Monday, February 9, 2009

So if you've been living under that oh so referenced proverbial "Rock", then you'll be god smacked by this latest craze known as "DLC" or "Downloadable Content".

It's a simple premise. Rather then companies simply making a game and leaving it at that, with the help of the internet (Something not so new to all you rock dwellers, as even rocks now a days won't be caught dead without at least a 3mb/s direct DSL connection.) they can now further develop and release more content after the games initial release. Which initially seems like a far better idea than the the old method of simply re releasing the same game 50 times, only this time with an added dungeon, and a few new character costumes (I'm looking at you star ocean 3). "Initially" however is the keyword in that sentence. Yes more content for games is a good thing. The little squiggly line in this equation (God I hate math) comes when companies start charging whole game prices for the DLC.

A fine example of this is for the new Prince of percia remake (Terrible game, but I won't get into what are good and bad games, as that's really nothing more than personal taste/opinion. Which I suppose could be flipped around and be applied to my entire blog, but, you know, shut up.). The game ends in a fashion that depends solely on the DLC. That is to say, the game ends on a cliffhanger, apparently to leave the actual ending to be later explained in the DLC that is to come. Now that ALONE is a complete dick move, as it all but forces people to get the DLC to get that last bit of fulfillment from the story. And quite frankly, if I pay 60 hard earned bucks for a fucking game. I'd like that game to have a stand alone GOD DAMN ENDING!

But this is where they really take the piss (If you don't know what that means. Watch 5 seconds of anything with Gordon Ramsey in it).

While DLC cost' usually range from 10-30 bucks. But the very fact that the game ended in a simple "To be continued" style, only to essentially pop up with a message of "Lets milk this cash cow for all she's worth!" (Not that remaking a popular game that's only 6 years old can really be deemed anything more then cash cow teat sucking at its finest) leads me to believe many small animals were punched after gamers were faced with this fun fact (Congratulation EA. You single handedly got little fluffy the kitten its first black eye, I hope you're happy). That's like paying 20 grand for a car, and then getting handed the keys, and told you have to pay an "Added fee" of 3 grand to get the actual car. EA are smart to do their customer screw job over the net, as I'm sure that car salesman would received a swift key punch to the throat.

Now I'm not saying that charging for DLC is a bad thing. But when you end games without an actual ending, and then tell people to pay up to find out what happens. Then at that point I think it's alright to stand up off your couch and say "No, no I will not pay more money for something I already paid for, fuck you EA".

Now I MAY have you thinking that I don't like DLC. But in fact I think it's fantastic. Releasing more content for good games is never a bad thing. But like everything else, more often then not, people just end up fucking it up.

Valve however, is the cool fonzie of the group, not afraid to stand out and show people that punching something will make it fix it (Good thing to know the next time your computer craps out. Just give it a swift HYOOKEN!, and it'll be purr-in like a kitten.). Valve not only offer free DLC to all valve games through their steam service. But their DLC isn't a continuation of a game, so much as, spiffy add ons that aren't required to enjoy the game in its entirety. Just some fancy neon and gold chains to really pimp the shit out of it.

The mirrors edge DLC is a prime example of this. Disregarding the fact that mirrors edge' ending was left open for the two new games to flesh out (Which I've complained about in a previous post). Which would put it on a similar leaking boat as Prince of persia. But mirrors edge actually gets a pale to bale their boat with. While Prince of persia is left to use its hands. For the lone fact that mirrors edge' DLC is simply optional time trial maps. Now that doesn't abstain mirrors edge from the blasphemy of not putting a full story into the box before they ship it. But at least they knew full well that the story would continue on into two new games. Where as Prince of persia just went "Sure, why not" buttered up some DLC continuation.

Now I realize I somewhat contradicted my self here by bashing prince of persia, and praising mirrors edge, for doing pretty much the same damn thing. But quite frankly, mirrors edge gets an extra point by the very fact that it at least tried something new, where as Prince of persia was simply a rehash of a rehash. So while they both committed the same video game sins of having no follow through. Mirrors edge was the charming cute girl, while Prince of persia was the awkward goth chick who cuts her self. And at the end of the day, I'd rather date a cute, charming girl. Over the one who scares me. Although with all of mirrors edge' other faults, even with the cute girl, you'll probably still wake up with a rash.

So in the end. DLC = Good. If not used as a method to whore games for every penny you can find.

~ lycao out