Whether you experienced the original ending, or the revamped Extended Cut, it’s hard to argue that Mass Effect 3 did not, in fact, end. Commander Shepard’s story came to a blatant conclusion, presenting BioWare with the problem of what to do in terms of post-release DLC. If the developers were to add content to the end of the game, they would run into problems with linear storytelling, as each ending is drastically different from the next. Unsurprisingly, BioWare decided to create content that slots into the regular game and can be played like any other side-mission,. This method is no doubt easier and smarter, though it is a bit limiting.
In Mass Effect 3’s first expansion,”Leviathan,” Shepard is informed of a secret research project, tasked with the investigation of something called “Leviathan,” a mysterious entity that apparently killed a Reaper. Obviously a creature as powerful as this could be a very useful ally in the war against the Reapers, so Shepard sets out to discover more about what it actually is. A large chunk of “Leviathan” involves investigation, though this aspect of the game is heavily front-loaded. Players must find clues to narrow down search parameters, which lead to a new location with clues in the quest to find out what (or who) Leviathan is.
Throughout the almost-three-hour length of “Leviathan” you will take part in small skirmishes against Reaper forces, who are themselves trying to track down Leviathan whilst stopping Shepard from doing the same. These moments bring a burst of excitement to an otherwise low-key piece of content. You’ll spend most of your time in the investigation sequences, searching offices and various complexes for clues to progress. A few sections also have a brilliantly creepy atmosphere, as you wander through dimly lit rooms and are told you shouldn’t have come by their occupants.
It’s safe to say “Leviathan” contains some fairly large revelations that give context to the Reapers and their origins. Is it necessary information? Not at all. The Reapers were fine as a seemingly ageless race whose origins were so old they could barely be comprehended. That said, having this new context does little to hurt the overall universe of Mass Effect. In fact it’s immensely interesting and has me intrigued to know more.
The revelations “Leviathan” holds are wrapped in an enjoyable piece of Mass Effect 3 content, that is sure to remind fans why they love the series. There are some truly spectacular visuals toward the end too, but overall, despite being enjoyable and building on the fiction, “Leviathan” isn’t quite a must-play.
Mass Effect 3: Leviathan was developed by BioWare and published by EA. An Xbox 360 copy was purchased by the editor to review the title.