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TonicBH avatar 1:10 PM on 10.20.2011  (server time)
Online Passes: The worst of modern gaming.

I hate online passes. I could just stop there and leave it at that, but that would leave you confused and asking why. So I'll tell you. I consider them the worst thing that's happened this generation. Worse than overpriced map packs. Worst than viral marketing campaigns and yearly franchise installments. It is the ugliest thing to happen to gaming, and it needs to stop. Now.

I don't always pick up games the day they come out, the last ones I did get on launch day were games like Portal 2 and Rock Band 3. In the case of games that are known for their multiplayer, I'd like to be able to pick up and play it, even if I don't play it until a year has passed and there's only 50 dedicated fans still playing. Online passes are a nuisance, because they make me have to put in a code to unlock what is essentially half of the game that I paid a good amount of money for. If I don't do this, then either I'm locked out of multiplayer or I only get to play up to level 3, which doesn't give me enough time to form a proper opinion on a game's multiplayer component.

Keep in mind I rarely buy games used these days, most stores will discount games to $30-40 not long after it's release, so I see little incentive to save $5 on a worn out copy when I could save $20-30 for a copy still in the shrinkwrap. Besides, my used games consist of stuff that's hard to find new these days, such as early Xbox 360 titles, or older games from the PS2 era.

It's equally scummy when you see it on singleplayer-focused games. Batman: Arkham City has an "Online Pass," and it gives you extra Catwoman missions. Why the hell would you introduce an online pass for a game like this? At least with a game with a multiplayer like Dead Space 2, it kind of makes sense even if it's dumb, but Arkham City does not have any form of multiplayer. No co-op, no multiplayer frag-fests, nothing. It's just a dumb way to screw over those people who want to save that $5.

I must point out one other, very important thing: NOT EVERYBODY HAS THEIR CONSOLE HOOKED UP TO THE INTERNET! While a good chunk of us -- perhaps all of us -- have our consoles wired or wirelessly hooked up to our 15mbps high speed connections, there's a good chunk of the USA as well as the rest of the world who's out in the middle of Whoknows, Bumfuckistan and gets nothing better than 56K dial-up. You're basically screwing out people who have no way to download or use said codes, thus locking them out of content permanently. This is absolute bullshit on the highest level. While I am one that has my 360 and PS3 internet-enabled -- hell, I subscribed to SegaNet back in the days of the Dreamcast -- others aren't so lucky, and it feels like you're slapping them in a face with a urine-soaked glove just because they're not with the "cool kids."

Not only are online passes a god damn nuisance, but this whole "season DLC pass" stuff has to stop too. It started with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, now Uncharted 3 is doing it and others will probably follow suit. Look, I already don't buy your stupid overpriced $15 4-map packs, I'm not gonna buy them even if I'll save $20 or whatever on your DLC pass! It's just a dumb cash grab.

It's online passes, season DLC passes, and overpriced DLC that makes me want to say "fuck video games" and take up a different hobby, like model trains. Why the hell do we put up with this? I'd like for this to stop being a thing, please. I like video games, but I don't like this excess use of paying lodsofemone just to get the "full experience" of my video games. And to think, just a generation ago, we could buy old copies of games like Halo 2 and get the same experience somebody got when they bought the game new, without the need of a pass. How times have changed.

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