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Mass Effect 2: Is Kasumi DLC worth it?

After a bumpy takeoff yesterday, the new Mass Effect 2 DLC is finally available. We’ve downloaded and played through it – so is it worth the $7? The answer is yes, and no. When we got our first peek at Kasumi during GDC, we were fired up about the infiltration mission. We envisioned something akin to Samara’s loyalty quest, with itsmystique andnuanced dialog, only this time with more combat. Retrieving the Stolen Memory turned out to be a pretty straightforward affair, and while entertaining was not mind-blowing.

Above: Black heels make you all the more deadly

The mission was over quickly, taking just an hour and a half to complete. In order to win Kasumi’s loyalty, we were to break into crime boss Donovan Hock’s secret vault and steal a neural memory implant he took out of the brain of Kasumi’s dead lover. The location was visually interesting (especially the swag in the vault), but the space felt small and progression through it was surprisingly linear. From Hock’s balcony, I could see a glittering city on the horizon, beckoning with adventure, but alas you’re confined to the crimelord’s estate for the duration.

Above: Luckily the guards were distracted by Krogan anime on channel 420

I never felt like I had to do anything particularly clever to crack the vault, just wander from room to room following Kasumi’s instructions. There weren’t any interesting people to talk to at the party aside from Hock, and he basically had one monologue and was done. Hock was underdeveloped as a character and sounded like a Scotsman doing a bad Nico Bellic impersonation. He had one great moment when a giant holo of his head appeared, Wizard of Oz style, in the vault . Cue guards and heavy mechs for the fight to the exit.

Above: Turns out Legion had a heart all along

Things picked up when it was time to blast our way out. I picked up the new SMG, which was more effective at range, and tested out Kasumi’s Shadow Strike ability. It was a blast sending her to assassinate bungling guards while I hosed them down with Incendiary rounds, and her Overload power was helpful against the heavy mechs Hock threw at us. Upon completing the mission, her special ability was unlocked, giving her (and therefore potentially me) flashbang grenades. So while the infiltration mission itself was a bit underwhelming, Kasumi is an awesome character with cool abilities and a charming personality, making her a great addition to your team. But don’t go falling head over heels for her; Kasumi’s not a romance option. If she were, a whole lotta hearts would be breaking as Shepards everywhere dumped their mates for the sultry super-thief.

Above: OMG Kasumi totally just checked out my tits!

If the DLC were the mission alone, it would be tough to recommend it. But since you get to keep Kasumi for the duration, and also pick up a useful new weapon and some snazzy new clothes, the overall package is worth it.

Above: Save the galaxy, or go for cocktails? Stylish new threads wear from day to evening with minimal fuss