Anthony Capone
18 Jul, 2010

Mass Effect 2: Overlord Review

360 Feature | Lord of the downloadable content?
Overlord is the second add-on in a promised stream of story-based downloadable content for BioWare’s award-winning sci-fi RPG, Mass Effect 2. For 560 Microsoft Points (approximately AU $9) on Xbox LIVE, players can download the adventure and access it immediately from the helm of Commander Shepard’s space-faring vessel, The Normandy. While not quite reaching the same heights as the previous story DLC, Kasumi’s Stolen Memory (the review of which can be found here), Overlord is nonetheless an exciting tale that offers action-packed gameplay for existing Mass Effect fans.

Commander Shepard and his rag-tag band of mercenary followers receive a call for help from a secret Cerberus scientific facility. Hence begins the player’s journey to investigate and quell the enigmatic entity known only as ‘Overlord’. The plot of this particular downloadable episode is small and contained, but nonetheless well-written with a nice - albeit somewhat predicable twist - at the end.

Whenever Mass Effect calls for a shootout, geth are generally used as the default cannon fodder for the player’s bullets and biotics. While Overlord once again allows players to commit gethocide on the mechanical AI, they are no longer the same old fall-back enemy. The geth have been hacked by Overlord, as indicated by the green Matrix-like mist floating above their robotic heads. Consequently, Overlord doesn’t have the atmosphere of another generic side-mission, but rather, a proper fully-fledged adventure.

Geth down.

Geth down.
Whereas Kasumi’s Stolen Memory was memorable for its excellent narrative and characters, Overlord proves its worth with faced-paced combat and excellent gameplay variety. Players will fight atop a satellite emplacement and in a crashed geth spaceship, to name a few. The former proves a particularly memorable setting, especially when combined with the high-stakes mission objective. Overlord’s gameplay reaches the same heights as many of Mass Effect 2’s other missions, with adrenaline-fuelled cover-based shooting and some truly challenging encounters on higher difficulties.

Overlord gives players the chance to take the somewhat new Hammerhead aerial assault craft out for a spin. The driving and on-foot portions of the DLC are given equivalent billing – for every minute players are out blasting geth, they will be given roughly an equal amount of time behind the pilot’s seat of the Hammerhead. As a result, the vehicle sections of Overlord feel more substantial than the previous Hammerhead DLC, which was simply a ‘drive from point A-to-B and shoot everything between’ affair. BioWare have also added a collection side-mission and a few brain-teasers to the driving interludes, so things seldom become dull or repetitive.

Green – the choice colour of all malevolent computer programs.

Green – the choice colour of all malevolent computer programs.
With an average play-through clocking in at around two hours, there’s certainly enough in this package to tide Mass Effect aficionados over for another month or so. 560 Microsoft Points may seem a little high for an add-on that can be completed in one sitting, but the overall quality of the gameplay dictates otherwise. With a new upgrade and two additional achievements also on offer, fans should find the investment worthwhile.

Overlord doesn’t contain any new characters or much in the way of dialogue. What the downloadable content offers is an extra few hours of classic Mass Effect gameplay, with a setting and story that won’t be forgotten in a hurry. For anyone who still owns a copy of Mass Effect 2, Overlord is an excellent adventure with plenty of gameplay variety, which should not be missed.

Worth buying? Yes


Downloadable content ratings system

We've given a 'buy' rating of 'Yes', 'Maybe', or 'No'.

Yes means that the content is either great value or brings some substantial additions to the game, or possibly both.

Maybe means that the content may be fun while it lasts, but may either be too short or not enough to fully justify the price tag.

No means that we don't recommend downloading this insubstantial content.


Related Mass Effect 2 Content

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03 Apr, 2011 Was it worth the wait?
Mass Effect 2 ‘Arrival’ DLC dated
19 Mar, 2011 Arriving very, very soon.
Mass Effect 2 PS3 demo hits PSN next week
14 Dec, 2010 Demo the trilogy on the triple.
3 years ago
2 hours? I want more Mass Effect but there is still some XBLA games I want for a similar price
3 years ago
Its pretty much more of the same, but a lot of fun in its own right. It reminds me a lot more of the original Mass Effect actually. I hope the HUB world becomes somewhat of a template in what they should do with ME3.
3 years ago
Nice review Anthony. While I won't be picking this up (done and dusted with ME2), it's good to see that the quality of the release is up to scratch. It would be nice if it were longer and had some replayability though.
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Australian Release Date:
  28/01/2010 (Confirmed)
  Electronic Arts
  Action RPG
Year Made:

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