Expanding the Content

Downloadable Content is a pretty dirty phrase around most gamers these days.

Personally I’m mostly in support of it depending on which developer is handling it. I’ve never had a complaint about the DLC offered by Bethesda in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (the latter I actually purchased individually often at full price). Even the DLC in Borderlands 2 which I felt was getting borderline ludicrous in the end (minus character skins) but was still oddly great value for money. The later Headhunter DLC, while short, and often just an introduction to a seasonal boss, was even worth the price of admission.

However, I’ve always had an issue with EA and how they have handled DLC in many of their titles. Especially since the incident with Dragon Age: Origins about six-eight months after it came out where I could speak to an NPC in camp, but, should I wish to actually do the quest, I’d be prompted to spend even more money on their title.

Thankfully I never bought those individually and instead bought the Ultimate Edition several years later.

All of that said, I’m actually glad there’s a more fluid model for delivering content these days. Prior to the introduction of DLC you would need to buy expansion packs often at near enough the same price as the base game. In some cases, as I’ve noticed with Blizzard titles, that is still the way they operate. Even though you would arguably get most the expansion pack content via free patches to the base game. But, what I think of Blizzard, and whether I agree with their DLC/expansion packs, is neither here nor there.

What is everywhere is the fact that I’ve come to realise something recently with a couple of the releases this year.

I was really late to the Fallout 3 party picking it up in 2009. At the time I purchased it the Game of the Year edition had just been released, and, having no idea what that was or that I’d later spend hundreds of hours with it, I just got the base game. Again, with Fallout: New Vegas I got the base game in 2010 and collectively bought all the DLC together in 2012. I started with the Game of the Year edition with Borderlands and many of the titles since (if old enough) I’ll have complete editions for as first purchases.

With the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Fallout 4 this isn’t the case. As both have been released within the last six months and there’s only one DLC available (for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt) in the form of Hearts of Stone. Which I don’t own yet. Mostly for the realisation I’ve just explained above. I’m also not sure how The Witcher DLC usually works (in terms of value for money).

Knowing I will more than likely love whatever Bethesda chooses to add to Fallout 4 (unless it’s another Dead Money) the question now remains whether I want to purchase them and play them as they release, or, do a Fallout: New Vegas, and play them all together. Fallout 4 does operate slightly differently in that you seem to get dug deep into the character the higher levelled you get. Whereas in Fallout 3 you could find/use weapons and armour to accelerate through the game- I don’t know if that’s possible in Fallout 4.

In either case, it’s going to be interesting figuring that one out. I’m not usually one to take fully established characters back through the game several months later.

Have a nice week, all!


“Fire really is bad! Who knew?!”

Sometimes I lament that I purchase complete packs with DLC and never use said DLC ever.

As was the case with the recently purchased How To Survive (at a ridiculously good price) where I have a new character, fireproof suits, and other game modes. Yet how did I start? With one of the original characters and without any kind of modifiers whatsoever. However, in the case of the fireproof suits, I would play without them as I would prefer the purist experience the first time out. Hence the title. As I might go through the game thinking fire is nothing to worry about when really it is deadly without the fireproof suit.

I guess I’ve been thinking about purchases a bit more since the last Steam sale where I didn’t really interact much with it, nor want much, and it bothered me immensely. One thing I would usually pick up is DLC as that’s usually much cheaper when the base game is 66% or 75% off (or higher if you’re lucky).

One thing I did pick up was (the previously discussed) Lords of Xulima.

Now, don’t get me wrong- I still think Lords of Xulima is a great indie title and an enjoyable experience. But there is something to be said for the non-linear approach they take in progressing the story and available areas. In some cases I’m finding areas much later that are ridiculously easy to explore and in others I am finding areas much earlier than I should. I know that’s their thing but it’s often a little disorientating as you never really know where you should be. Or what has now opened up. Whereas, in a lot of older games, you would usually be restricted by some object that required a particular item to bypass, in this you’re kind of free to roam and get lost.

This is particularly annoying in the opening sections where there are many tough fights and you slog through them without realising, just to the north, past the forest, there’s a whole area perfectly suited for you. While some of these areas I simply don’t get. They aren’t available until now… but all the fights are so easy they’re not even worth the time?

It definitely feels like there was some division on the difficulty and progression.

The game itself doesn’t really do a particularly good job of explaining anything to you and while a number of quests open up, the enemies are usually too strong, or the area is too high level, so you’re unable to do them when you get them. Which always leaves you wondering why those areas you didn’t find until too far late weren’t implemented for quests instead.

Initially I had felt these things were just me being out of practice or something. Then again I did play Legend of Grimrock II and really enjoy it. I’ve also really enjoyed dipping in and out of Rogue Legacy, Full Mojo Rampage, and How to Survive. So what’s the deal with things like Lords of Xulima and Shadowrun Returns? Why do they bother me, or, rather, why do I not enjoy them as much as I likely should? That’s the kind of thing that I wonder about.

I guess this is where the initial lack of interest in Steam sales and the like came from. There were some really good choices and some really great titles out there while there were also some really good but not quite enjoyable titles, too. But such is life. There are no guarantees and when there are it’s usually a terrible deal.

Have a nice week, all!