I think we all got that tell-tale tingle down our spines when we first heard of the magical "Downloadable Content" that was preached at the E3 and other events before the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 game out. I know I did. Imagine a game that can always be fresh, new, and exciting every time we turn it on. Look! A new fighter in my game is here! Over there! Wow, a brand new 2011 Shelby Cobra in my Need for Speed! God, I was a sucker for their snake oil. Bethesda's Elder Scrolls III: Oblivion hit me upside the head with a baseball bat of reality one morning. DLC turned out to be nothing but Horse Armor.
I hate to join everyone in beating a dead horse (haha, get it?!), but if there was a patient zero for this DLC Disease, it has to be the horse armor. Granted, Bethesda redeemed themselves with the Shivering Isles Expansion, but all is not forgotten. Due to the staggering number of Horse Armor sales, many other companies have joined in on the nickel-and-dime process of offering up small, useless items as proper DLC.
Case in Point: (Super) Street Fighter IV (Capcom)
If you wonder why the Super is in parenthesis, its because this DLC issue started in Vanilla SF4 and continued on into Super. One of the x360's early titles Dead or Alive 4 gave each character at least 1 bonus outfit for beating the game, if not up to 10 for some characters. None of the outfits cost us a penny over the $60 asking price for the game. Sure, Street Fighter offered us up some color swaps for the characters, 10 a piece, but when it came to actual costumes, we had to pony up some cash. Currently, if the DLC goes as previously planned, to get all the costumes it will cost you 2000 microsoft points. That's roughly $25 for everyone's 1st and/or 2nd outfits. Your total SF4 investment if you came in at vanilla? $125 if you didn't pay extra for special editions of the game. Now, that's horse shit right there.
Case in Point 2: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision)
Blizzard is a just and right company, I'm not dragging their name next to Activision's. Modern Warfare 2, in itself, is a debatable among the CoD Community if it's really just as much of an expansion as if it's a fully-featured new game. I cannot get into that, but what I do know is that everyone was up in arms over the pricing structure for their map packs. Each pack comes with 5 maps, each pack costs $15, and each map then comes out to be $3 if my basic math skills haven't failed me yet. In Microsoft Points thats roughly 360 per map. Also, in each pack 2 of the maps are rehashes from CoD4! So, your total investment into Modern Warfare 2 is already $90 if you bought the basic game. God help you if you paid $150 for the broken night vision goggles and then get to walk around saying "To play Modern Warfare 2 fully, I paid $250". This is no Steel Fucking Battalion! Hell, Steel Battalion cost only $160, and that game blew your shit out your balls.
In closing, there is such thing as good DLC, but it's hard to find sometimes with the sea of shovelware piled upon your favorite titles. Fallout 3 brings some good longevity to it's title with added campaigns. Just don't get me started on how Mass Effect 2 was specially designed for DLC and then tried to sell us this Katsumi bitch that nobody cared for. If DLC is truely the wave of the future, then I'm scared for us my brothers and sisters. As a gaming nation, we must stand united against the future's Horse Armor and tell them "Hell no! We won't go!"
Thank you, and good night.
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