Fifty-thousand years ago the Reapers, a race of sentient machines bent on destroying all advanced civilizations, brought down the Prothean Empire. The Prothean Empire spanned the known galaxy, but were ultimately no match for the Reapers. To the knowledge of Commander Shepard and everyone else in the modern galaxy, the Protheans went extinct.
In the Mass Effect 3: From Ashes DLC, players return to Eden Prime, the first location of the Mass Effect series. Eden Prime had been the location of a Prothean Beacon that had helped Shepard and his team to thwart the Reapers’ plans in the first game, and now a new Prothean artifact has been uncovered. Cerberus, a pro-human terrorist group, has learned of this recent discovery and has taken Eden Prime by siege. As Commander Shepard, you lead your team to Eden Prime in order to take Cerberus down a notch and recover whatever artifact they are after.
Upon reaching the dig site you learn that this is no Prothean artifact that Cerberus is after, but rather it is a living Prothean. The rest of this level consists of fighting off Cerberus troops and trying to figure out how to release the Prothean from his stasis pod. The playable area of Eden Prime is rather small in comparison to other missions throughout the game, making it feel more like one of the game’s very short N7 quests rather than a main story mission that it is presented as. Eden Prime’s mission makes frequent mention of events that took place in Mass Effect 1, giving the DLC a bit of nostalgia for fans of the series. At the same time players will learn more about the Prothean Empire, something that we have only been able to speculate about in previous Mass Effect titles. The Eden Prime mission takes approximately forty-five minutes, and allows you to gather a new War Asset for your fight against the Reapers. When the mission is over, you get a new Prothean squad member.
This DLC adds one new mission, the squad mate, a new war asset, and the Prothean beam weapon. Once he’s a member of your team, the Prothean can be interacted with like any other member of your team. You can visit him in his room on the Normandy to speak with him, have him join you on missions, or find him on the Citadel for further character interactions. At the end of the Eden Prime mission you receive a Particle rifle. Unlike other weapons in the game, the rifle has no ammo, but heats up over time as it is fired, similar to the weapons from Mass Effect 1. Unfortunately, the rifle can only be obtained in single player and not in multiplayer.
Javik, the Prothean, serves as a Biotic, and continues to provide insight into the Prothean Empire throughout the game. He is a humorous character at times, although he is also rather dark and cynical. He can be asked about the species of your time and what they were like in his time. Javik provides a lot of insight into the lore of Mass Effect, and is very well integrated into the main game. Unlike the DLC squad mates from Mass Effect 2, Javik has tons of dialogue on the Normandy and on missions, along with plenty of banter with different party members, Liara especially. On certain missions having Javik makes a world of difference, adding clarification to puzzling sections in the story, making clear that the Protheans indeed had plans for in case they failed to stop the Reapers.
The Prothean squad members is a great addition to Mass Effect 3, and has a surprising amount of dialogue and story-integration. The From Ashes DLC is a must buy for any fan of the Mass Effect series, or for anyone curious to learn from a Prothean. From Ashes feel like a much more natural additional to the game’s story than any of the previous DLCs in the Mass Effect franchise.
- Dialogue and story integration is very well done
- New weapon is a throwback to Mass Effect 1′s weapons
- Delves into the Mass Effect lore
- The Prothean weapon cannot be obtained in multiplayer
- The Prothean character feels like a part of the base game rather than stand alone content
- The Eden Prime mission takes place in a rather confined area