DLC has a pretty bad reputation, I’d say. Gamers across the world like to think that the existence of DLC means that the developers are no longer giving us complete games out of the box.
That’s not true at all, of course – there’s a couple of exploitative bits of DLC floating around, but for the most part DLC is providing the more committed fans to certain games additional ways to engage with those games.
I’m a fan of what DLC can offer. I like the freedom to buy (or not buy) what DLC appeals to me, and I don’t begrude developers from making some money back from offering more superflouous additions to games to the small group of committed fans that would get something out of them.
With that in mind, here’s five pieces of DLC that I feel were done especially well. Wether adding more content to a game, or just offering silly new ways to enjoy the game, these are pieces of DLC that I’ve bought, and never felt “ripped off” by.
1) Theatrhythm additional tracks
I’ll start the list off with the newest game to get my buying DLC. Theatrhythm as a standalone package is insanely good value – at 77 tracks there’s more “in the box” than almost any other rhythm game out there.
But some people (such as myself) are bigger fans of Final Fantasy than that. I’ve been playing the series since its genesis, so 77 tracks couldn’t possibly account for all the memorable music I’ve heard over the years. Enter $Aus1.50 downloadable tracks that add even greater range to the game. Well worth the investment and they do add hours of entertainment to an already full-featured game.
2) Dragon Age Origins Awakening
Dragon Age: Origins is a massive game, and will take most players a good 50 hours to get through. So how to add even more value to the game? Give people a chance to play with their fully levelled-up and powerful heroes in the post-game for even more questing.
Even better? Use a base that players liberated over the course of the main game, that never got quite enough attention through the main game. To be able to come back to a place that people invested serious time in for even more is a fine way to extent the life of a very extensive package.
3) Warriors Orochi 3 costumes
Many would say that costumes are a waste of money. After all, they don’t extend the life of a game in any way, and they’re as superficial as the virtual stuff you buy on FarmVille.
But here’s the thing: Warriors Orochi 3 was all about the characters. A bit like Smash Brothers or other cross-over games, the whole point of this game was to pull Warriors fans’ favourite characters together for a grand battle royale.
In that sense, the DLC costumes fit the game perfectly. There’s some crazy ones for download (at a cheap price, no less) that do add some visual flair to the game. Given how popular cosplay is for Tecmo Koei faithful it seems obvious that the costumes do matter to the hardcore Warriors fans. Hats off to TK for giving fans what they want.
4) Little Big Planet Extras
When you’re talking about a game that is all about creativity, giving people additional ways to be creative is an easy win for DLC.
Anyone who has played a Little Big Planet game knows just how much content comes pre-packed into the box. There’s more than enough there to let your imagination run wild. But for the most part it’s quite generic. The genius of the DLC strategy is that it brings in super heroes and other such themes to dress the world up in, and so gives people the opportunity to customise and personalise their worlds and levels.
5) Pure Chess Chess Sets
Had to finish with a controversial one, didn’t I? Chess is one of those games where, in the real world, enthusiasts like to have nice pieces. There are companies out there that specialise in making unique and themed Chess sets – everything from Napoleon to Peter Rabbit.
None of this is necessary to play a game of chess, though. Pure Chess set out to, for a cheap price, provide a good quality, good looking Chess game. And it does. The basic game is gorgeous and the basic pieces are brilliantly rendered.
For people that really like their Chess, though? DLC packs that the team at VooFoo Studios can conceivably keep adding new sets into the future. These sets are so well-rendered that the pieces look like real, custom Chess sets, for a fraction of the price (a nice Chess set can set you back hundreds of dollars).
In this case, DLC has done a brilliant job of emulating the appeal of shopping for – and buying – the perfect chess set. And is completely unnecessary for people who just want a cheap game of Chess on the go.
Are you kidding me some of the examples mention are crap.
Costumes & chess piece….Are you kidding me?
I can think of five better examples.
-Broken Steel(Fallout 3)
-LCS&Ballad of Gay Tony(GTA4)
-Undead Nightmare(Red Dead)
-Lair of the Shadow Broker
Heck even the map pack from Call of Duty would have been a better choice.
I already covered gameplay expansions with Dragon Age Origins, which, in my opinion, is the finest gameplay "expansion pack" I've played.
Rather than just list off five good gameplay expansions, I wanted to represent the full range of ways that DLC can enhance the gameplay experience.
So yes, fun costumes and Chess sets. I've outlined my reasons above.
Map/Level DLC, Character DLC and Car Packs still would have been a better choice than some that was chosen.
That's fair enough. We'll have to agree to disagree, then 🙂 To me, the Chess sets are no different to Car Packs, and I'm a big Warriors fan – I do enjoy character costumes.
Thanks for your input, though – there's plenty of DLC out there, and not everyone is going to like the same thing after all!
The Dragon Age or Mass Effect DLC, or the bigger expansions to Oblivion are what I look for. I had mentioned in another post on here that things like costume packs don't do much for me, but additional characters sometimes do and additional storylines and such really do – Dragon Age was a great example of that.
I really enjoyed the DLC for Grand Theft Auto IV. Really much better than the original game. I also adored a lot of the LittleBigPlanet costumes as well as the MGS4 level kit. What a great game that is.
I enjoy chess, a lot. But I agree with zeal there…chess DLC isn't like Character or Car DLC, unless the Character and Cars handle the exact same in the game as already existing cars/characters. It would be like in fighting games, if a new DLC character had the exact same moves as another character…but they usually throw in new moves with new DLC characters.
The DLC chess sets though, are no different than the LBP extras, if the gameplay doesn't change, and in chess…a King is a King and a Knight is a Knight. It would be the same, and it doesn't change the gameplay any. So points 3, 4, and 5, should really be one point. "New Makeup that doesn't do anything to change gameplay, but you still pay for it to make the game look new and pretty!"
NOW, let's say a chess game has animated battle scenes, and they included new animations for the sets in the battle scenes…I could probably justify that more, but even that doesn't change the basic gameplay.
Way off topic now…SWEET THEY FINALLY ADDED an "UPLOAD IMAGE" button to new layout!
Hm. Agree to disagree. If the experience of Chess wasn't changed by the chess set being used, then there wouldn't be much point in producing those themed Chess sets – those remain very popular for a reason.
Not saying that people have to agree with me – many people find a standard chess set more than enough – but I've got far more pleasure/ entertainment Pure Chess Chess Sets than any character download that I can remember.
Also – make sure you sign up for the Rewards program, Coffee! 🙂
"Not saying that people have to agree with me…"
That's exactly the problem with opinion pieces though. If they aren't based on sound reason, there's absolutely no point to them at all…Chess sets are the same as costumes, and 3, 4, 5 are the same thing if gameplay does not change.
As for the Rewards thing, I HATE having to use Facebook for joining stuff…with a passion. I've been looking at other alternatives, but I remembered a second Facebook account that I set up my CWG page with…but I rarely access it. I'm probably going to use that one, but I'm still debating on it.
The point of most of my opinion pieces is to generate discussion, whether people agree or disagree.
Something as subjective as a "top 5?" Well, it's my subjective opinion. I tend to write more objectively when doing market analysis, but this is just a simple "here's five bits of DLC I liked, here's why." To me they all added something different to the experience of the game.
Dynasty Warriors costumes added the fun, Little Big Planet added creativity and individuality, and Pure Chess pieces made the game more authentic to me, as I prefer to play Chess with custom pieces.
If nothing else, I try and have a bit of fun with these top whatever-lists. I do so much analysing and criticism I simply want to break up the tension sometimes.
As for the Rewards thing – you don't have to join, lol. I really am trying to make it a spectacular program as a "thank you" to our readers though, so it might be worth it, since, if all goes to plan, what's currently there is just the tip of the iceberg 🙂
"If nothing else, I try and have a bit of fun with these top whatever-lists. I do so much analysing and criticism I simply want to break up the tension sometimes."
I understand having fun, and perhaps I will send you an email on the topic of "Top 5" lists and fun…while I can say I haven't done these type of posts, not on CWG :), I have written a few troll posts for fun…on non-official sites to release tension.
As for the Rewards thing, I love getting free stuff. LOVE it. I just don't like the Facebook thing, which isn't your fault at all.
Hm. I certainly hope people don't take this stuff as "trolling," because that is absolutely not my intention. If anyone has ever taken one of my top 5/ 10 lists as anything but a bit of fun and/or a way for me to worship my favourite games just that little bit more… well, I send them an imaginary beer as an apology 😉
I'd like to add one, which is Sword Of Islam for Crusader Kings 2. It extends and subverts the rules without breaking them, and it adds variety for those who want it. Most importantly, it doesn't penalise anyone who decides to skip it. Some DLC exists to add content which was sorely missing in the main game, but that's not the case here – everything is a genuine add-on.
Anyway, all of this is just an exended teaser for my review, which should be arriving next week – assuming that those bloody Crusaders will leave me alone long enough to finish it, of course!