A Few Things You May Want to Know About Mass Effect 2 and The Cerberus Network

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Late yesterday, a final Xbox 360 review copy of Mass Effect 2 arrived here at VGB HQ, and while review coverage is embargoed until next week I did want to take a minute to give you a heads-up on a few things before the game ships, mostly in regards to The Cerberus Network. Continue reading for more…

– First, Xbox 360 gamers may be interested to know that Mass Effect 2 is a two-disc game, opposed to the first game which only took up one disc — I didn’t realize that, so it caught me by surprise when I opened the case. Whether the extra disc means the game is a longer, beefier experience than the original or it’s simply a matter of the improved graphical fidelity requiring more space, however, is something I can’t tell you yet. I’m hoping it’s both!

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– Access to the The Cerberus Network is granted via a punch-out activation voucher card included for free in new retail copies of the game. When you first boot the game up, you are prompted to enter the code or (for those who acquire the game used) purchase a one-time activation code. BioWare’s announcement earlier this week didn’t provide a price for separately-sold codes, but I clicked the purchase option out of curiosity and noticed the price listed as 1200 MS Points ($15).

– From what I’ve seen, The Cerberus Network is not intrusive in any way. I know some folks didn’t like NPCs acting as salesmen for DLC quests in Dragon Age, but I haven’t seen anything like that in my 2-3 hours with Mass Effect 2 so far. Instead, The Cerberus Network appears as a secondary computer terminal at the main menu, with scrolling news and info about current add-ons. From there you click the downloadable content link in the menu to see a list of available DLC. No muss, no fuss.

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– Out of the box, there are two DLC items available on The Cerberus Network: Normandy Crash Site and Zaeed – The Price of Revenge. The main Zaeed add-on is currently unavailable — I get an error message when I try to download it — so I’m assuming it won’t be on the servers until launch day. But I was able to download the Normandy Crash Site add-on. It’s a small 54MB download and consists of one short mission.

Those are a few early tidbits I’ve picked up on so far, but I’ll be back with impressions of the game itself next week. Mike and I are also hoping to get plans together for a discussion review, but are still waiting to hear back about the PC version. Stay tuned…

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!