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If you've been playing through the second game in the Mass Effect series, you are well aware of the complexities that your Commander Sheppard has gone through. There are questions that need to be answered and quests that need to be finished. But hold on - there may be one lingering question you might have.
Who is the Shadow Broker?
Introduced in the first game, the Shadow Broker is a mysterious individual steeped in secrets and information, selling it to the highest bidder. In this second game, one of your crew, Liara T'Soni, seems to be knee deep with the Shadow Broker and she doesn't want you getting any more out of it then she can bare.
That might be the end of it, but if you really want to do good in the universe, you'll pick up the downloadable content of the Lair of the Shadow Broker. This is a Mass Effect 2 - Lair of the Shadow Broker review, in which I'll go over how to get the game, some of the game play, and most importantly, if this is something you should be playing.
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How to Get the DLC
There are two different ways on getting the downloadable content - or DLC - for Lair of the Shadow Broker. If you've purchased a retail copy of the game, the DLC is included and preinstalled for your gaming pleasure. If you downloaded the game, say from Steam, or you got a used copy of the game, you will need to purchase the content. If using either the XBOX 360 or the PC version, the download can be purchased at the main Mass Effect 2 website.
The purchase will cost $25 dollars in total - $10 for the actual download and $15 for use of the Cerebus servers, which allow for the downloading of the game. It's about 800 points for both PC and XBOX 360 if going through Windows Live or the Marketplace.
In order to activate LSB, you have needed to complete all Liara centered quests. As with any other mission, Sheppard will receive word about the Shadow Broker via Liara and you must have her in your party when you do the quest.
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Game play for LSB is pretty much the same as the Mass Effect 2 game play - same controls for actions, weapons, abilities, etc. If you are just getting started with ME2, this game is much improved from its predeccesor. The AI is a lot better than in the previous game, giving better targeting, as well as a better arrangement of abilities for use.
You can also see the members of your party, thanks to a small icon at the bottom of the screen. For BioWare fans, this may take them back to previous games by the publisher, such as Knights of the Old Republic.
As mentioned above, in this extra mission quest in which you deliver news to Liara that her partner, Feron, is still alive. He had been captured by the Shadow Broker and therefore Liara wants not only his return, but revenge on the Shadow Broker.
Players again will need to complete all of the required missions in order to achieve this quest. There is also a further romantic pursuit of Liara if you chose.
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As with the game play, the sound is much improved in ME2. The Lair of the Shadow Broker is a dark, creepy area in which agents pop out from around corners, giving another heightened experience in this series. The music adds to the overall espionage feel, as you go looking not only for Liara's missing partner, but the Shadow Broker as well.
While the sounds are always great, it's the conversations that are the main feature of the game. Finding a beaten and battered Feron and the converstion between him and Liara is involving, as is all the conversations within the ME universe. Liara, as you noticed upon meeting her again, isn't the naive and inquisitive girl she used to be and certainly hearing the hardness in her voice when speaking of the Shadow Broker will spurn you on in finding him.
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Graphics are also much improved with this second installment. Noted earlier, the AI has been improved, allowing for better targeting. This is true when it comes to abilities, allowing for the casting around corners without having to pop out and risk getting attacked.
The Shadow Broker, whom is finally revealed at the end of this mission, is a creepy looking blob thing that might remind you of Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas. Upon meeting him, the Shadow Broker is just sitting and waiting for you and your team, in shadow, which makes his appearance and demeanor even creepier.
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Mass Effect 2 - Lair of the Shadow Broker is a great DLC, especially if you want to uncover all the secrets of Cerebus and the Shadow Broker. The game play, sounds, and graphics are representative of the second installment in the Mass Effect series, however in this case, all of that comes together to present a dark underworld where backroom deals, secrets, money, and information are being exchanged all around you and if necessary, you will die if you stand in the way.
This mission, as with some others, ultimately sets up events that will be apart of Mass Effect 3, so even in the defeat of the Shadow Broker, there will always be a Shadow Broker and how they conduct business can alter the world.
A deep look at Mass Effect 2 in this collection of reviews and previews.