Mass Effect Brings Down The Sky

By John Walker on July 29th, 2008 at 11:30 pm.

'Have you got your authentication number sir?'

Remember when we were all fussing about the copy protection on Mass Effect, and then there was that compromise where EA said you’d need to authenticate for downloadable content? Well, it’s time to put it all to the test, as the first lump of new content is available: Bring Down The Sky.

The story in the 90 minutes of new game is described thusly:

“A batarian extremist group has hijacked a mobile asteroid station in the Asgard system, setting it on a collision course with the nearby colony world of Terra Nova. Only you, and the hand-picked crew of the Normandy, can save the millions of innocent civilians before the asteroid completes its deadly descent.”

There’s also a new, uncharted world for a new race, the Batarians, as well as new music for the whole affair. And it can be downloaded, for the princely sum of free, from here.

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27 Comments »

  1. TychoCelchuuu says:

    This makes me quite happy! Not many bugfixes in the new patch, but on my playthrough I didn’t encounter many bugs. So that’s good.

  2. Alex McLarty says:

    Mass Effect is a great, great game. Sci-Fi, tense, cinematic and even erotic. Now it has asteroids!

  3. RiptoR says:

    Finished it a couple of hours ago. Not too bad, but very short. Glad it’s free, cause although it was fun, it isn’t worth the 5euro 360 owners have to pay for it.

    There are a couple of new planets (2 systems with about 5 planets each), but only one of those planets is playable. Others can’t even be examined for items, which is a bit of a shame.

    Patch is nice though, but some problems still remain in place. Garus’ face still reverts to low quality textures even when ultra high is chosen. And one of the lava planets is broken now with the patch (see official forum).

    Good thing is, the new content made me want to replay the game again, and I’ll be continuing with my old char (new game so I can level her to level 60).

  4. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    About time! I was wondering when I’d be able to shoot a Batarian.

    Also, I just now realized I can play Mass Effect without a disc in the drive. This makes the online authentication pill a bit easier to swallow.

  5. malkav11 says:

    So let me tell you a story. As the day of the PC release drew nigh, I was snickering at console players. Not only did we PC types get a better interface, graphics, and so on, along with all the good parts of the 360 version, but we’d also be receiving the DLC free of charge right there along with the game, so that we could naturally experience it in the flow of play rather than having to dredge the game back up again to play through an hour’s chunk of content in something we’d already beaten.

    Then I got the game – it pointed me to the Bioware website, where it informed me that Bring Down the Sky was “coming soon”. “Well, heck, this’ll take me a while”, said I. “I’m sure it’ll still arrive before I finish, so I can slot it naturally into the flow of play etc.”

    I finished the game over a month ago.

  6. Colinmarc says:

    Argh, not free if I want to play it on my shinycool 360…

  7. Him says:

    But can you mine them?

  8. Charlie says:

    Well I bought this on the 360 because I never thought I would be able to afford a PC that could play this kind of thing. Then up comes my 21st bday and I got a lovely upgrade. Now I’m pissed! Well actually it was ages ago but still, I’ve payed for this game once, I should be able to play the PC version too! I don’t see it as piracy really.

  9. 02sheslop says:

    Hooray, more human with bits stuck to their face aliens.

  10. Caiman says:

    02sheslop, if you have seen any aliens that are not humans with bits stuck to their face then the US Government will be contacting you very soon. Did you hear that? Hello? 02sheslop?

  11. Stromko says:

    I played Bring Down the Sky back when it came out for the 360 as paid content. The action was good and the new NPCs are very well dialogued, but all the old characters aside from Shepherd him/herself are not voiced at all. I was quite disappointed that after what felt like years, I couldn’t revisit with all my alien buddies, didn’t get so much as new quips on the developing situation.

    In general the new mission conflicts with the storytelling style of the rest of the game as well; you even get a heretofore unknown female computer voice providing background narrative instead of Joker or the Council or one of the Alliance generals calling you up. The out-of-body opening cutscene upon arriving at the location just seemed entirely jarring in every way actually.

    It makes sense when you consider they didn’t necessarily have all the voice actors on hand, but it was still disappointing. I’d say Bioware hasn’t gotten the hang of this episodic content thing. No new dialogue for any of your party members or other original supporting characters is like Telltale making Sam & Max episode where Max is mute for no discernible reason– in fact, there’d be no returning characters whatsoever to draw it all together.

    That said, it doesn’t /have/ to be enjoyed on its own, but after you’ve already played through Mass Effect 2 or 3 times and if you’re as disappointed as I about its replayability potential.. then the DLC becomes the only reason to boot it up again and it’s a damn shame it’s so thematically incomplete.

  12. Ben Abraham says:

    Is anyone still playing Mass Effect?

  13. Jash says:

    Over and over, tyvm.

  14. Stick says:

    Just began my third run. And look! The extra content doesn’t require me to start over. Nice.

  15. Error1 says:

    I was very upset when I first bought mass effect because it took a week for it to stop crashing every 2 minutes, and a few hours to figure out I needed to run it as an admin the first time.
    The extra content is not something you would want to pay for, but it’s worth free.

  16. Subject 706 says:

    Well Mass Effect was very stable and never crashed once for me pre-patch.

    Shame about the gameplay though, I can’t for the life of me understand you people who have played it through several times. 90% of the game is a huge cut’n'paste job.

    I mean for crying out loud, EVERY planet has almost exactly the same terrain, albeit with a different texture. Not to mention that even the supposedly ‘teeming with life’ planets show a distinct lack of life whatsoever.

    Most sidequests were also extremely uninspired, especially the planetary ones; hell they often even consisted of almost EXACTLY identical maps.

    Main story was ok, though. Companions could have used more depth, but were ok. Equipment was sleep-inducing boredom.

    To sum it up: Another playthrough? Not a chance. I hope to god that Dragon Age will be better.

  17. James G says:

    Still on my first run through. I seem to have a distinct lack of game-playing time at the moment, that and I’ve been distracted by Dwarf Fortress.

  18. Muzman says:

    Those fractal-faced guys give me the creeps. I suppose you end up making friends with them in some sort of Trek-ish way.

  19. Someone says:

    I finished ME yesterday, it’s amazing but the main story is FUCKING SHORT.
    I thought it will be at least like KOTOR which takes about 30 hours on first playthrough.

    It’s also really annoying that you can’t continue playing after the main quest is over, because I barely did any side quests. Luckily I thought this will be the case so I saved before you fly to Ilos.

  20. Mr. President says:

    I’m not reinstalling and playing through the prologue again just for that. Doesn’t look like it’s worth the pain, even if it’s free.

  21. araczynski says:

    just can’t bring myself to play this game again, even though i loved it on the 360. just no ‘fun’ in playing through the same story again when you already know everything that happens.

    everyone so far has said ‘the sky’ bit isn’t worth the hassle.

    hope they release the next full game sooner than later, and this time i won’t buy the crappy console version and just wait for a nice high res pc version.

  22. Tom says:

    Just started my 2nd run through now BDtS’s out.
    I was deliberately waiting for this, and it’s a whole new experience. Love how you can continue with you old character plus level up new party members straight off. Opens up whole other sections and “stuff”.
    I love this game… it’s awesome.

  23. matte_k says:

    Heh, not bad for free, although the patch did reset all my graphics settings and messed up the sound, but sorted that out quick enough.

    *Spoiler*

    There’s a neat little easter egg of a radio station on the surface, if anyone’s read the logs, are they thinking the same as I am- veiled reference to U.S. media storm surrounding the sex scenes…?

  24. KindredPhantom says:

    This is a bit later than the promised “on Mass Effects release”.
    I’ve bought, played, finished and uninstalled Mass Effect in the period of time between Mass Effects release and the release of this.

  25. GeorgeR says:

    Tsk tsk, its the sum of free but how many peggles is it I must know this BEFORE i go, darn you!

  26. Eschatos says:

    The patch was completely useless for me. It doesn’t fix the bug that causes the game to randomly crash every few minutes. I started the game after installing the patch, and it crashes less than a minute in.

  27. Charlie says:

    KOTOR took me about 20 hours to complete, I know this coz I only just got round to playing it and I thought it was amazing. Mass effect was probably a couple of hours shorter but not much different for me so I didn’t think the length was an issue tbh.

    Trying to play KOTOR 2 through at the moment. It seems better than the first, a more mature storyline thats a little less predictable than the first, much improved graphics and combat. But it’s so unbelievably buggy I can’t seem to play for more than an hour before something game breaking happens and I have to find a solution on the net. :(