There’s no pretty bow to wrap “Bring Down the Sky” up with. It’s a constricted, linear piece of content that doesn’t add anything to the core narrative of Mass Effect or build any of its characters. An interesting moral choice presents itself along the way, but it seems flimsy, almost inconsequential. I’m left with questions that only future content can answer. (a) Why does the DLC act as a sidebar and dismiss the elements of the core Mass Effect storyline? (b) Do development time and bigger teams lead to better content? (c) Will every piece of Mass Effect DLC have the same components? (d) Will my response to this have any effect on Mass Effect 2’s sub-plot?
I can answer this question: did BioWare learn anything from “Bring Down the Sky”?
BioWare learned. Small teams can’t deliver the kind of quality the studio requires in a timely manner. By the time BioWare puts out another piece of Mass Effect DLC — yes, more DLC is coming — Bethesda will have released five DLC packs for their RPG Fallout 3. The formula hasn’t been ironed out yet, but the timing doesn’t really matter in the greater scope of things. BioWare is focused on giving players good and fresh content, and they’re aware that people won’t continue to buy if it’s a lackluster effort.
“The next DLC for Mass Effect is really nothing like ‘Bring Down the Sky,’ or any other content in Mass Effect,” Norman tells me. “Many people enjoyed the content, but we wanted to try something completely different. It’s taken a while, but I hope in the end fans will really enjoy it! I think combat-focused gamers in particular will like it.”