They are the 3 letters that can make us PS3 gamers happy, or just plain piss us the hell off.
For those of you who have on idea what that means (I'm talking to you PS3 Newbies out there), It stands for DownLoadable Content. It's supposed to be "Extra stuff", or an "Add-on/enhancement" to that kick ass game you spent money on, that may make you late on a few important bills you have to pay this month, or last month, however you look at it. If you want it, all you gotta do is break out your credit card and pay for it...
....Or you can just beat the game and get it for free.
That's right - all those special costumes and powerful weapons you are drooling over; The ones you WISH you had from minute one, can be yours at a price. Or, If you are a real cheap bastard with some time to kill, just knuckle the hell down and beat the damn game, and the content is all yours.
This is the rub with most game titles that have DLC: all the goodies are already in the game, on that game disc you just popped in, waiting for you to earn, by either beating the game or earning a few achievements. Here's how it works:
You have a game, and discover that there is DLC available for it online. You drop X amount of bucks for it and it's all yours. The Servers that you get the content from download it to your PS3, and make a few changes to your Game's Settings, which it stored on your PS3's HDD. After a few moments, boom - it's all yours.
And as you are enjoying all those sweet extras, someone, somewhere has beaten the game, and/or earned an achievement, and some or all the goodies have been unlocked. And they didn't have to pay a dime.
And, when you come to realize that you got screwed royal out your money, 100% of the time you WILL feel like this:
Guys - if you can tolerate it in the game, you'll have no problems here. Deal with it.
By now, you are asking yourself: So why does DLC exist in the first place? There are two ways we can answer that question:
1. Because people want everything. NOW. Some people don't want to wait until they game is beat - they want to go in with that little extra something. An advantage against the game, as it were, and its these guys (and gals) that are willing to pay for it. It's like entering into a situation with the gift for foresight on your side - you can see what's coming, and dodge/duck/dive/dip and...um...Dodge it, like a boss (Nice "Dodgeball" reference, yes?). Often times, people won't really care if the content is available after you beat the game, or do something special - if they can afford it, and want it so badly, they are willing to pay for it.
2. Because people want "New Content" Let's face it - sometimes, when you finish a game, you wish there was more of it to enjoy. Something new and fresh to play with, and there is nothing wrong with that. That is the main reason DLC is supposed to exist: to add new content that doesn't exist for the game, in it's current form. The problem is that sometimes, designers can get lazy and just include the locked extras in the DLC, slap a price tag on it, and call it a day. And that sucks.
To be fair: Not all DLC is bad or total BS - there is DLC that really does have new content that doesn't suck, and really is worth that money, but the the rub is that the new content can and does get mixed in with the crappy DLC at times.
And if you get that, as I explained before, it can possibly lead to almost having the best rage quit ever, as demonstrated in this video by Achievement Hunter 'Rage Quit' Michael at Rooster Teeth:
Also, don't play "Catherine" - it looks like its a very hard game.
But I digress - We now bring ourselves to the actual solution to the problem. So, how does one avoid all this mess, the rage quits, and wasted money?
Simple - beat the game you are playing FIRST, then look at the DLC content, if any. Makes sense right? Finish the game, get the goodies, then check out the DLC. Increases the chances of finding actual original content, thus allowing you to make a proper choice.
Plus, It's more rewarding that way - knowing that you earned all those extras, through hard work and kickassary - yes, you read that right. Kickassary.
So there, I'm done. This concludes the The Newbies Guide for DLC (PS3 Edition). May the words in the guide lead you to a grand life of gaming, where ever you are in the world.