Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker is a downloadable content pack developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts for the 2010 action role-playing video game Mass Effect 2. It was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 in 2010, is included in the PlayStation 3 version of Mass Effect 2, released in 2011. Set after the events of the Mass Effect: Redemption comic book, Lair of the Shadow Broker follows the story of information broker Liara T'Soni and her efforts to find an information dealer known as the Shadow Broker. Lair of the Shadow Broker is a major downloadable content pack for Mass Effect 2 and some decisions the player makes in it may affect the story of Mass Effect 3, it received positive reviews from critics, who praised the pacing of the gameplay and considered it as a valuable addition to the game. At the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, Lair of the Shadow Broker was nominated for Best DLC, but lost to Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker is a downloadable content pack for the 2010 action role-playing video game Mass Effect 2.
Set after the events of the Mass Effect: Redemption comic book, it follows information broker Liara T'Soni and her efforts to find an information dealer known as the Shadow Broker. The player assumes the role of Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier who decides to help T'Soni in her quest; the Shadow Broker is killed and T'Soni assumes his position. She mentions that she will be able to provide Shepard with more information thanks to the Broker's extensive networks. Lair of the Shadow Broker is split into each ending with a boss fight; the first act takes place in a commerce planet named Illium featured in the main game, while the second one takes place aboard the Shadow Broker's spaceship. Although most of the gameplay involves squad-based combat and interacting with non-player characters, the first act features a chase scene where the player must control a high-speed vehicle through the skies of Illium for a brief period. At one point in the game, T'Soni joins Shepard's squad, offering a different set of combat abilities and powers.
The relationship between Shepard and T'Soni can vary depending on whether they were romantically involved in the original Mass Effect. After completing Lair of the Shadow Broker, the Shadow Broker's spaceship is available for the player to explore. Inside the ship, the player may use several terminals with different functions; some terminals show surveillance footage, dossiers on Shepard's squad members, a video archive which contains clips taken from around the Milky Way galaxy, where the main game takes place. Additionally, the player may purchase mining manifests which are useful to mark mineral-rich planets on the game's galaxy map, invest credits in various mini-missions which allow the player to receive upgrades and resources from the Shadow Broker's contacts. Lair of the Shadow Broker includes several in-game upgrades, which allow the player to enhance certain aspects of the game's weapons and armor, as well as five achievements. Lair of the Shadow Broker was 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 on July 22, 2010, with the release of three brand-new screenshots of the game. BioWare stated that the decisions players make in Lair of the Shadow Broker would affect certain storylines in the then-upcoming Mass Effect 2 sequel Mass Effect 3. Animating the Shadow Broker's face involved some technical difficulties. According to BioWare, the game's default digital-acting system "could not handle the stresses of the new face, so custom work had to be done to animate his multiple eyes and triangular mouth."The soundtrack was composed by Christopher Lennertz, who penned the music for the Overlord downloadable content pack. Lair of the Shadow Broker was released on September 7, 2010, for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. Like Mass Effect 2's earlier downloadable content packs Kasumi – Stolen Memory and Overlord, Lair of the Shadow Broker is included in the PlayStation 3 version of the game, released on January 18, 2011.
Lair of the Shadow Broker received positive reviews from critics, who considered it to be the greatest downloadable content pack of the game. Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer considered Lair of the Shadow Broker "a solid, satisfying addition to an expansive universe, he praised the amount of content in the pack, stating that it "adds far more to the game than some of its disappointingly slender predecessors." Game Revolution's Eduardo Reboucas said that the pack is "a blast for fans who want to catch up with Liara and dissect the bits of story that were omitted in the main game."The narrative and story were highlighted positively. Critics praised the fact that some decisions from the original Mass Effect impact the storytelling experience. Kristine Steimer of IGN stated that the storytelling "effectively communicates the strong bond between if they weren't romantically involved in your game." The graphics received similar praise. Brad Gallaway, a reviewer for GameCritics, noted that they "make the action feel like a more organic part of the story and engage the player in some superb atmosphere."
The exterior of the Shadow Broker's ship was seen by some critics as the pack's most impressive battle environment. Steimer remarked that "approaching the Shadow Broker's ship is stunning as lightning storms envelope the massive vessel."Maurice Tan of Destructoid highlighted the pacing and combat intensity, stating
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