Sunday, March 07, 2010

Mass Effect 2: Zaeed - The Price of Revenge (Xbox 360) Review

The second DLC available for free via the Cerberus Network for Mass Effect 2, Zaeed - The Price of Revenge introduces an 11th Squad Mate into your crew, the veteran mercenary Zaeed Massani.

Once the DLC is downloaded and installed, you'll receive an email from the Illusive Man on your private terminal informing you that Zaeed's been hired and paid for and is awaiting pick up. You'll be introduced to this character with a rather amusing cutscene as soon as you dock at Omega, and after a quick conversation Zaeed will join you. He'll also tell you about a mission he wants to complete related to the Blue Sun Mercenaries in which he's supposed to shut down a factory that's essential handled via slave labour. This mission makes up his loyalty mission, and like the others, you can choose to pursue it or not.

This particular mission sees some great combat, and has a rather dark twist forcing you to make an important moral choice as you learn some vital secrets about this veteran for hire and whether you can really trust him or not. Completion of this mission either way will also award you a 15 Point Achievement, the first and to-date only post retail Achievement.

As a veteran merc, Zaeed is a combat oriented character who can use Assault Rifles and Sniper Rifles, and he has combat oriented Talents such as Concussive Shot and Incendiary Ammo. His loyalty ability is an Incendiary Grenade which can set multiple targets on fire, however it's thrown like a traditional grenade and so has a limited close to medium range effectiveness.

Zaeed has dialogue present throughout the entire game right up until the end of the Suicide Mission, and his voice acting was very well done, however he does not feature a full dialogue tree aboard the Normandy. There, he resides in one of the cargo areas on Deck 4 and when you speak to him, it's like speaking to any other NPC where he simply talks to you without any close ups and without you actually saying anything.

His stories however are always of past missions and tend to be rather humourous, and there's also some of his own personal items scattered near him. These range from a Krogan helmet to a model ship to an old Assault Rifle, and clicking on each will have him tell the story behind them.

Regrettably Zaeed - The Price of Revenge DLC does introduce some minor bugs. The first was that there was a problem at launch for the Xbox 360 version, prompting BioWare to release it two days later and put out a Title Update. The second is that having Zaeed in your Squad and/or completing his loyalty mission _may_ trigger certain story specific missions a little earlier than they were intended.

Still, these bugs are minor and while having another combat oriented character on your Squad isn't essential, at the price of free with some amusing stories, Zaeed - The Price of Revenge is well worth the download. That, and his loyalty mission was a whole lot of fun.

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