We've seen a number of downloadable content releases so far for BioWare's Mass Effect 2, and we're told the next will cost you real dollars. No word yet on exactly how expensive it'll be since BioWare's still figuring it out, but it does come along with a number of new items and story bits. The content should be ready to go on April 6 for Xbox 360 and PC.
One of the main attractions of the download is Kasumi, a stealthy female fighter who you can meet up with in the Citadel. After getting her attention and talking to her about the task she wants you to do, she'll become a member of your party. So after you're all done, she'll take up residence on your ship. You can walk into her room, examine all the cool paintings she has on the wall, and fix yourself a drink at the bar. Like Zaeed, another added character through downloadable content, you can't actually engage in full conversation with her, she just talks at you as you wander around her room.
With a dark hook, black eyes, and a cloaking ability, Kasumi is an intimidating character. In battle, she can also pull off the Mass Effect equivalent of a rogue backstab, as she cloaks, moves behind a target, then reappears and whacks the foe in the back of its head with your omni-tool. She'll also offer the ability to toss out flashbangs as a loyalty bonus, and during the mission you'll get a fancy new gun.
You'll be able to access the content regardless of where you are in the game – whether you're halfway through the story or finished. In all we're told it'll take about one hour and a half to complete, and according to BioWare plays out a little like a James Bond mission. First you infiltrate and mingle with the enemy, then you start shooting. Kasumi will fill you in on the mission details on the Citadel, and then you fly off to the location of the target's mansion, which turns out to be fairly lavish.
I won't spoil any of the specifics, but the plot does at one point involve Michelangelo's David. The setting itself looked impressive, as the interior of the mansion looked out over grassy fields, a large expanse of water, and a city in the distance under a clear, sunny sky. Within the residence were a number of elaborate paintings, bookshelves, and other fancy features as guests of the target's party wandered around in formal wear, clinking glasses as piano music played in the background.
Once the fighting breaks out, expect things to get quite hectic as Shepard and Kasumi battle against a number of formidable foes, some of which will lob flashbangs your way. Assuming the price is right, this could be a nice addition for fans of BioWare's sci-fi RPG.
©2010-03-11, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved