Substantial DLC can be a really great thing. Beyond the veil of microtransactions and penny-pinching, some studios can really craft some great meaty content worth of your buck. From full-on expansions to thrilling campaigns, some developers have made it really easy to keep playing.
Here are the nominees for best add-on DLC in 2013.
Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina Assault on Dragon's Keep
Looking back, although I did enjoy Captain Scarlettand Mr. Torgue, neither of them were nearly as in-depth as this DLC, which is a benchmark for future Gearbox add-ons. Although they could have stood to have gone a little farther with the concept, if you can only choose one campaign, this is easily it.
This is unfinished content from Volition's dirty little vault, now revived and tweaked for your whipping pleasure in Saints Row IV. New missions, weapons, sex workers -- everything you... uh, need.
The Walking Dead - 400 Days
Despite this, The Walking Dead: 400 Days is a worthwhile, bold narrative experiment. It throws away most of the trappings of the adventure game genre that the first season still hung onto; it's more directed, which perhaps makes it less compelling to play, but just as wonderful to experience. If The Walking Dead is more about dialogue and choices than the occasional puzzle and cupboard searching, then 400 Days is an excellent addition to the series.
What is neat about Burial is the juxtaposition of Booker knowing intimate details about Rapture while Elizabeth pretends to know nothing. There's one part specifically where she explains her wormhole power as a "new Plasmid," and you can almost feel the shiftiness of her eyes in her voice.
After finishing Dishonored I wanted more, and The Knife of Dunwall gives me exactly that. Hell, at moments I even completely forgot that I was no longer playing Corvo, as both he and Daud do play in generally the same way. The promise of more DLC has me excited, if not to finish Daud's adventure, then to explore more of this detailed world, and embark on more devilishly challenging assassinations.
If you haven't played the newest XCOM yet, now is a perfect time to do so with the Enemy Within package. For all the XCOM veterans out there, you'll find a solid amount of new activities to engage in, as well as an unprecedented amount of squad customization. In other words, this is now the definitive Enemy experience.
If this is how BioWare wants to close Shepard’s chapter, I can live with this. It’s not a perfect finale, but it’s one that highlights the best we’ve seen from the series so far, and it’s not without its own set of endearing idiosyncrasies.
If you have been sitting out on Civilization V because you feel it's not as awesome as Civilization IV, you really need to get on this side of the fence now. Brave New World brings in all the best parts of Gods & Kings and it makes the game into something complex yet simple to learn.
The ways you can play are greatly opened up with the new systems, and you can take very different approaches to each victory type. While it still seems less complicated than Civ IV with all of the expansions, Civ V with Brave New World does have a lot more going on and it's just easier than ever to get to all of it. That's always a good thing.
EVE is getting some changes. There's new ships, re-balanced old ships, ice overhauled ice mining, exploration is nothing like it used to be, you can find relics in space, two characters can train at once, and lots of small changes will make playing EVE more enjoyable.
Assassin's Creed III - The Tyranny of King Washington (I-III)
While I don't want to spoil anything in particular, the final confrontation makes use of your powers in a unique way, to the point where I really feel like Ubisoft could handle a spin-off series with a character primarily centered around magic use. The fight itself is remarkably brief, but it brings forth some interesting concepts that I wish were expanded upon further.
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[Image credit: Mike Lambert]
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