Mass Effect 2: “Firewalker Pack” DLC

It’s only been three months since Mass Effect 2 popped into our lives and began greedily grabbing chunks of our time as a petulant toddler might, and now the game’s impressive 50+ hour play-through has been increased by the addition of five additional missions in the DLC “Firewalker” pack.

The Firewalker DLC pack features five new missions, utilizing the Hammerhead Hovering Assault Tank. The vehicle hovers over the ground, can “jump” a considerable vertical distance to reach higher ledges and features a burst function that launches you forward. The combination of the two can create some exhilarating moments and make a simple, straightfoward mission far more intense.

The pacing of the missions are all similar, as they’re meant to be done in any order. The gist is that you use the vehicle to traverse difficult terrain and mine resources in specific marked locations and then move on to the next spot.

Interspersed throughout these missions are some brief engagements with the Geth, some even challenging you to make better use of the terrain to get better shots at your enemies, while keeping yourself clear of danger.

One word of caution for any player wandering into this DLC pack is to be careful of rushing into battle. With the utter “badassness” (yes I know it’s not a word, but it is now), it’s easy to forget that even the little pesky foot-based Geth can kill you in your tank if you’re not paying attention. Thankfully, the warning sound if the tank reaches critical damage point is in no way subtle, so you can back off until the sirens stop and the smoke stops coming out of your engines.

One stand-out mission in this DLC pack comes early on, when you visit an icey, snow-covered planet and rush from point to point picking up samples before your vehicle freezes. The mission great for the sense of tension it provides, but is also graphically beautiful. As you progress, if you let your vehicle get too cold, ice begins to accumulate on your vehicle and it looks completely believable.

Quite possibly the best part of this latest pack of DLC is  that it’s completely free to Cerberus Network members, which is also free if you purchased your copy of Mass Effect 2 brand new. The Cerberus Network access code can be purchased on the Xbox Live Marketplace if you didn’t buy your copy of the game new for 1200 Microsoft points, and paying the points for the network access is worth it for this DLC alone.

The “Firewalker Pack” is a great addition to the ME2 universe and ended up adding in about 1.5 hours of gameplay to an already expansive experience.

As a side note, there have also been previous downloads made available on the Cerberus Network, ranging from an extra squad member to armor, a couple of new weapons and a memorial site, where you can revisit the resting place of the original Normandy.

All this content has been provided free of charge and Bioware has recently released the “Alternate Appearance Pack”, which costs 160 Microsoft points and gives a new outfit option for Subject Zero, Thane and Garrus. In April, the 12th and final crew member will be available for download, featuring all-new missions, cut scenes, achievements and other bonuses.

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