DLC Review: Kasumi’s Stolen Memory & More

Courtesy BioWare

There’s a glut of DLC available for Mass Effect 2. The biggest thing out there exists for the benefit of those who bought the game used, the Cerberus Network. It allows you access to DLC that would otherwise be free, like option party Zaeed Massani. Chances are, if you’re reading this and own Mass Effect 2, you’ve already grabbed the surly mercenary to your interplanetary quest to forge a team of “big Goddamn heroes” as the man himself would put it. I’ll go more in-depth should requests come in for it, and I’m not reviewing stuff like the appearance packs. I’d much rather talk about Kasumi instead.

Rounding out Shepard’s team to an even dozen, Kasumi Goto is an enigmatic master thief. She strikes a deal with the Illusive Man who’s behind your operation to take down the Collectors. If Shepard helps her with a heist to break into the vault of an amoral industrialist, she’ll help the former Spectre save humanity. She’s adept at sabotage, infiltration, agile combat and, ah, “property acquisition.”

Kasumi on the whole seems to be an entirely different kettle of chips from most of the other members of your team. She seems to have more in common with Yeoman Kelly Chambers than Garrus, Jack or Grunt. She’s upbeat, positive and even when you’re in the middle of a chaotic firefight, she’s having fun. Occasionally when she pops out of the shadow behind some unfortuante mook to crack them one across the head, she’ll let out a Simpsons-style “HAW HAW!” And if she’s having fun, we’ve got no excuse not to. I smile every time.

Courtesy BioWare
This girl has got some moves.

Speaking of her abilities, it’s nice to have a fully-fledged rogue on the team. Her signature move, Shadow Strike, is functionally similar to the Infiltrator’s Tactical Cloak, but she uses it to cross a great deal of distance and deliver a backstab-style sneak attack. While the thronging masses of gun-toting suckers line up for bullet sandwiches from you and whichever other team member you’ve chosen, she uses the chaos to sneak around behind and exploit their weak spots. I for one really like that. She also gains the Flashbang Grenade, which inflicts a little bit of damage within its area but also causes weapon overheats, messes with electronics and disrupts the concentration of biotics. It’s crowd control at its finest, and from what I understand it’s capable of locking down even the biggest bads you’ll face on foot.

Her loyalty mission, the aforemention heist, is also a lot of fun and starts with a really nice change of pace. Instead of opening with the typical fare of dropping into the target zone to murder everything in sight, Shepard and Kasumi have to slip into the dinner party of Donovan Hock, an arms dealer with a thick South African accent and a penchant for self-aggrandizing. While Kasumi stays invisible, Shepard must wear formal clothing instead of armor and chat people up for information, clues and the keys to the vault. There’s a really nice callback to the first game as well as nods to other BioWare games and even classic sci-fi films. Of course the mission switches about halfway in to the usual shooting, but taking on the bad guys with just you and Kasumi presents an interesting challenge in and of itself.

The only thing lacking from Kasumi’s DLC is more conversation with her. Like Zaeed, she’ll talk when you select her in the Normandy’s port observation deck, but it’s not a back-and-forth conversation. However, she does offer insight on the rest of the crew and her stories tend to be just as colorful as Zaeeds, though usually less violent. I’m sure there’ll be more lines as I add members to my crew in my current play-through, but I feel there could have been more done with the character. It’s hard to really consider that a major weak point when you get to keep your formal wear after the mission and Kasumi installs a bar in the Normandy. Nothing beats the fatigue of taking on the Collectors than science fiction booze!

Bottom line is, Kasumi’s Stolen Memory is definitely worth getting. She’s a great addition to the game.

Courtesy BioWare
The next best thing to my trusty sniper rifle.

At the same time I got Kasumi’s Stolen Memory I also picked up the Aegis Pack & the Firepower Pack. The Kestrel Armor is no better or worse than some of the other armor available, but the ability to mix and match bits of it instead of needing to wear the entire suit is a fantastic option. I’m also using the M5 Phalanx pistol quite a bit. The Colt Anaconda of the Mass Effect universe, this packs even more punch than the Carnifex hand cannon and comes equipped with a laser sight. It’s a bit more challenging than the default crosshairs, but accuracy is rewarded with increased damage the makes kills more frequent. That weapon and the nature of the Kestrel Armor justifies the price of these DLC for my money. I’m playing as an Inflitrator (again) so I can’t comment on the Mattock battle rifle or the Geth shotgun, but Garrus seems to be dropping folks left and right with the Mattock and I’ll see how Tali likes the shotgun.

I take care of my ladies, what can I say?

2 Comments

  1. I highly doubt I’ll ever see Mass Effect 2’s DLC. Not because I don’t have the game or don’t have access to the internet, but because I refuse to play the second in the trilogy until I finish the first one. And the game is punishing me for playing an Engineer, I swear. I simply cannot get past the Saren fight at the very end.

    I don’t want to play ME2 without importing my own choices (the default ones irk me) and the thought of levelling another character — a soldier, perhaps — through ME1 is not that appealing either.

    Still, I’m glad they’re continuing to put out DLC for their games. It makes their replayability and shelf life much longer.

  2. A little bit late, but Maggie, I think that has more to do with your party than you specifically. While I’d hate to backtrack to pick up “ideal” party members, you might want to consider it.

    Or turn down the difficulty if you’re playing at anything above Easy. I did that a few times in Dragon Age because fuck that game was hard.

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