Mar 10 2011

Bioware’s DLC Needs Addressing

Published by at 11:30 am under Editorials,Video Games

So right now I’m going back to download all the Mass Effect 2 DLC I missed in lieu of the third game coming out this year. From what I’ve heard about how shitty Dragon Age 2 is compared to the first game (which I already hated), I’m a little concerned the same thing could happen for ME3, which has a similarly short development time relative to its predecessor. Bioware does know we’re willing to wait a little bit for a new franchise title if that means the game will be better right?

Bioware’s also doing shady things with DLC recently, like hyping up Dragon Age 2 DLC before the game is even released. I’ve defended company’s right to make DLC in the past, but when you start promoting it before your game is even out, that signals that clearly at least part of the team stopped working on the original game to start making DLC which very well could have been included in the title to begin with.

That leads me to Mass Effect 2 DLC which I’m just now starting. I just finished for 560 point (how many dollars is that?) bit where you recruit “Master Theif” Kasumi Goto for your already way too huge team. I was upset to see that there isn’t even an option to recruit the scar-faced crew memeber Fareed, as I believe he was some sort of preorder bonus. Really, that character is completely lost to me forever because I didn’t throw down $5 at Gamestop a month before the game came out? What kind of bullshit is this? Or am I doing something wrong here and just don’t know where to find him.

The Kasumi mission is…strange. Most crew memebers had a recruit mission, and then a loyalty mission, but to recruit Kasumi you simply talk to a hologram for three minutes in the Citadel while she stands five feet above you in the rafters. Strange. So then you just do her loyalty mission, which Cerebrus promised you’d help her with in exchange for her aiding you on you grand mission; a mission which is already over and done with I might add. I’m not sure when exactly I was supposed to buy this package, but at max level with insane guns and armor, I breezed through it in about half an hour. It was essentially go to a party, hit A a few times, fight three rooms of base-level enemies, and get a new submachine gun my character can’t even equip. And if I try to talk to Kasumi to get to know her better after the mission wraps? There’s not even a conversation tree! She says one line and no more, and is just another crew member taking up space in my ship.

I have two more DLC missions to go, and I hear Lair of the Shadow Broker is worthwhile. It sure as hell better be for 800 points. But so far I’m unimpressed with what I’ve found, and I almost think Map Packs are a better of DLC for games, because at least 20% of the time in Black Ops, I’m plaing somewhere new, and it’s far more than a half hour of entertainment.





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16 responses so far

  • Patrick

    If you mean Zaeed… you get him just for linking your account to the Cerberus Network which is free if you bought the game new. Otherwise you need to fork out $15 and youll get a bunch of free DLC.

    Kasumi’s DLC is expensive because she’s a party member, and a pretty useful one at that. Your purchase will feel much more warranted if you play through the entire game again, and this time you’ll have her unlocked from the get-go.

    Overlord is a pretty good DLC set, but Lair of the Shadowbroker blows everything out of the water. It’s better than most of the regular missions from the main game for sure.

  • Warren

    From what I remember Fareed was not a pre-order bonus just something you get for purchasing the game new. His DLC along with the Hammerhead (Can’t remember if that’s the right name) which is kind of like the new Mako and some weapons and armor are all granted for free if you don’t purchase the game used. I actually think that the Kasumi DLC is free as well if you bought the game new. There should have been a card included with the game with a redeemable code on it and when you join the Cerberus Network you enter that code and some of the DLC is available at no charge.

    They mostly do this to avoid/offset lost sales that come from Gamestop trade ins. I don’t necessarily agree with it but I can kind of understand why they do it.

  • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Wait what, you got it if you bought the game new? I bought the game new!

    I just looked in my case and I have some sort of code activation card which says I can get him, but I have to make a registered EA Online account and do all sorts of shit. I think that pisses me off even more than it being DLC. You’re going to add an entirely new character based on whether or not someone bought the game new? I understand from a logic perspective, but I don’t want to have to buy the game new, register for a new account, preorder the game, AND download DLC just to get everything that five years ago WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE DAMN GAME ALREADY.

  • sfR

    I’d like to know your opinion on the shadow broker DLC, it’s the only one I’m considering to buy before 3 comes out.

    The Borderlands DLC is tempting because I want more content, but it’s 800 MS each, and it’s 4 or 5 packs.. A bit steep imo.

  • George

    Overlord is very worthwhile. I haven’t played Shadow Broker, but Overlord starts very typically, and escalates into some really shocking and horrible things (In a good way) that made me feel more engrossed in the story than the main plot line ever did. And the combat and setpieces aren’t too shabby either. Especially the ending rooms, those are an incredible feat of ingenuity.

  • George

    And sfR, the only good Borderlands addons are Zombie Island and Knoxx. Knoxx has enough content to last a good 20 hours or more, and I haven’t even finished it yet. Incredibly worth it.

  • Kyle

    I bought the PS3 version of the game, so it came with all the DLC, so i can’t help you there. Although I did by the weapons pack for the extra guns.

    That new submachine gun you get in Kasumi’s loyalty mission is awesome! If you were playing a different class you’d notice right away. Make sure you equip it to your other party members who do use the submachine gun.

    I’ve been using Zaeed a lot in current playthrough (number 2) because he can use disrupter ammo. He’s also a sniper. But I don’t know how much he’d cost.

    Lair of the Shadow Broker is Good. It’s longer and more difficult. It also has a good boss fight. Also, you team up with Liara from ME1 for the whole mission.

    I don’t remember Project Overlord, but I think it was longer as well.

  • Frothy_Ham

    I think the sad truth is that videogames ARE a business, and the publishers want a return on their investment. It wasn’t really that much trouble to get Zaeed for free (I signed up for the account and haven’t gotten any spam at all, took 5 minutes, boo hoo), and everything else was a lot of fun to get even though it wasn’t necessary to the game.

    Is having already installed DLC that is just “unlocked” by paying for it a dishonest practice? Yes, but I’ve read that the average development cost of a current gen (X360, PS3) title is over $20 MM now. Taking into account all the piracy of the PC versions, these companies not only want to make back their investment, but also make enough money to do it again in the future.

    Capitalism baby….

  • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    @George

    Knoxx was a great DLC pack, but Zombie Island was pretty terrible. Use the shotgun. Always. The end.

    @Frothy_Ham

    Yes, capitalism. Sigh.

  • Gank

    “five years ago WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE DAMN GAME ALREADY.”

    Well, no. It wouldn’t have been in the game at all, as they were made after the game went gold.

  • trashcanman

    Whoever told you DA2 is worse than the first one lied. The only truthful complaint I’ve heard so far is that you have to press “A” to attack now. Wah. Imagine that: a video game that makes you push a button when you want to do something. I know……madness. Gaming laziness has hit a new low when players throw fits over having to use an attack button rather than having the game automatically attack for you. Kasumi is an awesome character and that is my favorite gun in ME2, but the only way they become worth what they charge for that DLC (unless you replay again and use them from the beginning) is if she carries over into ME3. No word on that yet, but we hope. The vehicle one is kinda lame too. I wouldn’t bother with that one unless you come into a waelth of MS points like I did when I got it. But LotSB is an absolute must. It’s probably overpriced too, but it delivers big-time and features the best boss battle I’ve played in ages and some fantastic character development for Liara that has big implications for ME3.

  • Rob J

    @trashcanman

    Man the game is a horrible broken mess! Spent 3 hours playing it at a friends yesterday and he had to restart his xbox at least 5 or 6 times to get it to work. The combat is simply horrible as well. In the first 3 hours of the game at least I can say there was absolutely nothing to enjoy.

    PC and PS3 versions are even scrappier and less complete just look at the bioware forums and the insane amount of problems people are having. How you make a game that crashes that much on consoles I have no idea!

  • Skeebo

    @gank,
    Bullshit, the game would’ve just come out later. No excuse for dropping content so you can release the game 3-6 months earlier.

    There are a couple problems judging ME2 DLC,

    1. I’m of the opinion ALL of it should’ve been included in the game from the beginning, if that means the game shouldn’t have come out until September and cost $80, so be it. What they essentially did is sell you a functional but stripped down version of the game at launch. After getting the DLC and the AEGIS gun pack (the Geth Plasma Shotgun is a must have if you’re playing as a Vanguard, the game is much more fleshed out.

    2. That aside it is hard to say that the DLC is overpriced b/c they add more than just an extra side mission. They add additional content throughout the game, they are integrated seamlessly into the game… if you have them from the get-go you never really notice that they’re extra… other than Zaeed and Kasumi are missing recruitment missions. With the extra voice work required I’ll bet these DLC are expensive to make.

    I’m generally upset with the way that EA/Bioware is handling DLC, but at least they didn’t F’ the early adopters of ME2 like they did with DA:Os by releasing the game with all DLC (including a 40 f’ing dollar DLC) for the original cost less than 12 months after the game came out.

    And the turn-around time for ME3 is not the same shortened turn-around that DA2 had. DA2 was out barely a year after DA:O. It’s been over a year since ME2 was released and the release for ME3 is tentatively aimed at Christmas 2011, which considering they are essentially using the same engine as ME2 isn’t bad at all. The turn-around from ME1 to ME2 was just a little over 2 years, so the turn-around for ME3 is slated to be just a couple months less that the turn-around for ME2.

    Paul, my advice when playing the DLC is to not play them the first time with a character that has already completed the main quest. They are best enjoyed with a fresh character so that you can see the content weaved into the larger game.

  • Chris

    I haven’t played any of the mass effect 2 dlc, but I am considering checking them out. I’ll wait till I hear what you have to say about the other two.

    @Rob J

    I’ve had zero problems with DA2 so far and I have found both the combat and the story to be incredibly entertaining. I think a lot of the changes people are complaining about are way overblown and really just cut out some of the more cumbersome aspects of DA:O. In my opinion, ME 2 had far more radical changes from it’s predecessor.

  • agon23

    I bought dragon age 2 the day it came out. I’m a fan of the series and grant it, it does have it’s short comings. Such as it being way too human centric, last dragon age you could play dwarf and elf. And the game centers itself around kirkwall and the surrounding landscape. But so far I’m having fun, the action isn’t bad at all and the story is very interesting. Now I can see why Bioware shorten the game b/c I am interesting in playing the other classes but the problem with the first game was that it was long, the first time around i think i sunk in 100 hrs. ( i had bought the PS3 version with all the DLC) and I only did one play through with a human. I played briefly as a dwarf and elf but only in the DLC campaigns. I’m glad they fixed the inventory system b/c the DAO had a ton of gear with no stats constantly filling your bags. I wish I could customize my crews gear instead of just their weapons b/c I end up chucking away all bows, shields, and staff since I’m a 2H warrior. Likewise I end up getting real good gear that’s more suited for mages and rogues and I end up selling those too. Overall 4.5-5 they should have polished the inventory system.

  • bazerka250

    I bought Mass Effect2 the day it came out but never played it until now.I waited because I wanted to beat ME1 but never did so I decided to just play ME2.I had 6 dlc’s from ME2.Zaeed,Normandy Crash Site,Hammerhead and I’m not sure of the other 3 but 1 was Dragon Armor but I think that was from buying Dragon Age Origins.I also heard that Mass Effect 3 was in production before ME2 was even out but I don’t know how true it is.I hate dlc being announced before a game is released but if I like a game I would probably buy it.How is Dragon Age 2.Anyone play it?

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