Are We Alright With Story DLC?

Sony recently announced Uncharted 4 story DLC and I got excited. I mean, come on, The Last of Us DLC was so good. How could I not get excited? However, it sparked a conversation between a friend and me about whether or not story DLC is good or bad. 

Obviously, he had negative feelings about the announcement. I put in my two cents about how great it was going to be but for him, he felt like in order to create story DLC most developers take out something from the main story. Therefore, the experience as a whole is cheapened because something is left out.

I somewhat agreed that sometimes that can happen and gamers are left quite robbed in order for companies to make an extra buck. My rebuttal to that was Mass Effect’s DLC. Unfortunately, he said he hated that the most. For him, it was the perfect example of chunks of story cut out in order to sell to us later.

I choose to think of it another way. Like a movie. In a film, a lot ends up on the cutting room floor because it distracts or doesn’t make sense to the story as a whole. Mass Effects DLC stories were like deleted scenes and when they are all packaged together in a “Game of the Year”, it’s like playing a director’s cut. They expand the world and story but it’s not necessary to enjoy the original product.

We came to a consensus that if Uncharted’s DLC is anything like The Last of Us, then we will be satisfied. However, our conversation stuck with me. I began to think about my recent experience with a big name game and story DLC. It was not good, in fact, it happens to be the worst experience I’ve had with story DLC to date.
Batman: Arkham Knight is a fantastic game … It’s story DLC, on the other hand, is shit. I don’t mean to be crass but it has been the worse thing I have ever spent money on. Every bit of DLC was a quick cash grab attempting to get more pre-orders and extra money. All the extra stories were mediocre and barely last 15 to 30 mins long. I regret getting caught up in the hype.

I have had good experiences in the past, though. I do believe story DLC is the best kind of extra content because these developers literally build worlds. I’m there are a ton of ideas left out that DLC’s gives them the chance to explore. I do still wonder, are we alright with story DLC if it runs the risk of destroying the main plot or no effort is put into it?

3 thoughts on “Are We Alright With Story DLC?”

  1. I think both your points are valid. Sometimes DLC is great like the Last of Us, Mass Effect 2, Batman Arkham City and Borderlands. But other times when you play a game, like Destiny, that has announced DLC before the game comes out then you play the game and realize how thin it is that’s pretty shitty. The Destiny DLC finally made it a full game, the story is still shit though, but you had to pay an extra 35 dollars for it. So I guess it’s hit or miss.

  2. Nice post – DLC is a tricky beast. I generally avoid it where possible… But Bioshock Infinite ‘s burial at sea was superb and essentially made up a game in itself.

    I think maybe more developers should go down the Alan Wake route; American Nightmare was essentially additional story, but contained in a standalone title (at a lower cost than a full game). Seemed to work well and detracted from any feelings of the base game being ‘incomplete’.

    1. I feel better about Story DLC these days, especially since they seem to be getting it right. I’m more upset about games that cut parts of the game for preorder bonuses or left it out of the game because the wanted to release it early.

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