Love it or hate it, DLC has become part of gaming these past few years. Long gone are the fancy expansion packs, which promised hours or entertainment, and now we have map packs, weapons, cars and upgrade, all of which can be bought for a premium price.
While we are well aware that a number of developers have gone as far as holding back gameplay elements for DLC after the release, we're also aware of the fact that some DLC actually enhances your gaming experience. So here's five games that truly show us what DLC should be.
Grand Theft Auto IV
I would go as far as to say GTA IV's Lost and Damned was the first piece of true DLC to arrive on the console market. It was more than a simple add on, it brought in an entirely new story campaign, along with new weapons and an entirely new feel. This didn't add five minutes of extra gameplay, this added hours upon hours of meaningful content into the mix.
They followed that up with The Ballad of Gay Tony, another huge expansion that brought us another expansive single-player experience and brought back the arcade, over-the-top mayhem the series was known for. If anyone wants to know how to do DLC correctly, they need to look no further than GTA IV as a shining example.
Valve really hit it out of the park when they released the Perpetual Testing Initiative, a DLC package that gave power to the people. Instead of spending months fleshing out a number of test chambers that users could smash through in a matter of hours, they released a simplified level editor that everyone with a basic knowledge of the game could use. Now anyone with the game can share their creations and literally play for days on end without running out of new content to explore. Best of all, the DLC was 100% free!
When Criterion released Burnout Paradise it would have been easy for them to walk away. The game was filled to the brim with challenges, races, places to explore and an impressive multiplayer suite. However they managed to keep the game alive for years later, continually adding DLC packs that saw the expansion of a whole new island, hundreds of new challenges, vehicles and brand new party modes to entice local multiplayer with friends. Affordable pricing means most gamers who purchased the game picked up at least one of the packs, and it brought them months of entertainment.
Mass Effect 2
BioWare crafted an epic sci-fi opera that was full of twists and turns that engrossed players for months as they explored the galaxy. While the first Mass Effect had some limited DLC options, they really stepped up a notch with rich stories such as The Lair of the Shadow Broker. and Arrival which provided a chilling ending leading up to Mass Effect 3.
RPG epics are a perfect candidate for exciting DLC, and Fallout 3 is by far one of the best when it comes to executing meaningful DLC. Bethesda released five DLC packs which brought gamers to a new area of the wasteland, leaving them to fight their way through a number of mutants and discover more of the rich world awaiting them outside the vault. Bethesda followed this trend with Fallout: New Vegas, and we're hoping things are going to look up for Skyrim as we move forward.
By Stephen Heller - Bio