Where did unlockables go? - Destructoid

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Steam: Ninjabrocly
PSN: icame
(I make a point of having a new horrible name on most sites I go to.)

I am a nerd who fits into most stereotypes you can think of, as well as one who feels his random thoughts should be pronounced to the world through community blogs. My favorite game's are Half life 2, Portal, and shadow of the colossus (Not original but cmon', they're just that good!)
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DLC is either a good, or bad thing depending on where you stand. Some people argue that it is good because it gives developers the ability to add onto a game, enhancing the time you can spend with it. (Such as, Bioshock 2's Minerva's Den) Those that say it is bad argue that it is generally overpriced, or useless, and that charging someone for something that is on the disc, or should have been in the first place (A.k.a come with the game), is stupid. That are your Assassins creed 2 type of DLC.

Personally, I don't really think either way. The only DLC for a game that I have is Minerva's den for Bioshock 2, and the DLC for Dragon Age Origins, ( Came with the ultimate edition.) but I still recognize the benefits and drawbacks of it. What DOES annoy me is a trend I have been noticing in all number of games for a while. Unlockables seem to be going to way of the Dinosaurs.

The pinnacle of unlockables. THE COD OF WAR.

The reason I brought up DLC is because it seems that a lot of things that could be unlockables have turned into DLC micro-transactions. This can be seen easily with the release of portal 2. There was a big backlash to this game upon initial release because it had a huge amount of DLC on day 1. Now, I am not one of those who was incredibly angry about this. It was all cosmetic so they weren't charging you for puzzles that were just ripped off the disc before release, or done after the game went gold, (If something is done after the game goes gold, but before release, shouldn't it be Free day 1 DLC?) so you were still getting the full game. I was only disappointed with this because I thought it would be great to get those as rewards for completing a hard puzzle in just a few seconds, or for doing some trick with the companion cube, or falling a certain distance within the portals. (You get the point.)

Unlockables were great because they gave you something that you could actually use in the game you were playing. They weren't some number that got clumped together like achievements that do absolutely nothing, or a trophy level that is equally as useful, they were something worth doing challenges for. Tell me, wouldn't you rather unlock the best weapon in the game for completing it on the hardest difficulty then a simple number on your account?

Damn you!

Unlockbales can also add replay value not only from unlocking them, but for how they change the game. I remember playing through God of War 2 on Titan and unlocking all the extra costumes that had modifiers like Lower Armour with Higher strength, or Lower Armour and Strength with high money value. Those made you have to change your strategy when facing enemies because you were more vulnerable or did less damage. Unlockables can also be just plain fun such as the prize for beating Dead Space 2 on the hardest difficulty.

I fear for my precious unlockables even more with announcements like this that talk about having more DLC and lowering the price point or games. This could be a good model for certain games but I wonder if chopping out a large chunk of content to release later will be a good thing for gaming as a whole, or bad. Only time will tell I suppose. Until then I'll just keep unlocking everything I can.
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