Mass Effect 2: Normandy Crash Site

Normandy Crash Site
Normandy Crash Site Cover
Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Recommended? For Mass Effect 1 fans
Buy from Amazon

Mass Effect 3 is coming out this year, that just feels weird to write. This means not only will I get to play the finale to one of my favorite game series of all time in about eight months, but that Mass Effect 2 related reviews and articles will just feel terribly stale. Okay, to mostly everyone they already feel totally outdated, and I understand; who wants to read about year old downloadable content? Who knows, but I like writing about it.

Normandy Crash Site was a zero day DLC available for Mass Effect 2, and is free for everyone who is a member of the Cerberus Network (which is required if you want to buy any downloadable content). It's mostly fan service for fans of the first Mass Effect, but it also serves up a surprising amount of emotion for its small package, especially to someone like me who put over 100 hours into the original.

I hope to cover the rest of Mass Effect 2's major downloadable content over the coming months, including Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker. I won't be reviewing (or buying, for that matter) the weapon or armor packs. I'm sorry, those are just lame. I also plan to re-read the first Mass Effect book for a review and read the third novel for the first time. My review of Mass Effect: Ascension has been available for a while. I have also covered Mass Effect 2's first paid for DLC, Kasumi's Stolen Memory.

The Normandy Crash Site is a rather unique piece of downloadable content. You don't expect a lot of peaceful, quiet strolls on a deserted planet in a violent third-person shooter like Mass Effect 2, but this is exactly what we get. Normandy Crash Site doesn't feature any new enemies or powerful guns, it's a walk down memory lane as you sort through the wreckage of Shepard's original space cruiser that was destroyed in the opening scene. The only real goal is to collect 20 dog tags from crew members that died in the crash and then to place a final memorial somewhere on the ground.

The memorial itself is a bit cheesy and the whole mission is a bit overly sentimental, but I found myself actually emotionally moved by it. Quick flashbacks are displayed of the crew member that sacrificed themselves near the end of Mass Effect, and some of the most memorable places on the original Normandy are seen in both wreckage and flashback together. As a huge fan and devotee of Mass Effect, this mission meant quite a bit to me, as short as it was.

But Normandy Crash Site isn't going to mean a whole lot to someone who has just jumped into Mass Effect 2, so I really only recommend bothering with this if you played the original or are at least familiar with its characters. Yes, I know, this is free and you get a few thousand experience points from it, so there's really no reason not to dash through looking for dog tags, so my recommendation might be moot.

So maybe I'll leave this with a thank you to BioWare for taking a bit of time to develop a memorial to the first Mass Effect, us fans appreciate it.

Mass Effect 2 Normandy Crash Site Memorial Mako