Three examples of how to do DLC
Last week, I gave three examples of how NOT to do DLC, so for the sake of karma I thought I would also give three examples of how to do DLC. Thankfully, I found there were a lot more games to choose from for this article than the last one, which proves that most developers and publishers do not intentionally rip off their fans.
I said in my last article that, for the most part, I really like DLC. Being able to go back to a game with some fresh content a few months after its original release is almost always a welcome thought. In my opinion, the three games listed below are all excellent examples of developers getting DLC right, and providing gamers with fantastic new content at a spot-on price.
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
On 19th March 2009, Rockstar showed other developers exactly how to do free DLC, and even gave Criterion a run for their money. Five months after the release of Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Rockstar San Diego released the South Central expansion, the area of which was roughly a third of the on-disc map of the city.
The genius of this DLC was that the actual South Central map was free for every single user, so even if you didn’t want to pay for the premium content, you still had the new environment to explore. Even then, for £7.99 Rockstar gave users a pretty decent amount of content: ‘9 new vehicles, 26 new races, 12 new battle maps, 10 new delivery missions, over 100 new red light race challenges, new vinyl packs, new parts and new music’ – it’s hard to argue with that!
I’ve said in the past that I play both the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games ad nauseam, but if I want a decent selection of downloadable songs then there’s only one choice. At the time of writing, there are over 800 songs for Rock Band available on the PlayStation Store, so it’s no surprise that it consistently trumps its biggest competitor in the weekly updates.
However, it’s not just in the amount of content that makes Rock Band number one, but also in price. Each additional song costs a paltry 99p, which is barely more than a song on iTunes, and 60 pence cheaper than a song on Guitar Hero. It’s also worth mentioning that every single downloadable song is compatible with Rock Band 1 and 2, and a lot are also playable on Lego Rock Band.
And so we come to what is possibly my favourite piece of DLC ever: WipEout HD Fury. With its beautiful (bordering on trippy) 1080p visuals, and blisteringly fast gameplay, WipEout HD was already one of the best games on the PlayStation Network, and I urge anyone who hasn’t to give it a try. Add in the Fury expansion though, and for my money you’ve got one of the best games on PlayStation 3.
For £7.99 gamers can almost double the amount of content in the game by adding dozens of events in a brand new campaign, eight new tracks, thirteen new ships, thirteen new trophies, and most excitingly three new modes. It all adds up to a game worthy of a full retail release (it was actually released on Blu-Ray disc in Europe last year), and is well deserving of the £17.99 asking price.
Each one of the above examples adds something new to these already great games, be it a new area to explore, new modes, or new songs to play. The latter may not be an obvious choice for fresh and innovative content, but several bands have made their Rock Band debuts on downloadable songs, which proves that Harmonix cares just as much for DLC as they do for on-disc content.
Although the purpose of all DLC is clearly to entice the player to spend more money, it’s certainly a nice thought that at least some developers are not satisfied with merely releasing a few costumes, and truly raise the bar when it comes to additional content. And with the Trials of St. Lucia for Dante’s Inferno, the Heavy Rain Chronicles, and Resident Evil 5’s Lost in Nightmares to look forward to, things have never looked better for DLC.
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