Friday, April 19, 2013
DLC review: Mass Effect 2 - Kasumi: Stolen Memory
Offering up a new permanent party member for recruitment, Kasumi: Stolen Memory is one of the more noteworthy entries among the Mass Effect 2 DLC packs. While Kasumi can be immediately added to your party by paying a visit to the Citadel, her loyalty mission makes up the bulk of the DLC. It plays out in a nontraditional manner, at least when compared to the majority of the other sidequests in Mass Effect 2. One Donovan Hock is holding a fancy get-together for the rich and corrupt of the galaxy – those individuals who gain from the death and suffering of a galaxy at war – and has come into the possession of a graybox filled with information left behind by Kasumi’s now-deceased lover. However, Mr. Hock has yet to crack the code and access the information therein, and as such Kasumi wishes to retrieve it by cloaking herself and having Shepard – disguised as one of the rich and famous – infiltrate the party and unlock the security measures that stand between her and the greybox’s hiding spot.
Shepard spends most of this mission unarmed as Kasumi requires him to track down voice samples, traces of DNA, and an access code. It’s up to Shepard to pay close attention to the finer details of the party, offering a unique and substantially different gameplay experience than what the core of Mass Effect 2 provides. The DLC doesn't exactly hold your hand through the loyalty mission, and though the party setting isn't too large to find yourself lost in, you may have to do a couple laps around a room before you find the exact materials you need. Traditional combat does make its way into the mix during the latter half of the loyalty mission, and this variety combined with the excellent writing of the approximately hour-long experience makes it fresh and enjoyable.
Kasumi is distinct among the Mass Effect 2 party members due to her focus on quick close-quarters strikes. She relies heavily on her ability to cloak herself, allowing her to literally walk right up to a foe and take them out before ducking back to Shepard’s side, waiting for her ability to recharge, and then repeating the process. She takes up residence in the lounge area of the Normandy, opposite Samara’s quarters. As with Zaeed, she does not offer the traditional interactive dialogue wheel, though she still has a number of stories to share relating to the stolen paintings and sculptures decorating the room. She will also drop a few humorous quips and will express her support of Shepard’s choice to pursue one of the other squad members as his/her romantic interest. While it isn’t a particularly lengthy addition to the story of Mass Effect 2, Stolen Memory presents a thoroughly enjoyable loyalty mission and unique character that make it well worth the relatively short time and decently-challenging effort it takes to complete.
My rating: 7.75 (out of 10)*
*(rating applies solely to downloadable content, not its inclusion with the content on the original game disc or other downloadable content)