Thursday, April 9, 2009

DLC and Killian's Red

A quick intro for people who dont know: DLC is short for downloadable content, and is a term mainly used for video game add-ons. You download this DLC usually through whichever console you have's online service (whether it be for Xbox 360, PS3, or PC) and it adds something new to your game, like new levels, characters to play as, maps, weapons, etc. It varies for each game. You also have to pay extra for this new content, and the prices vary from game to game, but they usually fall into the range of around $10 each (once in a while something is free, but it's rare). So for example, there's DLC for games like Gears of War 2 and Halo 3 which consist of new maps for their multiplayer modes. You cannot play these maps unless you buy the extra content. For games like The Force Unleashed, Fable 2, and Fallout 3 (who do not have multiplayer modes, and yes I'm purposely not counting Fable 2's so-called "multiplayer"), there is DLC that adds new missions or quests the the story that you can play through even if you already beat the game.

So, with that out of the way, here are my personal feelings on DLC. I like it, and I think it's a good thing for games and most gamers. Assuming you only buy DLC for games you like (why would you pay for an add-on to a game you hated?), it allows you to play that game longer, and gives games more replayability. But I also think that often we are overcharged for it. Take for example Halo 3's new "Mythic Map Pack," three maps for $10 (800 MS points). Three. Maps. To quote Gob: "COME ON!" (the Halo 3 map pack dropping today is what inspired this rant... I mean post). The entire game of Halo 3 only cost $60 when it came out, and included several multiplayer maps, a whole single player campaign, and, oh yeah, the whole game design which the DLC are based off of itself. It just seems to me that 3 new maps (one of which is only useful if you like to build maps yourself, which I dont) should cost 1/6 of what the original game itself did. That being said, I bent over and took one from Microsoft/Bungie today, as I did in fact spend the $10 to buy the maps. But I am not happy about it. Same thing with Gears of War 2 (which I have not purchased any DLC from)- they have a couple of map packs out that have four maps each and also cost $10 each. For four maps each, that's still a little expensive for my blood.

Also, the Resident Evil 5 DLC got me a little upset, but not because of the price, but because it really should have shipped with the game or have been free. The versus mode is fun, and it was only $5 (400 MS points), but you could tell that the mode was already programmed into the game (the download was less that 2MB and the item in the menu for "Versus" was already there, but with "???????" until you buy the DLC), and they basically made you spend $5 to unlock it. I hope this doesn't develop into a trend where developers release new games with certain modes, maps, characters, weapons, etc. already built into the game at release, but then just make you pay extra to unlock them online.

While most of this post has been negative, I would like to say some good things for a moment. Although I still thought the price was too high, I did really enjoy Fallout 3's DLC "The Pitt" (Operation Anchorage was okay, but the only really good thing that came out of that was the scoped Gauss Cannon). Also, I would like to take a moment and praise Valve, whose upcoming DLC for Left 4 Dead is going to be free. The DLC will add a survival mode where players see how long they can last against wave after wave of zombies (think horde mode from GOW2), and will unlock the other two maps from campaign mode to be used in versus mode (which is something that probably should have been released with the game, but that is why I assume Valve is making it free). Thanks Valve! I hope other developers take note of this a realize that if you're not releasing something actually new for a game, you really shouldn't charge for it.

Lastly, for anyone who likes beer and hasn't tried George Killian's Irish Red, I would really recommend it (especially if you like ales). I had it once a long time ago, but I couldn't really remember what is was like and if I liked it or not, so I went and got some on a whim yesterday. Delicious.

P.S. I didn't feel like spell checking this after I wrote it all, so sorry for any typos/grammatical errors. If you find any, feel free to point them out in the comments and I will fix them.