“Mass Effect Extended Cut,” released Tuesday, includes some data hidden by BioWare within the game’s files that connects to a new DLC pack.
“Mass Effect Extended Cut,” released Tuesday, includes some data hidden by BioWare within the game’s files that connects to a new DLC pack. Bioware

Rumors of a "Mass Effect 3" single-player DLC have been circulating ever since the "Extended Cut" expansion launched, and BioWare finally made the official announcement in early August. At the Electronic Arts Summer Showcase, the upcoming "Leviathan" DLC was unveiled, which will take place during Commander Shephard's war on the Reapers.

When "Mass Effect 3" was released in March, it was met with tumultuous backlash from the gaming community for its ending. The conclusion to BioWare's epic space-adventure trilogy was deemed lackluster and unsatisfactory by "Mass Effect" fans, who have complained that it does not reflect the decisions and plot points of the previous installments.

Some players have tirelessly campaigned for a new ending, which was thought to have been addressed with the "Extended Cut" DLC that launched at the end of June.

However, "Leviathan" could be the expansion pack that relentless "Mass Effect" players have been waiting for.

Too Late to Change the Ending?

According to IGN, completing this downloadable content will create an "additional rift" in a player's ending, and the "Leviathan" DLC is said to add additional layers to the war against the Reapers. It is unclear exactly how this will impact the choices gamers have made throughout the series, but for some BioWare's remedy may have come too little too late.

"I've already ended my 'Mass Effect' experience two different times," writes David Their of Forbes. "The idea of doing it again is a little bit tiring."

Mitch Dyer of IGN echoed these sentiments, saying that although "enjoyable," the "Leviathan" DLC is not a crucial addition to the "Mass Effect" universe.

"I'm still unconvinced it's necessary-after all, my 'Mass Effect 3' story is over, I know how it ends, and I didn't need a Reaper-killing monster to help me out. I'm curious what difference it'll make, but not enough to replay the entire game."

Despite skepticism, the idea of a new single-player add-on to "Mass Effect 3" is sure to resonate with some fans-especially those who may still feel disgruntled about the game's ending. BioWare has been relatively tight-lipped about "Leviathan," but some critics have gotten their hands on the DLC and previewed it for themselves.

Synopsis and Gameplay

The DLC's storyline follows the hunt for "Leviathan," a creature known for killing Reapers. Admiral Hackett has been pursuing this being, but no one knows the location of "Leviathan." A Citadel scientist known as Bryson picks up the creature's scent, but is murdered soon after this revelation. It turns out his assistant was responsible for the act, after blacking out and putting a bullet through Bryson's chest. This seems like a clear case of indoctrination, but as IGN acknowledges, there could be something deeper behind the murder. This is where our protagonist, Commander Shephard comes in.

The DLC is said to draw influence from the "Lair of the Shadow Broker" add-on found in "Mass Effect 2" and will contain a similar amount of content. According to a preview published by Destructoid, the gameplay begins when Commander Shephard interrogates a researcher investigating the presence and whereabouts of "Leviathan." Shephard soon realizes that this research team member is indoctrinated, so he takes it upon himself and his crew to find the truth.

After this, gameplay jumps ahead to a point where the commander and his crew arrive at the remains of a research ship on the planet Despoina. This vessel was believed to have been investigating the "Leviathan" as well, and is now a floating wreck making its way through the ocean. There are floating balls referred to as "Artifacts" sprawled across its surface. Although unspecified, these objects do serve a purpose in tracking down "Leviathan."

It is at this point players encounter a Reaper, who launches a wave of Husks at Commander Shephard and his crew. According to Destructoid, the gameplay changes depending on which point in the game players choose to launch the campaign. Taking the quest near the end of "Mass Effect 3" will result in a higher difficult with more enemies, while playing the "Leviathan" storyline early will be simpler.

After the battle, Lieutenant Cortez appears via shuttle to restore power to the ship. This is when players will need to make their way across the deck, fending off Brutes and Marauders while trying to activate different power nodes. After power is restored, Shephard comes across a mech suit and dives into the ocean. He loses radio contact and becomes isolated in the deep sea. Travelling all the way down to the ocean floor, he finds another wreckage in this distance, drawing the demo to a close.

Does This Line Up With Previous Rumors?

Rumors of a new "Mass Effect" DLC have spread since the "Extended Cut" expansion was released, which contained a leaked transcript in its files alluding to another release. These rumors were strengthened when "Mass Effect" producer Mike Gamble spoke to Joystiq saying that BioWare wanted to do a single-player DLC. Voice actor Anthony Skordi, who plays the role of a Reaper, also confirmed that he will be acting as "Leviathan" in the new DLC. However, previous rumors indicated that Reapers would actually be playable characters in the single-payer DLC. It is unclear if this is actually true, but as of now it seems as if Shephard will be the main role. Gamble did say that he wanted to create a single-player DLC that would focus on Shephard and his story, so that is likely to unfold in "Leviathan." The spoilers also referred to "Leviathan" as a Reaper, and said that Shephard encountered this Reaper when rescuing scientist Ann Brynson. After getting a detailed account of the preview for the upcoming DLC, we now know that this isn't true.

Weapons in 'Leviathan'

During the battle with the Reaper aboard the ship, players get a sneak peek at some weapons that will be included in the DLC. This includes a Turian sniper rifle with explosive ammo and the Anti-Synthesis assault rifle. There are also weapons that were unveiled in the recent "Firefight" DLC pack, adding seven new weapons to the campaign. A number of these are from pre-order bonuses, and have been retouched for use in single-player combat.

Release Date and Price

The release date for the "Leviathan" DLC has not been announced yet, but EA is sure to make more announcements in the following weeks. As for the price, the expansion will cost $10.