ME3: Leviathan Review

Hey everyone! I’m back this week to break down the new Leviathan DLC released for Mass Effect 3. While most of DLC for ME3 so far has been nothing but multiplayer content (the one real exception being the Extended Cut) Leviathan provides us with our first real addition to the campaign of the single player story. And while some might find the content lacking when compared to the stellar content found in Mass Effect 2’s Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, Leviathan is more than enough incentive to dust off your save file and join Shepard once again as she/he struggles to save the galaxy from the wrath of the Reapers once more.

[The non-spoiler part]

Leviathan offers us with yet another reason to hop back into the single player campaign. In my case, I dusted off my saved game and started a new play-through on the Insanity difficulty. For those of you wondering how exactly new DLC fits into the story after you’ve beaten the game, it doesn’t. Leviathan takes place before you make the final “push” to take down the reapers and actually offers some interesting insights into exactly what the Reaper menace truly is. The DLC offers players with new locations to visit, new guns and mods to fight the good fight with, and even a new power to help Shepard battle his/her way through to the end of the game. For me, the DLC took about 3 hours to complete. Of course I was also trying to not fall behind on the regular missions of my new Insanity play-through, so I’m sure for some of you Leviathan will be beatable in 2 hours or so.

Do I feel that Leviathan was worth the purchase? You bet. Both the scenery and “space detective” parts of the DLC offered new and engaging content unlike anything else seen in Mass Effect so far. That, coupled with the new weapons and powers, means that the content will offer players both immediate and long-term benefits over the course of their playthroughs. Meaning that if you were like me and just waiting for a good reason to boot up Mass Effect 3’s single player again, you now have that reason.

[The spoiler part]

Now for those of you who have already played through Leviathan or don’t care about spoilers, let’s break down my favorite part about this DLC. The reveal. While arguably not that much of a reveal, given the added information provided to us already in the Extended Cut, the fact that we finally get to meet the creators of the Reapers is actually quite awesome. And convincing them to finally get off their lazy butts and help all us “weaker” races fight the good fight? Even better.

We also get a bit more information on our old buddy Harbinger, who has been a pain in our butt since he first started “assuming direct control” back in Mass Effect 2. As it turns out, he was the first reaper ever made, and has since been leading the harvest in the Catalyst’s eternal mission to “save” all life in the galaxy. So while it isn’t all that surprising to learn that Harbinger isn’t just some “regular” Reaper. The fact that he was the first, simply adds to his repertoire.

It’s also fittingly ironic that the Catalyst wasn’t just made to run the Reapers, but to save organic life from the synthetics they kept making. Only in the end it came to the conclusion that synthetics could only be “stopped” if they were never made in the first place. Leading to the eventual harvest and decimation of all organic life sufficiently advanced enough to create synthetics. I mean, its a stupid plan when you look at it as an outsider, but you can’t really argue with its logic; no matter how impersonal or monstrous its line of thinking might be.

It’s also fun to see where both Harbinger and the Catalyst get their arrogance and douchey-ness. As the Leviathans, despite not technically wanting to kill lesser species, were really no better than the Reapers are now. I mean, being wiped off the face of the galaxy sucks. But being mind-controlled and ruled over by giant Cthulhu squids isn’t a ton better; trading one tyrant for anther and all that jazz. Regardless of how “new” all these revelations may or may not be, they flesh out the back-story of the Mass Effect universe in ways previously only seen in the last 5 minutes of the game. Thus making the inclusion of the Leviathan DLC a wonderful new layer to the previously spotty background of the Reapers.

All in all I feel that Leviathan is a unique and exciting new addition to an already amazing setting. Throw in the fact that you also get 400 points towards your assault on the Reapers, some sick new weapons, and a rather OP new power…. and you really can’t lose. So while Leviathan may not have quite the emotion and gripping game-play that we saw in Lair of the Shadow Broker, it’s darn close; and well worth the purchase in my mind.

So dust off your save files and get ready for an adventure people! Because Shepard’s got a mystery to solve and some galactic history to set straight…

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