Mass Effect: Bring Down the Sky

Bring Down the Sky
Bring Down the Sky Cover
Platforms Xbox 360, Windows
Recommended? Yes
Buy from Amazon

Considering I've reviewed just about every other aspect of the Mass Effect series, I thought it would be appropriate to write a review on the game's first downloadable content: Bring Down the Sky. While the second DLC, Pinnacle Station, was more of an experiment in arena action, Bring Down the Sky was more familiar to the style of gameplay the full game offered. It was released just a few months after the release of the game in March 2008, seemingly indicating that there would be plenty more content available in the coming months and years. However, there would be just the two downloads available over the next two years, and the worst part? I really enjoyed Bring Down the Sky and would have happily paid for more like it.

With BioWare's latest RPG, Dragon Age, released and pimping downloadable content from almost the start of the game, it seems very likely that Mass Effect 2 will employ a similar strategy. In a recent interview with the Mass Effect project lead, Casey Hudson, he indicated that after the game's release (and hopefully a lengthy vacation), the developers would immediately move on to downloadable content. This is an exciting prospect and as long as I get my money's worth on the initial purchase, I have no problem paying for more content. Hudson also mentioned that when it came to DLC for the original Mass Effect, the game was simply not developed with it in mind, and that both Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station were larger efforts than should have been necessary.

With a bit of history out of the way, let's get into my review of Bring Down the Sky for Mass Effect.


When you approach Asteroid X57 in the Asgard system, you receive a transmission that the asteroid is heading towards one of the Alliance's main colonies: Terra Nova. As anyone who has seen Armageddon, the consequences would be quite catastrophic. With only a few hours to remain, Shepard and company are the only one's who can help, so you land on the asteroid directly to take care of business. Turns out the asteroid was being transported to Terra Nova's orbit for mining, but was hijacked by some batarian terrorists and the propulsion jets have been aimed directly for the capital city.

It's Shepard's job to shut down the fusion torches, rescue the workers on the asteroid, and take out all the terrorists along the way. There are even a few optional side quests available on the asteroid to help with those elusive ally achievements if you're so inclined.

Mass Effect Bring Down The Sky Asteroid X57


What was awesome: Bring Down the Sky is a multi-hour mission that in terms of scope, falls somewhere between the main story missions of Mass Effect and the optional side quests. The explorable asteroid area is the same size as any of the uninhabited planets, so of course you'll mostly be driving around in the Mako. There are four big vehicle battles with a whole host of turrets to take out and four indoor battles. While three of the battles are in the standard Mass Effect warehouse, the final one takes place in a large, open, multi-leveled building. It's all wrapped nicely in a story of terrorist action and incredible courage, not to mention the planet rending asteroid just hours away from total destruction.

This is the first time we actually get to see the batarian race in action, and man, are they as ugly as they were described as. The batarians are a four-eyed race with a huge grudge against the humans. When the Alliance began spreading across the galaxy, they began to encroach on batarian territory, and the batarians felt threatened and attacked. A few of the background options of Commander Shepard that are available involve the batarians and their ruthless strikes on human cities. The batarians are known for slave trading, drug running, and now, terrorist activity using asteroids.

Many of Mass Effect's major combat situations are lead-ups to moral choices, Bring Down the Sky is no exception and it seems to be ripped right out of a story from 24. I like being challenged with weighing innocent lives versus carrying out justice (at least in video games that is), and the DLC offers just that. I won't go into any more details, but it's satisfying and well worth at least two playthroughs.

What I liked: The final battle in Bring Down the Sky is pretty enjoyable, as there are a lot of bad guys and plenty of opportunities to use every power available to your team. The weird thing is that the battle location is in a huge, open building with tons of greenery and flowers. What is this doing on an asteroid being towed to a planet just so it can be mined? Well, turns out it was an unused location from the game that was dropped due to time restraints. I appreciate it being used, but something more appropriate might have been really awesome (a mine cart race!).

For completing the extra assignment on the asteroid, you get the choice of some pretty awesome rewards: either light, medium, heavy Colossus human armor, quarian Colossus armor, or a Savant omni tool. At their maxed out level, all of these are pretty much the best items in the game, the problem is you only get to select one! Pro tip, if you have Pinnacle Station, pick the armor, you can get the omni tool from the apartment after beating Pinnacle Station. I made this mistake recently with my engineer and ended up with more than enough Savant X's when all I really wanted was a Colossus X light!

Would I recommend this? Definitely, yes. If you're a Mass Effect fan you owe yourself at least one playthrough of Bring Down the Sky. It's an enjoyable downloadable content that will provide you with lots of fun, tons of experience, an interesting moral dilemma, and a pretty awesome reward. Bring Down the Sky costs 400 Microsoft points on the Xbox 360 and is free with the Windows version.

Mass Effect Bring Down The Sky Batarians