Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Deline of Microtransactions?

Not the original post I had planned for today where I spoke about how I nearly bought Left 4 Dead 2 but changed my mind when I found out Darksiders was out this week and just how FUCKING BUSY this year is in gaming. Unfortunately, my PC went up shit creek without a paddle and I can't get at anything on there. I'm now writing this from my flatmate decrepit old laptop that needs 10 minutes whenever you tell it to do something. Which is a right pain in the arse when I'd planned on actually doing quite a bit of work today.

So instead I'm going to concentrate on a topic I was going to lightly touch on in the original post. That of DLC. Last year saw one of the biggest moments in Downloadable Content when Rockstar released its first Grand Theft Auto episode, The Lost and The Damned. And bloody hell was it good. I loved it, possibly more then the game it was an expansion for. Now up until that point DLC had nearly always been rather small, offering the odd new level or some equipment. It was the dawn of mirco-transactions in console gaming and we had premonitions of minor add-ons coming out for all major games and it'd be a mind field to work out whether something was worth the money and bandwidth. Notable exception including Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion, but since Oblivion is also the very first highway robber of DLC with its woeful Horse Armour it manages to represent some of the best and worst qualities of what DLC can be.

The Lost and the Damned changed all that. With that, you got practically a second game. Suddenly Force Unleashed's extra level of 40 minutes play for nearly 8 quid was even more obvious as a total rip off. 2010 brings numerous DLC's to many games, some have even been out for awhile. Resident Evil 5 is receiving two packs, length hasn't really been disclosed but you also receive extra characters for Mercenary mode. However, Capcom are also giving us some 'costume packs' for Resi, which if anything like Force Unleashed's will be a huge waste of money. Assassin's Creed 2 is also getting two packs, both are full blown chapters that had to be cut from the game due to development time, one is even based in a new area.

However, they all pale in comparison when it comes to Bioware and Dragon Age. I realise that this game has become something of a promised land to me but screw you all. To start with Dragon Age seemed to be following the same tried and true method of DLC, small chunks. Return to Ostagar, the third of these chunks has just been delayed, much to my dismay as I've been powering through my second play through to be ready for it. However, Bioware announced earlier this week “Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening” a full blown expansion like we used to get back when you had to buy them from shops, and like Rockstar gave us last year, twice. From the sound of things it IS going to be out in shops too, something Rockstar did as well when they released Ballad of Gay Tony, and having spoken to some insiders this was mainly due to the fact that sales for The Lost and The Damned online didn't match up to what was expected.

The one thing about this that annoys me is that its expected in March. As I said at the start of this, this year is one of the busiest years of gaming yet. March is one of the busiest months for good games too. Bioware are starting to sound like they're going to be treating Mass Effect 2 the same. Then again they said the same of the first game and we only got two packs, over a year apart and the second was atrociously bad.
Post a Comment