Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
0

Gaming Review

Downloadable reviews: 'Mass Effect 3 Citadel', 'Sleeping Dogs' DLC

By
Released on Tuesday, Mar 19 2013

Each week, Digital Spy rounds up the biggest downloadable gaming releases with reviews and trailers. This week's games include the swansong for one of the biggest trilogies of the last few years, a reason to return to Hong Kong and a time-reversing rhythm title.

> This week's biggest mobile games reviewed

Mass Effect 3: Citadel

Developer: BioWare
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Price: 1,200 MSP (£10.30/$15), £9.99/$14.99

Mass Effect 3's original ending wasn't quite the finale many wanted, but the final single-player DLC 'Citadel' offers players one final opportunity to say goodbye to core characters across the trilogy.

Taking place before the end game, 'Citadel' begins with Shepard and his crew ordered to take shore leave, before the Commander finds himself targeted by a new sinister group.

Narratively speaking, it's not the most interesting story and the missions are very linear, but what's enjoyable is the stark change in tone from the main game. It's very light-hearted, with plenty of amusing jokes and callbacks that feel perfect for a last farewell.

Crew members will sulk when you don't select them in your squad, while Samantha Traynor's fancy toothbrush has a fantastic Chekhov's gun moment.

Mass Effect 3 'Citadel' image

© Bioware

'Mass Effect 3: Citadel'



Once that plotline is resolved, there's a solid few hours afterwards of pure character interaction as you'll meet up with crew members past and present before it wraps up with a house party.

Nearly every character gets their due - even a few who aren't around to be there in person - while there are plenty of moments that will make you grin, from Shepard's dancing being mocked to Wrex and Grunt headbutting each other.

The wave of nostalgia and excellent writing makes these interactions very satisfying.

If you've been playing Mass Effect since the first game, 'Citadel' comes highly recommended. It's blatantly fan service, but the five-hour experience will leave you feeling more optimistic about the future of the franchise.


> Buy 'Mass Effect 3: Citadel' from the Xbox Live marketplace


Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake

Developer: United Front Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Price: 560 MSP (£4.80/$7), £4.39/$5.99

'Year of the Snake' is the latest DLC for the open-world title Sleeping Dogs. It's a self-contained story that chronologically takes place after the conclusion of the main story, but it doesn't require you to complete the game first.

The add-on sees Wei initially demoted to beat cop duties, but he quickly becomes embroiled in stopping a dangerous cult proclaiming the end of the world.

Wei must deal with numerous bombs planted across the city, while also taking down the mastermind behind the whole insidious plot.

If you enjoyed Sleeping Dogs, 'Year of the Snake' is more of the same - on-foot chases, car-hijacking, gunfights and more.

'Sleeping Dogs' DLC Year of the Snake screenshot

© Square Enix

'Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake'



The hand-to-hand combat remains as fun as ever, with slight tweaks that reflect Wei donning a cop uniform. For instance, he can arrest criminals and stun them with an electro-shock stick.

Sadly, it's also extremely short, as all of the primary missions can be completed within 90 minutes.

In addition, while it's all-new content, the missions themselves don't stand out enough compared to the main game, meaning there isn't much incentive to check out the add-on for those who are worn out with the game.

That said, anyone itching for more Sleeping Dogs should consider 'Year of the Snake'. It's fun while it lasts, and it's a good excuse to revisit the world of Hong Kong.


> Buy 'Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake' from the Steam store



Retro/Grade

Developer: 24 Caret Games
Platforms: PC (including Steam)
Price: £6.99 / $9.99

Previously released on the PlayStation 3, the inventive Retro/Grade launches on PC. It's disguised as a side-scrolling space shooter, but in reality, it plays like a rhythm game.

You start at the end having defeated the final boss, but time is reversed and you must complete the levels by timing button presses as shots are absorbed back, avoiding enemy bullets to prevent paradoxes in the space-time continuum.

It's not unlike the Guitar Hero or Rock Band titles in that regard, as the action is accompanied by and synced to an enjoyable soundtrack.

The end result is a really fun game. But the real beauty is that as you play, you noticeably get better. So despite a small offering of only ten levels, there's incentive to go back and try to top your best scores or tackle some of the tougher difficulties.

Retro/Grade


There's also a hefty challenge mode, where for each challenge you must fulfil a specific objective on a song to pass. Examples include earning a target multiplier or surviving a mirrored version of a level.

However, this mode failed to entertain us the same way as the main game for two reasons. Firstly, there aren't enough unique twists to make replaying the levels feel worthwhile without the lure of improving your score.

In addition, difficulty levels are locked in for each challenge, meaning if you enjoy playing on the harder settings, the majority of levels will bore you as they're played on easier difficulties.

That aside, Retro/Grade is well-executed and worthy of your time, particularly if you're a fan of the rhythm genre. All of the components come together really smartly to deliver a game that's a joy to play, on both an audiovisual and gameplay level.


> Buy 'Retro/Grade' from the Steam store



What downloadable releases have you been playing recently? Add a comment in the space below!

You May Like

Comments

Loading...