After completing Kasumi's Stolen Memory, the first premium downloadable content released for incredible RPG/shooter Mass Effect 2, I thought to myself, 'man, this would have been so much better if it had more cock'.
Forget the fact that it's short (the loyalty mission won't take you longer than an hour to finish), and the fact that Kasumi Goto, the sexy rogue-like party member the DLC introduces, is about as interesting as a tree stump. Instead, concentrate on this: there's a moment when you'll do a double take as you realise that developer BioWare has inexplicably left out perhaps the most famous "bit" of all.
I'm talking about Michelangelo's David, which is beautifully rendered in-game as part of an impressive antique collection owned by an up-market gangster Shepard and Kasumi are trying to steal from. Now, the cultured among you will know the "arty farty" reasons for the sculpture's masterpiece status. Me? All I know is David's famous because it's a statue of a man with his dong out.
It's actually the high point of the DLC: when you finally get to infiltrate Hock (the big bad boss)'s personal collection of ancient artefacts, and you spot David standing proudly among other iconic pieces including Liberty's head, sculptures of alien races (and one Easter egg for Dragon Age fans), it's an undoubtedly cool moment. But you can't help but feel that something's missing, namely: David's cock.
I suppose there's a somewhat plausible explanation for David's unfortunate castration. He's missing an arm and a leg - evidence, perhaps, that in the years leading up to Mass Effect 2's 2183 setting, David took a tumble and broke. But to me this is a cop-out. David should have his cock. No-one stole it or, god forbid, broke it off. It should be there, and BioWare left it out.
Why? Who knows? My best guess is BioWare didn't think a floppy (or is it hard 'cause it's stone?) cock would fit with Mass Effect 2's 15 age rating. Either way, its absence speaks volumes. How odd it is to criticise a game for not having enough cock, when games generally get it in the neck for daring to show even the slightest hint of side boob. Indeed BioWare perhaps knows this better than any developer. Has the farcical furore surrounding Mass Effect's damp squib of a sex scene dissuaded BioWare from risqué content?
Whatever the truth, David's missing member is apt: as you play through the DLC, you get the feeling there's something missing from the overall package. Kasumi's loyalty mission may be different in terms of gameplay and gorgeous in terms of graphics, but it feels so throwaway that you can't help but feel ever so slightly ripped off.
And that's despite the relatively cheap price tag. At 560 MS Points (just under a fiver), Kasumi's Stolen Memory isn't too hard on the wallet. But if you equate that to an hour's worth of new Mass Effect 2 gaming - however impressive - that fiver starts to feel expensive.