The new year is coming up and with it a new batch of games. There are quite a few I'm excited for like The Witcher 3, Uncharted, Batman: Arkham Knight and more. While these games look like they'll be really fun to play the one thing I'm hoping for is better DLC.
Now, I'm not going to sit here and complain about the general practice of DLC. It's here to stay and I've accepted that. What I'm hoping for is that developers will do better with their DLC. That they resemble something more like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon than Mass Effect: From Ashes. It feels like developers have become content just nickle and diming out weapons, characters and costumes without giving anything that expands the narrative or gameplay. Worse yet, we've seen developers straight up pull out integral parts of a game's story just to charge you extra for something that should've already been there. It's a very shameful practice that upsets me because it make an otherwise fantastic game leave a sour taste in your mouth.
With this generation we've seen some cool DLC in the form of Infamous: First Light and Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry. Both were games in their own right. They expanded upon the narrative's presented in their parent games while branching out on their own path. We saw this last generation with GTA IV, Red Dead Redemption and Far Cry 3. They all had DLC that could be games in their own right and they were all well recieved. The Ballad of Gay Tony was, in my opinon, better than GTA IV.
Yet, I feel like those games are going to remain anomalies as opposed to the norm. One of my biggest beefs this year was Destiny and it's lack of story. For a company know for giving bombastic narratives coupled with tight gameplay, Destiny disappointed. I was even more disheartened when I heard that the DLC was going to add to that story and even more disheartened when The Dark Below came out. It was more of the same. It was nothing that, in my opinion, I felt couldn't have been included on the game's disc. Worse yet, it added nothing new or special to the game. There were a few more missions and another raid but that's it. It didn't expand on the story in any meaningful way, introduce any new gameplay mechanics and when the DLC I mentioned in the paragraph above were sold for the same price and offered more, The Dark Below looks even worse.
I'm also growing worried at the rising trend of microtransactions popping up in console games. In free-to-play, while I don't necessary agree with it, I get it. They need to make income some how. I cannot understand why these are popping up in games that consumers have to spend $60 on. In sports games, it makes some sense to me but generally, I disagree with the practice. What worried me most was that Assassin's Creed: Unity had these types of transactions. Instead of the player unlocking things across the course of the game, the player could simply buy their way to a maxed out level. This was also apparent in The Crew another Ubisoft game. Some criticism has been leveled toward the game that the higher level cars in the game couldn't reasonably be acquired by just playing the game, you had to spend actual cash to get them. I understand that with rising budgets, games need to ensure they turn a profit but I find practices like these to be despicable. When a consumer shells his/her $60 on a game they expect and should recieve a complete experience. DLC should be an optional extention, not a quick way to beat the game nor necessary to buy to complete the experience the game seeks to offfer.
I truly hope this generation we see developers start to shift and be more creative with their DLC offerings. I don't want to wind up paying full price for only a partial experience.