Between the free Firewalker pack and the Kasumi - Stolen Memory paid DLC, I haven't been that impressed with the downloadable content for Mass Effect 2. Thankfully, that's all changed with the latest release: Overlord. The premise is simple, a rogue virtual intelligence has wreaked havoc on a Cerberus research facility, employing Geth to wipe out the scientists. The DLC takes you to different bases on a new world, one that's lush and beautiful and not without a few secrets.
Your first mission will be to shut down a transmission initiated by the VI, culminating in a fight around a giant satellite dish,a Goldeneye-esque moment for sure. In fact, all of the environments within the DLC seem new and fresh, from the open green terrain decorated with waterfalls and roaming animals to platform-hopping over a river of lava. Yes, the Hammerhead is back and still a bit off in the combat, but this time you need to use its vertical boost a little more strategically to navigate certain stretches. None of it was terribly infuriating and it's broken up by sizable stretches of on-foot firefights. But it's the story that really will grab you.
The Mass Effect universe is full of great stories, so it's no surprise the Overlord storyline is handled wonderfully and in concert with the action. There are quite a few times when you do not have direct control of what's going on, as if the VI is playing with you and it's exhilirating. Even more so, Overlord ends up a bit frightening and the gameplay startled me a few times during the course of play. Unfortunately, there seems to be no new dialog for your squadmates who just occupy themselves with other things during conversations. Then again, considering the Geth are on this planet, bringing along Legion might yield something interesting but that hasn't been verified. I don't want to spoil the narrative, but the end sequence is a sweet treat and well worth the approximately two hour time investment.
You won't walk away with anything for your trouble here other than a heavy skin weave and some achievements, but there is a moral choice for Shepherd to make and players will be exposed to the darker side to the Cerberus organization. Overlord seems like the kind of DLC that works better towards the early part of the game, but it was just as satisfying to play on game completion. Between the light puzzle solving, short Hammerhead sequences and on-foot action, Overlord is a definite must play for Mass Effect 2 fans.
Overlord is available now for 540 points on Xbox 360 and PC.