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Mass Effect 2: Kasumi - Stolen Memory Preview

By Jeff Buckland, 3/29/2010

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BioWare has seen some great success with Mass Effect 2 and gamers seem to be pretty happy with how Cerberus Network is supporting those who bought the game brand new. Now, they're getting ready to roll out their first serious paid DLC in early April, and it will include a new character, new weapons, a couple of new abilities, and about an hour and half of additional gameplay.

The most interesting thing has got to be the new companion character you'll get to add to your party. Her name is Kasumi Goto and she's a human with some freaky eyes and a suit that kind of reminds me of a Quarian's - except that she has no face mask. She's a master thief and is the only companion character that can cloak like Infiltrators do, although in combat it's wrapped up in her Shadow Strike ability which lets her sneak behind an enemy and deliver a high-damage backstab. Those who have gotten far in the original game might be wondering if Shepard can use her ability after finishing the loyalty quest, and the answer is no - but there is another one that you can use, and that's the Flashbang grenade. It disorients enemies and sets you up to take people out quickly.

Kasumi's loyalty quest starts out nice enough, with some new formal wear for your Shepard and a party that you'll have to infiltrate. You're trying to break in the vault of a high-profile mark named Donovan Hock who's got the galaxy's best party going on, and you'll be shipping in your equipment in a golden statue of Saren (for those who didn't play the first game, he was the villain there), of all things. It starts out with conversation and exploration of the party as you figure out how to get a DNA sample and voice print from your mark, and once you get past security, things go bad quickly. Suffice it to say that you'll be shooting your way out, but not before finding a new submachine gun called the Locust first. According to BioWare's Casey Hudson, there's at least one other weapon that'll pop up as well.

Once you're done with that, Kasumi is fully committed to your cause, and those who noticed that one of the observation decks never opened on the Normandy will now realize where Kasumi's quarters are. Much like the Zaeed DLC, she will tell you stories about the various strange objects in her quarters, but you don't interact with her in the way you do with the original game's companions. She will offer color commentary during the rest of the game at all of the appropriate points that you'd expect your companions to do it in, though.

BioWare's set the price for this DLC to $7, which I find to be reasonable just to have another possible squad member around for the rest of the game, much less for the new weapons, abilities, stories from Kasumi on the Normandy, and an extra hour-plus-long mission to enjoy. Note that this is paid DLC no matter whether you have Cerberus Network or not, so keep that in mind, although this seems to be a better overall deal than the $2 companion costume pack that was recently released. Schedule yourself a week or two in April to get back into Mass Effect 2 again, because I think you'll want to just start a fresh game to see Kasumi and roll with her to take on the Collectors.



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