Lets face it, Downloadable Content(DLC) are everywhere in video games nowadays. No matter what, you will be bothered with new DLC promos and free ones to "enhance" your experience in a given game.Some are great, like the added content giving 2-3 more hours into your game time, but most of them are completely useless or flat-out done poorly. DLC is fairly new, and it will get better in time, but there are just very bad practices that make DLC a waste at times.
Downloadable content already on the damn disc
Yea, I'm talking about you Capcom. There's a reason why it's called "Downloadable Content", its content made after completing the final product, which is then purchased separately and then downloaded to include in your game. But when the added content is already finished and is actually on the disc? Do we really have to pay for it? It really feels like I'm paying for it twice if it's on the disc.
Big example is of course Capcom's approach with their DLC's. On the release of Street FIghter X Tekken, I guess they didn't realize that there are people in the world that actually look into the game disc files to hopefully find something useful. well, they struck gold when they noticed that all the planned DLC characters are already on the disc and is actually playable, with only a simple code to unlock(which is pretty much what you're buying, the key). Capcom got a lot of bad rep from this one and they keep saying that it's still not complete. Well, don't add it in the disc then, and don't say complete because we see footage of the characters very much playable. bad Capcom, bad.
Map packs are always overpriced
I love competitive online games like Call of Duty or Battlefield. It can be quite relaxing at times and at first, I was excited to "enhance" my experience by buying a couple of map packs. Well, I never did in either of my purchase of either Call of Duty or any game that has 'Team Deamatch' because it turns out to be a waste in a couple of months. Thanks to the yearly release of the popular Call of Duty and whatever FPS game EA cooks up for that year, buying map packs feel like a waste to be honest. It's hard to justify a $15 bundle with 5 new maps when I have a lingering thought that a new game will be released next year. You also lose a good portion of players flocking over to the next best thing making you regret your purchase even more. Plus, these map packs come out more expensive that any other DLC.
Season Pass DLC can be a risk at times
Get the season pass now and get the first 5 DLC for free when released. That's pretty much the gist of what a Season Pass does in most games. Getting the pass comes out cheaper than buying the DLC one by one, that's the catch, but sometimes some of the DLC included in the pass maybe something you might not want, or simply just suck. A lot of big titles do this now like Assassin's Creed or Uncharted. I remember the pass for Uncharted 3 and looking back, I was pretty thankful I didn't get pulled into buying it. Why? because all I wanted is the coop DLC, I'm not interested in the rest.
But this method of releasing DLC isn't so bad, some can just be risky and pointless. Best application of the Season Pass? The Walking Dead game. An episodic game series that has the game divided into 5 episodes. It makes sense in getting the pass if you want the game, and you need all 5 anyway to get the most of every episode since choices get carried over.
Content that shouldn't be DLC's in the first place
I have this theory that some studios literally hold off 10% of the full game for DLC. As much as they say all DLC is done after the completion of the original content, we all know that's a load of bull. Two games come into mind that supports my theory. First, Mass Effect 3. As much as I loved the game and series, the day-one DLC that gives you an extra squad member and additional mission felt like it shouldn't be placed as exclusive content. Why? Well, because it's Shepard finding the last living Prothean and knowing their history a bit more is a pretty big deal. Mass Effect fans will agree with me on this, and for those that don't and haven't played that DLC, you are missing out, which is why it should have been added into the full game.
The second that comes into mind is with the worst Resident Evil game I've ever played. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City has this free DLC that includes a campaign of the other Spec Ops team that entered Raccoon City when all hell broke loose. What's the problem? Well it felt like they made it DLC just because the content wasn't ready. It's hard for me to think Capcom would allow DLC like that to go free, and I was right because additional missions had a price tag on them. if only the Echo Six campaign was included int the original game, maybe it would have been a better game...nah who am I kidding.
Some pre-order DLC incentives are useless
True story, and this is actually based on my latest purchase, which was Tomb Raider. Let's have a look at my free DLC shall we?
- Additional "Agility" upgrade for Lara Croft - Additional multiplayer map "Shanty Town" - Tomb Raider Combat Strike Pack, which includes "Animal Instinct" and "Headshot Reticle" skill upgrades and the "Pistol Burst" and "Pistol Silencer" weapon upgrades.
Granted, the added map is pretty cool, but the rest is literally obtainable if you actually play the damn game. Why call it DLC? Additional "Aglility" upgrade? It's an actual upgrade in the game and the DLC just unlocks it for you for free? Awesome. Can't you give me a golden pistol at least? That would be pretty cool...I think. I'm also not that interesting in skins, especially for my first playthrough since I'd like to see the game in its original state, that's just me I guess.
As much as they are called "DLC incentives", most of them are usually cosmetic and I'd rather have a free mug or something at least. Some pre-order DLC are exclusive, but usually they become available for purchase anyway in a few months. So it comes out a lie, but you won't care really since you have already forgotten.
In the future, Downloadable Content will get better eventually. It's inevitable, thanks to the world slowly evolving in a digital format. Some are actually good like Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare DLC, now that's "added content". Or How Gearbox Software does their DLC for Borderlands 1 and 2. But there are some that are just really bad and question some studio's if they even know the meaning of DLC. Right now, it feels like another way to get a quick buck, and the sad part is we occasionally take the bite. So hopefully in the future, majority of the added content released will actually be worth it.