(Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Season Pass).

I have a curious love / hate relationship with DLC. Initially I was sceptical of the premise, and saw it as a vehicle for developers and publishers to get even more money out of a single purchase by monetising content that previously would be released free of charge. Over time my opinion has evolved, at least a little. That’s not to say that there aren’t unscrupulous companies out there trying to pull a fast one…

Unsurprisingly, I think the best example of someone trying an underhanded tactic were BioWare and EA with some of the DLC for the Mass Effect series. “From Ashes”, the day 1 DLC for Mass Effect 3, felt very much like it was ripped from the campaign and then re-inserted behind a DLC paywall, as it contained a playable character of one of the most iconic of all the races in the Mass Effect universe (the Protheans), and also included several tie-ins to the main plot (i.e. the Reapers’ attempts to destroy the most technologically advanced races in the galaxy every 50,000 years). For a lot of people, myself included, the temptation was too much, and I caved because I wanted a Prothean in my squad. Was it worth $10? Not particularly. Other than the initial mission where you rescue him and then see his interactions with other members of your squad, it’s fairly content-light. No doubt EA were rubbing their hands with glee getting an extra $10 out of a lot of people just for him. There were rumours swirling around that the Prothean was originally part of the main game but was ripped out and shoved into DLC because money, although that was denied by EA.

Perhaps I’m still bitter about that. Ahem.

Moving on to Borderlands 2. After missing out on the Season Pass which Amazon had on sale for $10 in April, I had avoided buying any of the DLC for the game (which was a tremendous shooter) other than the Mechromancer pack, which I received for free by pre-ordering. With GreenManGaming’s recent sale (Borderlands 2 + Season Pass for $13.50)  I had to jump in with both feet, and finished the first DLC pack, “Captain Scarlett And Her Pirate’s Booty”, last night. First off: yikes. That is how you put a DLC pack together. I would estimate I duo’d the campaign (with a friend) over 6 – 7 hours, and for the most part it was fun and engaging. Perhaps there were a couple too many “fetch” quests, but that didn’t really bother me. After completing the first pack, we then played 30 minutes of the second pack, “Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage”, and arguably this played even better than the first. Even if there are some duds in there (and I hear the third offering, “Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt”, is the weakest of the four), for $13.50 I absolutely feel like I got my money’s worth and then some.

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

Another example of a Season Pass worth picking up just from the price is BioShock Infinite‘s. I cannot say enough good things about this game, other than to say I believe it is one of the best games of all time, and certainly one of the best storylines in any game. When it was over (i) I almost cried – almost, and (ii) I wanted more. Again, GreenManGaming was my saviour here, and when I saw the Season Pass on sale for $17 (so with sales and GMG credit I wound up paying $13 instead of $20) I gobbled it up sight unseen, since Irrational have not released any details of the main DLC yet. As with Borderlands 2, there are slated to be four pieces of DLC in Infinite‘s Season Pass, and all should be available a year from now. If they are anywhere remotely close to the quality of the main game then I will be absolutely fine with throwing more money at Irrational.

In my mind, good DLC does the following:

– Does not infringe upon the storyline of the main game.

– Has a clearly-defined beginning, middle, and end of its own story.

– Is not overpriced (over $10 and you really need to wow me).

– Has a few hours of content, at a minimum.

Borderlands 2‘s DLC meets my personal requirements; “From Ashes” does not.

Right now I can only imagine what the mind of Ken Levine has in store for BioShock Infinite‘s four pieces of scheduled DLC. Would you kindly hurry up and let us know, Irrational?

Simon Nash
I write about PC games and sometimes it even makes sense. I'm a refined Englishman, but live in Texas with my two young children whom I am training in the ways of the Force.

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3 Comments

  1. Skeptical is spelled wrong in the second sentence.

    1. Only Americans (and some Canadians) spell it as “skeptical”; “sceptical” is the correct British spelling, and I’m British.

  2. Ok why exactly do you want more bioshock infinite? The entire game functions as follows

    STEP ONE

    Repettive arena fight

    STEP TWO

    Loot money from boxes

    STEP THREE

    Upgrade from vending machine

    Repeat step one till the game has enough hours to justify 60 bucks

    Thats what essentially the gameplay was. Ironicly it was like borderlands, but borderlands is a coop rpg, it has a point.

    In the end of bioshock infinite i was “godamn it, why did i upgrade my character and spending so much time collecting coins? All for nothing.”

    Essentially what got you in infinite was the story which was given to you after you suffered repettive filler gameplay.

    So if bioshock infinite dlc is MORE of the same grinding and repettive combat, you gonna have a bad time and everyone will bash the dlcs. Ironicly the gameplay will be the same, it will just have less story. So you taking a bet here that the dlcs will actulally have story that will be as good as bioshock infinite story.

    Bioshock did story by giving you logs and explaining the world and the lore and the characters to you.

    Bioshock infinite had few cryptic logs and held you with a mystery till the end when everything was revealed through plotwists.

    Now that you know what is all about, revistting columbia lacks the mystery behind it and so you gonna need either a ending equally as good as the actual game or some pretty good characters. If those 2 dont happen, what you got is more of the same borring shooting and money hording grindfest.

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