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So Long, Shepard: Mass Effect 3's 'Citadel' DLC

Sayonara, everyone. At least, until the inevitable Mass-Effect-Not-4 cameos and '20 Years Later' reunion special.

There’s just something about goodbyes. Like, growing up, I had a pet parrot. She filled my youth with eardrum-skewering screams and will probably be able to take most of the credit for my first heart attack, which will come at age 29. Also, she’s going to outlive me. But, if she doesn’t, I’ll be a complete wreck when she finally closes her infernal, saliva-less beak, er, forever. Which is my way of saying the Mass Effect trilogy is kind of like an obnoxious cockatoo. Sure, it didn’t always do me right, but we grew together, and we had some magnificent times over the years. According to BioWare, Citadel is Shepard and co’s swan song. But hey, at least everyone (and apparently, BioWare really does mean everyone) is coming back for one last reunion tour.

Here’s how it’s all going down, straight from BioWare’s Earth-orbiting Bio-Lair:

“All good things must come to an end, and that includes the Commander Shepard trilogy. However, just because it is coming to an end, that doesn’t mean we can’t go out with a bang. Introducing the final Mass Effect 3 single-player DLC: Citadel.”

“When a sinister conspiracy targets Commander Shepard, you and your team must uncover the truth, through battles and intrigue that range from the glamour of the Citadel’s Wards to the top-secret Council Archives. Uncover the truth and fight alongside your squad – as well as the cast from the original Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.”

Afterward, you’ll apparently be able to hang out on the Citadel and chat with your long-lost crewmates. There’s also casino minigames, a combat arena, and a fully furnish-able living quarters. The whole thing is apparently so large that the Xbox version will have to be split into two downloads. PC eats multi-gigabyte files for breakfast, though, so our machines will unhinge their snake-like jaws and consume it in one scrumptiously sentimental bite. It’ll be out on March 5th for $15.

I’m of two minds on this: on one hand, blah blah blah BioWare endings joke blah blah blah whatever. On the other, this is a company that knows fan service. More than anything, Mass Effect 3 understood just when to trot out yet another clammy skinned space BFF to warm the cockles of our hearts, to stirring effect. I imagine Citadel will have no shortage of similar moments. But, then again, do we really need to live, get loud, and spill some drinks on the Citadel [ultra-bro fist-bump] a second time? Prolonged goodbyes are one thing, but eventually, the tears dry up and it just gets awkward. I suppose we’ll see, though.

Meanwhile, if you’ve stuck with Mass Effect for its multiplayer (which, shockingly, isn’t a completely far-fetched idea), it’s also getting one final dollop of DLC in the form of Reckoning. It’s just more guns, baddies, and the like, but oh well. Going out with a whimper’s still better than wasting away in perfect silence. That’ll be out for free on February 26th.

So then, bye-bye, Mass Effect trilogy. Yours wasn’t always the best space cockatoo voodoo, but – in many ways – it defined giant swathes of our hobby. All-in-all, I enjoyed Shepard’s tale – even if it managed to sprout a few Krogan-sized warts along the way. I have no idea what form the next Mass Effect will take, but it’s got some pretty sizable moon boots to fill.

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Nathan Grayson

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