DLC is a toss up – there’s some really good stuff out there that can really extend the life of your game and then there’s useless items like skin packs that do nothing, yet still cost you three bucks (don’t worry, I’ve bought them too).
Then there’s worst of the worst. Shit that you can’t believe these companies had the audacity to put out there, just to squeeze every last dollar, penny and drop of blood from your twisted corpse.
If there’s anything I missed, feel free to add it in the comments below, but here are the worst examples of DLC that I’ve run into:
Tales of Vesperia
Vesperia is one of the best examples of paying Namco to play your game for you. You can grab extra costume packs for individual characters, saving you the back-breaking effort of unlocking them for free in the game. Worse, for 300 points (just over $4) you can net yourself 300,000 Gald (the games currency). Since you can only download any given DLC once, Namco has this puppy listed three times, in case you burn through all that virtual cash too fast.
Boss or dungeon too tough for you? The age-old tradition of fighting monsters and getting experience point just too much of a bother? 300 points and you can instantly gain 10 levels. Because really, you only bought the game to enjoy the story, and youtube just doesn’t deliver the video-quality that you’re looking for.
Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball 2
Just like Vesperia, Street Fighter and a plethora of other games, Tecmo allowed you to purchase bikinis for your sexy polygons, just in case you don’t want to go through the trouble of unlocking those ”only cover what they need to” string bikini’s yourself.
Look, there’s not much of a game here to begin with. The jet-skiing is weak, volleyball can be played with one hand and pool hopping is really just an excuse to show of their new game engine. Look, boobs can bounce independent of each other and in different directions!
So, maybe it’s okay not to force people in this charade of actually playing the game to unlock new outfits – just go into your wardrobe, you don’t even have to exit the game, and you can pay for new outfits and jump straight into that creepy voyeur mode and take pictures in their new barely-there straps.
Either that or you spend all your time playing the slots to unlock that uncomfortable pole dancing scene.
I’d just pay for a stripper.
Now this caused quite a stir in the community. For 80 points each (although they were 200 at release), you can download additional levels. This wouldn’t be so bad (in fact, that’s the model of what good DLC should be) except for the fact your downloads are basically just unlock codes for what’s already on the disk.
Unfortunately, all those achievement whores out there were forced to purchase these levels right off the bat, because it’s impossible to get all 1000 achievement points without them.
Did you get that? Unlike Mass Effect or Fallout 3 DLC levels, which come with new achievements of their own, Namco is basically selling you the rest of the game for a premium.
Soul Calibur 4
Remember back when Soul Calibur 2 launched across three different platforms, each version coming with a special-console exclusive character? The Gamecube featured Link (from the Legend of Zelda series), the PS2 featured Heihachi (or that old guy from Tekken) and the Xbox featured Spawn (as the console really didn’t have any mascots at this early stage and Todd McFarlane designed another character for the game). It was a fun, interesting idea that helped promote the game, and let respective console fanboys feel really good about their purchase.
Fast-forward to the current console race, where Namco decides to take an old, but fun and interesting, idea and twist it into a horrible money making scam.
SC4 included the console-exclusive characters of Yoda for the 360 and Darth Vader for the PS3. Except it wasn’t much of an exclusive.
Despite the companies protests that the characters would remain console-exclusives, few were surprised when they popped up as paid DLC for the opposing console. There was already a spot reserved for the character on the select screen, and shortly after launch a few eager fans discovered Vader files on the 360 disk. The download was (again) just an unlock key to make the character playable.
Not only did the company lie to their fans, they planned this whole façade and then had the audacity to charge 400 points (just under $6) for it.
At the very least, they could have done a better job covering themselves up, or just right-out admitted they were going to rip their fans off.
Resident Evil 5
Now this one is just agitating. Not because the DLC wasn’t good – it was great in fact. Day 1 when they game launched, versus mode was available for $10 over XBL or PSN. There was a lot of gameplay in there, and the game was designed to be online in the first place so it was a great complement to the co-op element already present.
Why this DLC feels like a punch in the gut, however, is because this is the kind of shit that should have been in the game already.
But apparently the team didn’t have time to complete it before the game shipped, according to the official word, but it would be ready by the street dated release. That’s fine.
But not only was it not released as a patch, not only did they make us pay extra for it, but gamers who sat down for a long wait as AN ENTIRE GAME MODE was added to their harddrive, found that it took only took seconds to complete. Upon closer inspection, the download was only a few kilobytes.
That’s right, the supposedly unfinished versus mode was already on the disk.
It’s a sad state of affairs that this is becoming the popular business model when it comes to DLC, and even when companies are caught, they still bend us over and shove it up our collective asses.
To contact the author of this post: email@example.com