The striking image above is exactly how some gamers see the overarching concept of DLC. Game Publishers using DLC as an excuse to grab more and more money for a game title. A prime example of this is EA's Battlefront series, which most recently has come under fire for this practice. But there are some great DLC packages which bring additional features which increase the potential of games which are already enjoyable. Come with me on a journey, where we go in search of games which brought great DLC to gamers.
What Makes for Great DLC?
Great DLC enhances the ideas and the systems already explored in the parent game, bringing the potential to enrich the original game experience. Perhaps by providing further insight into the game environment, filling in any narrative gaps, introducing new characters or new mechanics which offer more creativity in already established gameplay.
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Hordes of the undead terrorize John Marston in this fantastic add on
Zombies aren't an original concept for game additions, but in spite of this. The smash hit western title Red Dead Redemption's DLC - Undead Nightmare is one of the most original in this list. One of the best elements of this title comes from Rockstar's ability to just run with crazy, mad cap ideas. Riding through the beautiful idealised American wilderness and encountering undead bears, wolves and even deer as well as encountering mythical beasts such as the Chupacabras and the mighty Sasquatch, adds immeasurably to the original game experience.
There's a fairly length additional narrative which is engaging and entertaining and it's always a positive experience to play as John Marston - a genuinely likeable and well written character. One of the side missions I really enjoyed was finding (and riding) The Four Horses of the Apocalypse, which must be found on the game map.
There's also additional multiplayer characters with some fairly humorous references, Poe Boll (Uwe Boll and Edgar Allen Poe mashup), Magic Jackson (Magic Johnston and Michael Jackson) and Viper Craven (a reference to Wes Craven). This is still available and really worthwhile playing through on the PS Now Network if you have subscribed to it.
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
This is an expansion pack which actually makes you feel like you are playing a whole new game. XCOM 2 was an incredible turn based strategy game, which sees the player attempt to take the fight to the alien invader on Earth. The first and possibly only expansion pack for the game expresses the opinion that more.. is well... more. More Maps. more enemies, more abilities, more weapons. The biggest addition is the mini nemesis system (similar to The Shadow of Mordor games) which comes courtesy of the three titular Chosen characters. These characters continually ambush you throughout missions and reference past battles. They have different skills and have automatically generated name, strengths and weaknesses and they become stronger if the XCOM team doesn't act fast enough and destroy them.
There's also an additional layering of the overall strategy in the game, there are three Earth factions - each with different characteristics and characters. This Expansion also makes the XCOM experience even more story driven than it's parent title and this adds a narrative layer and makes each battle feel even more personal.
This is a wide and deep expansion pack for XCOM 2 that improves, just about everything, greater variety in mission objectives, tactical options, threats and additional strategic map objectives. The chosen are worthy enemies who don't feel tacked on or cheap and the extra squad classes give greater options for the player as he takes command of the battlefield.
Final Fantasy XIV : Stormblood
This is a tale of oppression and rebellion, find a lost prince, convince him to take up arms against the evil Garlean Empire. It's not an original story, but it's a theme which the Final Fantasy series does exceedingly well. Playing through this expansion pack, I felt a thrill of adventure, which I hadn't encountered in an MMO for a long time. I genuinely cared for each of the characters I encountered and then I came to the conclusion, although this DLC starts where the previous expansion HeavenSward left off, this feels like a whole new adventure.
Every dungeon and every boss feels intricately crafted and this expansion continues Final Fantasy XIV's reputation for being one of the most MMO's ever produced. Undoubtedly the best element of this game are tackling the new Primal Boss fights, a explosive entanglement of visual effects and has the feel of some of the best moments of Platinum Games superb boss fights. If you are a Final Fantasy fan, this is one expansion that is worth picking up.
Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City
I was intensely disappointed with the previous DLC for Dark Souls 3, it had an emphasis on PVP, which wasn't what I was looking for. The Ringed City made up for that, by introducing new lands to explore, giving the player new weapons, new armour and ominous new enemies to battle. Dark Souls has always been a series known for it's stupendous boss fights and this expansion has two of the best and most difficult boss battles to date.
These are some of what I believe are the most worthy DLC packages to spend your money on, expansions and changes to gameplay and additional narrative bring far more to a gameplay experience than skins and emojis!