It’s not surprising that Mass Effect 2 will get a bevy of downloadable content on both the Xbox 360 and PC, but Bioware’s newly announced means of delivering that DLC — via The Cerberus Network — is a bit on the unusual side.
The Cerberus Network is an in-game DLC mechanism in Mass Effect 2 that will essentially act as an in-game portal by which players can receive bonus content and daily messages and news on upcoming Mass Effect 2 releases for no extra charge. The Cerberus Network will be a free feature for those who purchase the Mass Effect 2 new at retail, but it will cost a fee for those who buy the game used or secondhand.
The in-game DLC portal will be activated exclusively by original purchasers of Mass Effect 2 through a single-use unlock code that comes included in retail and digital versions of the game worldwide. For players who do not buy the game new, it can be unlocked through a one-time, in-game purchase of a new activation code.
Players who access The Cerberus Network upon the game’s launch on January 26 will receive the first DLC pack featuring new missions and in-game items such as Zaeed, a gun-for-hire who is recruited to join Commander Shepard’s mission to save mankind.
Later Mass Effect 2 DLC will include the Hammerhead, a new hover tank with improved handling on rough terrain and high maneuverability in combat; the Cerberus Assault Armor, which boost shields, health and heavy weapon ammo; and the M-22 Eviscerator Shotgun.