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Mass Effect: Bring Down The Sky

Mass Effect: Bring Down the Sky

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Xbox 360
Price: 400 points (£3.40/$5.00) – Xbox Live download only

Back in December when I originally reviewed Mass Effect, I mentioned that BioWare's plans for the storyline extended over a trilogy of games with downloadable content in between games to fill out the storyline.

Well, I told you so.

This isn't just any trilogy of games, you understand. Aside from being written by undoubtedly the best computer RPG developer there is, the Mass Effect storyline for all three games has already been written. Hopefully, that means we'll feel a real progression and development of story and characters across the three games rather than sequels that are shoe-horned to fit in with the original story.

It's an approach that's virtually unheard of in the games industry, and it's one that gets my juices flowing just thinking about it. Mass Effect 2 is still some way off yet though, so we'll have to wait to see whether it works or not.

Mass Effect: Bring Down The Sky
Click to enlarge

All is not lost, though, as the first downloadable mini-episode is now available on Xbox Live. We take the Normandy out for a spin round the galaxy to see if BioWare is delivering on its promises.

The Sky Is Falling

The story behind Bring Down the Sky is that you, Captain Shepard, are asked to investigate a jet-driven, mobile asteroid in the Exodus sector which is on a collision course with a nearby human colony, Terra Nova.

No, I don't know why you'd want to make a mobile asteroid either. It's just asking for trouble if you ask me.

Mass Effect: Bring Down The Sky
Click to enlarge

Anyway, unless you manage to come up with a solution, the asteroid will crash into the planet, killing the population of four million. Yes, you read that right. The population of the whole planet is the same as the population of Bristol. But probably without the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The solution (for the asteroid, not Bristol) is to turn off the three large jets that are propelling the asteroid along its collision course with Terra Nova. That's complicated somewhat by the discovery that the asteroid has been hijacked by a Batarian extremist group protesting against the human settlement of planets in Batarian space.

As well as diverting the asteroid from its impending impact with Terra Nova, you're tasked with rescuing hostages from the Batarians as well as finding out what the Batarians want.

Plus ça change.