For a game that I still consider the front-runner for In Third Person’s Game of the Year 2010, it hasn’t done a good job of keeping me playing. A number of DLC updates have been released, but I haven’t bothered to even put the game back in the system to check them out. Based on my experience with the game, any sort of addendum to that story wouldn’t feel right to me. I’m more than happy to let Shepherd and his crew wait for Mass Effect 3.
That is, till I heard about “Lair of the Shadow Broker”, which is scheduled to hit the XBOX Live Marketplace this week. At this point, the game hasn’t done much to interest me as far as the Shadow Broker goes. But my interest in this downloadable content has everything to do with the Asari researcher and my Mass Effect 1 lover, Liara T’soni.
You see, things between Liara and my Shepherd are complicated. After an awkward love triangle of sorts between my Shepherd, Liara and Ashley, Liara and my Shepherd ended up becoming lovers in Mass Effect 1. This bond was quickly blown up (literally) at the beginning of Mass Effect 2. By the time Shepherd and Liara reunite in Mass Effect 2, she’s too preoccupied with her Shadow Broker beef to give you the time of day. As a game player, I was actually hurt over the fact that my lover from the first game was so cold to me after everything we’d been through and everything I had done to see Liara again.
This is where it gets messy. Feeling jilted, I decided to have my Shepherd hook up with Miranda. Though she has an ego bigger than Texas, she did have the fact that she was biologically engineered to be hot going for her. It also didn’t hurt that her competition was a tattooed-up bald convict and an alien who would quickly die if she ever got out of her space suit. On top of that, there were achievement points tied to romancing another character, which made staying loyal to your lover from the first game not beneficial to you outside of the story. After Shepherd and his crew completed their mission, I ended the game with Shepherd and Miranda snuggling in Shepherd’s bed, while the Liara picture on my desk sat face down, out of view.
“Lair of the Shadow Broker” offers Mass Effect 1 players the ability to continue the love story between Shepherd and Liara. More than anything, I’m dying to know how the game handles this relationship, now that my Shepherd and Miranda ended Mass Effect 2 as an item. Also, how will the romance decisions in this affect Mass Effect 3? This is essentially, the video game nerd equivalent of a soap opera plot and I’m very tempted to spend the money to find out.
I can’t be alone in my fascination with the Mass Effect love story, right? The love elements are a big part of the overall Mass Effect experience and I’m certain that Liara lovers want the same questions answered that I do. Though I’ve had no interest in the previous DLC for Mass Effect 2, this one is making me seriously contemplate whether or not I’m ready to board the Normandy for more space action of all sorts.