DLC love it or leave it

Fallout New Vegas Old World BluesX

The trend in Games Publishers using DLC to extend their titles’ experience in both content and commerce is a hot button issue with Gamers.  There are reasons for both sides of the yay or nay fence and I find myself agreeing with some arguments on either side but, for the most part I’m an avid DLC fan.

Some publishers use the opportunity correctly and some don’t, that much can be agreed upon.  I typically sink my teeth into lengthy gaming experiences for the larger story components and value.  So when Bethesda releases DLC at the measly price tag of $10 I’m usually all for it.  The value of the original experience has a lot to do with the likelihood of paying to extend it as well.

So here’s the tricky part when it comes to DLC.  Is it worth dumping extra money into a title that you’ve already paid retail prices to purchase?  Here’s some great examples of DLC that meets and sometimes exceeds expectations:

Fallout 3 and New Vegas are prime examples of lengthy fleshed out DLC that extended an already fantastic experience.  I would say Fallout 3’s Point Lookout was on par with the length and quality of most full game releases.    Fallout: New Vegas also succeeded in releasing Dead Money and Old World Blues.  Both of these add-ons clocked in around 6-8 hours and featured a level cap increase, new weapons, environments, and stories.  Another great example of correct DLC usage is with Gearbox and the Borderlands series.

Alternatively those very same titles have released extra disappointing content.  When you look at Fallout: New Vegas there’s more bad than good when it comes to DLC.  The Honest Hearts and Lonesome Road packs created intrigue with furthering some of the thru story lines that were left up in the air during the main campaign.  Who is the Burned Man?  As well as the real identity of Courier Six.  These two add-ons had potential to wrap up loose ends and give a real feeling of completion to the experience but failed to do so miserably.

Sometimes the other end of the spectrum comes into play.  Some of the repeat offenders when it comes to poor DLC usage are very well known to the gaming community and for the sake of constructive criticism I won’t refer to the publisher/developers by name.

Using DLC to nickel and dime your audience for extended profit isn’t “ethical” by many peoples standards.  The use of such tactics are strongly up for interpretation.  Many Gamers don’t find value where some see it.  Additional character skins, weaponry, and boosts for characters are welcome to some but for others the argument is that these items should have been included in the original product.  There’s also the nasty business of some publishers using DLC to unlock content that’s actually on the disc that requires a purchase to access.

For the most part if you stay informed on the product and possibly even read a non spoilerish review you should be able to stay safe and make a great DLC purchase.  In my humble opinion paying a bit more to extend an overall fantastic experience is well worth my money.  In many cases if you wait out the storm you can usually grab the “Ultimate” or “GOTY” editions of successful titles.  That way your privy to the main campaign as well as the content that was released at a later time.  Most of the time you’ll see the entire package at a much reduced price tag if your willing to wait it out.

Which side of the fence do you fall on when it comes to DLC?  Feel free to post a comment and give your opinion.

Dylan Zellmer

I split time between games journalism and making video games. My love of it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), fitness and my family define me otherwise.