Mass Effect 2: Kasumi - Stolen Memory
|Mass Effect 2: Kasumi - Stolen Memory|
The logo of the character Kasumi Goto as seen in the pack's promotional trailer
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Release date(s)||April 6, 2010|
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing, third-person shooter|
Mass Effect 2: Kasumi - Stolen Memory is a downloadable content pack developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts for the action role-playing video game Mass Effect 2. It was released on April 6, 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. The pack is included in the PlayStation 3 version of Mass Effect 2, which was released on January 18, 2011. Stolen Memory introduces two new missions where the player assumes the role of Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier who must recruit a new squad member named Kasumi Goto and help her steal a graybox that contains important information and memories of her partner.
Stolen Memory was announced to be in development at the Game Developers Conference on March 11, 2010. It was the first major Mass Effect 2 downloadable content pack that does not require the game's Cerberus Network, an online downloadable content and news service that enables free bonus content for the main game. The pack received generally mixed reviews from critics, with an aggregate score of 71 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version at Metacritic. Reviewers mainly criticized the pack's short length.
Mass Effect 2 is an action role-playing game in which the player controls Commander Shepard. Shepard's gender, appearance, history and combat-training are determined by the player before the game begins. The game features a variety of quests that the player must complete in order to progress. These quests usually involve the player interacting with characters and fighting enemies in combat missions. During the missions, Shepard is assisted by two AI squad members that the player can indirectly control through orders. Combat takes place in real-time, but the player can pause the action at any time to calmly target enemies and select different powers for the squad members to use. Upon completing a quest, the player is awarded with experience points. If a sufficient amount of experience is obtained, the player can develop powers for both Shepard and the members of the squad.
Stolen Memory features both a recruitment mission and a loyalty mission for a new squad member named Kasumi Goto. The recruitment mission involves the player interacting with Kasumi through dialogue options to recruit her. After joining Shepard's squad, Kasumi can be used throughout the entire rest of the game like any other of the game's default squad members. The loyalty mission is available immediately after recruiting her and involves exploration and combat. The player must initially engage characters in conversations and explore areas to find a way to infiltrate a vault. Afterwards, the player must fight waves of enemies and defeat a boss. Kasumi is Shepard's only companion and has the special ability to cloak and appear behind a target to deliver a devastating sneak attack. After completing the mission, Kasumi gains a new ability called Flashbang Grenade, which inflicts minor damage and incapacitates nearby targets. The mission also includes a new weapon and an in-game upgrade that the player can research to enhance several abilities. An achievement is awarded to the player after completing the content.
Mass Effect 2 is set within the Milky Way galaxy during the 22nd century where elite human soldier Commander Shepard must save humanity from an insectoid species known as the Collectors. Shepard is tasked to build and gain the loyalty of a diverse team in order to defeat the enemy in a suicide mission. In Stolen Memory, Shepard is sent to recruit Kasumi Goto, a master thief who is located on a colossal space station that serves as the capital of the galactic community. In return for her help, Kasumi asks Shepard's help on a heist to infiltrate the vault of a ruthless arms dealer named Donovan Hock. She explains that Hock killed her partner, Keiji Okuda, and stole Okuda's graybox, a neural implant that stores his memories as well as confidential and sensitive information he acquired in the past.
Shepard and Kasumi travel to the planet Bekenstein, where Hock is throwing a party at his mansion for some of the galaxy's richest people. After getting samples of Hock's DNA from his private quarters, recording a sample of his voice, and disabling the vault's defenses, Kasumi and Shepard infiltrate the vault. As Kasumi starts cracking the graybox, the pair is detected and attacked by Hock's forces. Kasumi and Shepard eventually manage to escape in a shuttle after destroying a gunship piloted by Hock. After the mission, Kasumi accesses the graybox and sees her partner one last time. A hologram of Okuda reveals the data, saying that it would impact humanity's reputation if made public. He begs her to destroy the data along with his memories. Kasumi has trouble letting him go, showing that their relationship was much more than professional. Shepard can persuade Kasumi to follow Keiji's wishes or keep the data.
Development and release
Mass Effect 2: Kasumi - Stolen Memory was developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts. During development of Mass Effect 2, Bioware stated that downloadable content was becoming a fundamental part of the company's overall philosophy. The pack was announced to be in development at the Game Developers Conference on March 11, 2010. BioWare remarked that Stolen Memory would have a similar sense to a James Bond mission. The mansion where most of the pack's events take place was originally suggested to take place on a colony of the in-game alien race Asari before being located on a human planet. It was conceived as "a house in the Hollywood Hills, but with more advanced, Mass Effect-era architecture." The outfit of the character Kasumi Goto was designed to reflect that of a medieval thief. The character was voiced by Kym Lane.
The pack was released on April 6, 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. Like Mass Effect 2's other downloadable content packs Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker, Stolen Memory is freely included in the PlayStation 3 version of the game, which was released on January 18, 2011. At the release day, the pack was unavailable for download for a brief period of time due to Xbox Live server issues. Stolen Memory is also the first major Mass Effect 2 downloadable content pack that does not require the game's Cerberus Network, an online downloadable content and news service that enables free bonus content for the main game. The soundtrack was composed by Sonic Mayhem duo Sascha Dikiciyan and Cris Velasco.
Mass Effect 2: Kasumi - Stolen Memory received generally mixed reviews, with most critics criticizing the pack's short length. IGN reviewer Erik Brudvig opined that Stolen Memory "is a great little quest, but for most the 'little' part will be a sticking point. At roughly an hour in length, this is one download that doesn't offer a lot of bang for your buck." Writing for GameSpot, Kevin VanOrd felt that the character of Kasumi is not interesting and that the mission is too short for her character development compared to the squad members of the base game. Similarly, GameCritics reviewer Brad Gallaway criticized the fact that players cannot directly interact with her once the mission is completed.
In a more positive review, Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer stated that "Stolen Memory does a good job of justifying itself through enjoyable gameplay and clever storytelling. Short, yes, but also surprisingly sweet." He also highlighted positively the story and opined that the ending "adds more shading to Kasumi's flirtatious character", stating that "the obligatory moral choice at the end is dictated by intimate emotional considerations rather than battlefield pragmatism." Eduardo Reboucas of Game Revolution criticized the fact that the story does not fit in a post-story scenario, stating that Stolen Memory "is intended to be played as you're making your way through the suicide mission storyline and not in the aftermath."
GameCritics praised the first part of the loyalty mission, comparing it favorably to Ocean's Eleven and stating that it is "an unusual and welcome change of pace." VanOrd credited the fact that players can infiltrate Hock's private quarters in two different ways, but also admitted that breaking into Hock's vault "is paced slowly without offering any sense of increasing tension or extended dialogue options to compensate." Nevertheless, he praised Kasumi's ability to silently backstab enemies and the combat scenarios for their enemy variety. The final boss battle was said to be predictable but enjoyable and satisfying. VanOrd concluded that "Kasumi - Stolen Memory is still worth a look, but it won't leave you with any lasting memories of your own."
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