|Kasumi's Stolen Memory|
|Platforms||Xbox 360, Windows|
|Buy from Amazon|
Kasumi's Stolen Memory is the first major paid downloadable content
available for Mass Effect 2. It was released earlier this month after
a slew of "free" content for those who bought the game new (I'll
eventually go back and review each of the major DLC's including Zaeed
and the Firewalker pack). For 560 Microsoft Points ($7 USD) you can
recruit a new crew member, play a new loyalty mission, get a new SMG
and casual outfit, and satisfy your curiosity of what happened to a
bunch of famous relics on Earth.
This is almost less of a review, and more of a walkthrough of the actual content, but it's a fun way to describe all the new stuff packed into the DLC. My recommendation is that Stolen Memory is a really great piece of content and is worth its purchase price for big fans of the series, but probably not worth it if you've already moved on completely. Here's my review of Kasumi's Stolen Memory, played as a renegade female Shepard.
If you're interested, I also have a full review of Mass Effect 2 along with a first hour review, plus DLC reviews of Mass Effect 1's Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station.
a quick email from the Illusive Man (which depending on where you are
in story may not make a whole lot of sense...), you're told to recruit
the Master Thief at the Citadel. Just like Zaeed, she attracts you
immediately as you enter the station by posing as a typical Citadel
advertisement. "Enter your password and I'll win a bunch of credits!"
I guess the email said the password is "Silence is golden," because she
seems to respond to that.
Kasumi is the galaxy's best thief, but not the most famous, and she'd like to keep it that way. She's impressed with Shepard's aura and respects her. The only catch, her mission involves formal wear. I don't think Shepard does formal attire. She's looking for her old partner's graybox (a neural implant that holds a dangerous secret), which is stored at some murdering millionaire's house (Donovan Hock). Shepard seems more interested now, she likes dealing with mercenaries.
Kasumi's moves feature Overload, Shadow Strike, and Flashbang Grenade, along with the Master Thief class to put points into. Shadow Strike is a rogue-like move where Kasumi sneaks behind the target and incapacitates them, I have no idea how this is going to work in the context of Mass Effect 2. Her loyalty move, the Flashbang Grenade, also incapacitates enemies near its blast radius. Upgrading Master Thief eventually leads to picking between Master Infiltrator or Master Saboteur. Infiltrator reduces her recharge times and Sabotuer increases weapon damage.
much like the first downloadable crew member Zaeed, doesn't have much
to say once they're a member of the crew. Unlike the full-time crew
members, you can't actually have a conversation with them. Sure, you
can walk up to her and press the A button, but she just spouts off
one-liners without any further interaction. I can imagine that having
an actual conversation would require bringing back both Shepard voice
actors for additional work, but it's just a bit disappointing and
At least we finally get to see the Port Observation deck where Kasumi lives. This is the last spot on the Normandy we haven't had access to and it's nice to finish our tour of our own ship. The deck features a bar and some kind of tanning bed, along with a nice view of the stars. Shepard can mix her own drinks and take a swig without having to risk a batarian bartender poisoning it. The bay windows also has a neat feature that when you walk up to it, the game enters a first-person mode and you can just gaze upon the galaxy. It almost feels like a bug because I can't remember any other point in the game that you can't see Shepard.
Scattered about her apartment are some of her "missions". Selecting them will reveal a bit of Kasumi's backstory about her and her partner and her life of crime. She used to leave a rose in place of whatever item she stole, but her mentor and partner soon taught her that it was childish. Kasumi also reveals a noble side of herself when she tells the tale of how she rescued a young girl from slavers and in return the girl painted her what is now her favorite piece in her collection.
loyalty mission takes place in the new Boltzmann system near the
Citadel. It's a five planet system, but the planet we're interested in
is Bekenstein. Over five million humans live on the colony now and is
considered "the human's Illium," in-game talk for a lightly regulated,
free-market world. The mission is available immediately after picking
Interesting enough, this mission is only for Shepard and Kasumi, no third party member involved for the first time... ever (in both Mass Effect 1 and 2). Once the mission begins, Shepard and Kasumi fly a shuttle towards their destination and Shepard is given the alias of Alison Gunn. Her cover is a mercenary leader, just the kind of person Hock respects. Playing as my female adept Shepard, the game focuses directly on her breasts when she mentions the leather top she's wearing, chalk that up as another overtly sexualized cameraman at work again.
We're going to crash Hock's party, bust open something totally awesome that I don't want to spoil, and then grab the graybox. When we arrive though, we meet Hock at the gate and he refuses entry for Kasumi. It's not really a problem for her though as she just disappears right in front of my face. Now that's a thief.
It almost feels like a Hitman game now, listening in on conversations and scoping the place out under the radar. Some party-goers even mention Commander Shepard and the rumor how she could still be alive. That brings up a good point: wouldn't Shepard have like the most recognized human face in the galaxy for her role in Mass Effect 1?
I wander down to the vault exterior and have a quick conversation with Kasumi, she tells me I need to cut power to the barrier and collect a voice sample and some DNA from Hock to enter. Time to get to work. The power coupling is obvious, I just follow a power cord around the room with my omni-tool and Kasumi zaps the power quickly at a weak point. One down, two to go.
Chatting up Hock was too easy, he begins giving an entire speech Francisco d'Anconia-style at the mention of just a few words of security. Talkative man, but he does receive a round of applause from the room when he's finished. The guard won't let me into Hock's private quarters though, so we bust into the security room guns blazing. Kasumi actually dies on me really quickly, well, I am playing on insanity. The security voice password is in the room, and Kasumi thinks that is enough to get by the guard now too.
Shepard and Kasumi are searching his room for DNA now, umm... lets check the bed. Nothing! I find some samples on a display of ancient weapons, but we need a bit more. Haha! Shepard gets excited when she finds one credit in his couch cushions. There's some decent banter between Kasumi and Shepard, maybe they did bring the actors in for more lines? Some saliva on a wineglass, but Kasumi still needs more for the scanner. The final piece lies on a datapad concerning Hock's efforts in trying to crack the graybox (which has been unsuccessful so far).
With all the security to the vault down, it looks like the only thing left standing in our way will be a horde of bad guys. Shepard puts on her work boots and changes her clothes and it is down the elevator we go.
Hock's private collection is honestly pretty impressive. It includes Michelangelo's David, a rachni queen, and the head of the Statue of Liberty! "How did Hock get Lady Liberty's head? Damn you Hock!" When we try to pick up the graybox, Hock's giant head appears via hologram and starts threatening us. Renegade Shepard shuts him up though when she destroys one of his priceless artifacts. Haha. And thus the battle begins.
Once I take out his security chief, we've got to hightail it out of there. But don't forget to pick up "the gun that killed two presidents" first, an M-12 Locust SMG. Stuck between us and freedom though is a mech who has a hard time hitting me behind cover. I wear him down pretty slowly but it does the job. The long range SMG is really useful for my adept in combat too.
Well, there was actually a lot more in our way than just one giant mech, but the battles are undeniably fun and challenging. I'm finding I really love playing as an adept again in Mass Effect 2.
This wouldn't be a decent level without a good final boss either, which I found surprisingly tough. I won't spoil the battle, but you actually need to push forward after your first minor victory against the boss. I died a few times as I kept hanging back under cover, but the battle is quickly over once you take a few steps forward to trigger a cutscene.
At the end of the mission, you have the option of keeping or destroying the graybox. Supposedly it holds secrets that could destroy the Alliance's reputation, which for a renegade Shepard seems like the perfect ammunition against them, even though the game seems to pose that response as more of a paragon selection. I do elect to keep the graybox and I'm already curious what the repercussions in Mass Effect 3 will be. Let the speculation begin.
really enjoyed Kasumi's Stolen Memory. I read a lot of complaints
about its short length, and though I beat it in one sitting, it took me
about two hours with taking notes. Of course, I'm playing on insanity,
the game's hardest difficulty, so that undoubtedly slowed me down a
bit. But the mission is really varied and the first half of it is
incredibly unique for a Mass Effect experience.
There's also the fact that you get a really good submachine gun for your work and a handsome casual outfit for Shepard if you're into that sort of thing. But really, it's all about the new character. Kasumi Goto seems like a solid crew member with some really cool abilities, Shadow Strike alone seems like it's enough justification to bring her into any battle.
The repercussions of keeping the graybox for Mass Effect 3 should also influence your decision in picking this up. If you plan to continue with the series keeping your same Shepard throughout, then this is definitely worth picking up. BioWare has shown that they're really rewarding the player who imports their Shepard.