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Last-Gen Zeroes: DLC

Illustration for article titled Last-Gen Zeroes: DLC

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I wasn't really planning on writing anything for this but I threw the idea out there and Aikage said I should do it so I'll give it a try.

DLC, Additional Content, Game Enhancers, Game Expanders, whatever you want to call it I can guarantee that just about every new game that gets some of it. It could be pre-order DLC, post-release DLC, on-disc DLC, Special/Collector's edition DLC, mandatory DLC, voluntary DLC, or some crazy combination not even listed. Whatever it is your game probably has it and if you are like me at all you are sick of it.


The biggest contribution to video game kind this generation was the explosion of online console gaming with Xbox Live, PSN, and Nintendo Network becoming the central focus of the new consoles. With just a simple internet connection you could play multiplayer with your friend down the street or strangers halfway around the world. The Xbox, PS2, and even the Gamecube had online capabilities but the services powering them didn't really come into their own until their successors arrived.


With the 7th-gen consoles built around utilizing online services many new options were opened up. video games could be sold digitally, patches could be sent out, and every publishers favorite... DLC could be sold easily. No longer was there a need for physical expansion packs to be sold in stores, devs could make an add-on to an existing game and slap it onto the online store without ever leaving their computers. (okay maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration.) Sounds great right? well it was... and it wasn't. There was still plenty of "Expansion Pack" type DLCs where the player got a large helping of hours of new content for whatever the game was that they were playing but DLC also led to the removal of features that had been in video games forever.

Do you remember cheat codes? Do you remember the last time a game you played actually had them? Those fun little easter eggs were left by game developers for players to find and tool around with, infinite money, health, ammo, weapons, level unlocks. Tell me the last time you found a cheat or a code for that in-game, Now tell me if you've seen "cheat DLC" up on the store for your game. Those little trinkets are essentially dead in the video game world of today and have been replaced by DLC.


Now if you are anything like me when you are out adventuring/battling/dancing/flying/saving the universe/doing video game stuff, you want to look good doing it. Don't expect to find too many bonus costumes lying around if you're playing a recent game. This seems like more of a Japanese problem as bonus costumes that you would search high and low for in the past have now been cut and sold as DLC. One of my favorite games this year, Tales of Xillia, only has four bonus costumes TOTAL in the entire game. For comparison check out all the costumes that Tales of the Abyss (A PS2 game that has since been ported to 3DS) had. Xillia has the classic costume sets like swimsuit and maid/butler stuff but they cost $3 per costume and with 6 characters each set is $18 bucks. A high price for fashion I guess but hey at least you can make your horse look fabulous.


Perhaps you've become bored of Lens Flare FPS: 2014 and want more, DLC has got you covered. Any online FPS you play today will probably have map packs for you to purchase. I personally don't have a gripe with map pack DLC except with one major exception, when the map pack becomes mandatory. Now I haven't played an FPS in a almost 2 years so times may have changed but there were two games back in the day I really loved, Halo 3 and CoD: World at War, These games were great and I enjoyed them immensely at least until DLC started getting released... When DLC for these games was released the maps were added to most of the main playlists, if you didn't have the map pack you couldn't play. The fun was pretty much over unless I coughed up $10 bucks each time a new pack was released. I may be wrong but I believe there are new systems now where you can still do playlists without having the DLC but you only get matched against other players who don't have the map packs which just divides the player base.

But what is the worst DLC? I'd have to say either on-disc or Pre-launch DLC. Remember last year when it was revealed that a certain important extinct alien species which was extremely important to the main plot of the game actually had one surviving member. and that he could be yours for just $10? Yeah me too. When I see launch-day or on-disc DLC the image of a fat cigar smoking executive stroking an equally fat cat. It just screams "HEY! WE HAD TIME TO DEVELOP THIS AND PUT IT IN THE GAME BEFORE LAUNCH BUT YOU ARE GONNA PAY EXTRA FOR IT LIKE THE LITTLE PIGGIES YOU ARE!" This practice in my eyes is just pure evil. Imagine if you had bought a dvd/blu-ray of your favorite movie but when you went to go watch the deleted scenes it told you to pay an extra fee? Why should I have to pay extra for something that's on the disc I already own? Call me an entitled whiny gamer if you must but I still stick to my opinion that if you had time to develop, test, and advertise DLC before a game launches then it should have been in the game.


I'm gonna wrap this up but first let me just say that the "Season Pass" practice is dumb too. Now not only are we pre-ordering games but also pre-ordering hypothetical DLC too. The best part of season passes is that unlike pre-ordering a game where you have a rough idea of what you are going to get and can cancel at any time, there is no cancelling a season pass and no clue of what the future DLC will be or when it might come. The publisher could take your $30-$50 bucks and feed you table scraps and there is nothing you can do about it. BUT ATLEAST I'M SAVING TEN BUCKS BY NOT BUYING ALL THE DLC INDIVIDUALLY!!!


DLC has the potential to be great. Publishers and devs have come together at time to make expansion type DLC that is worth the price put on it (The Dark Souls DLC comes to mind for me). Sadly though the concept of DLC has mostly been abused by taking out content that used to be free and selling it back to you, putting trivial things up for sale, and basically just trying to squeeze every last penny out of the consumer before he or she moves on to the next game. I wish we could just go back to having expansion packs but in an industry where the main goal is to bleed the consumer dry its easier to just sell shitty horse armor.

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