all BioWare






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more