Tuesday, February 24, 2009

DLC me baby!

So, the flood of DLC appears to be just beginning and I have found myself deep in this flood. This weekend I took the time to play both "Knothole Island" for Fable II and "Operation Anchorage" for Fallout 3 and I have to say that I am very happy with the direction DLC seems to be going.

"Knothole Island" is basically three new dungeons and a small town. The quest are fun, if a bit simple, but the real draw for me was the slew of new item on sale in the town, especially at the Box of Secrets. This shop is interesting in that your gold is no good here. Just put it away right now. Instead you bring in random mundane items and trade them in for spiffy cool items. So far, I have gotten many, but I really kinda like my leather jacket I DID get and look forward to many new items in the future. If you loved Fable II, you will love "Knothole Island", and at $10 its easy for me to recommend it.

"Operation Anchorage" is different in that it takes the worst part of Fallout 3 (massive battles) and builds the entire game around that. And, surprisingly it works. The whole concept is fairly well known, but in case you missed it, you find yourself helping out a group of Outcasts who are trying to get into a cache of advanced weapons. The catch is that the vault is locked up tight and the only way to unlock it is to complete the VR simulation of the liberation of Anchorage from the Chinese. And for some reason that is not really explained, your Pip-Boy 3000 means you can access the simulation while the other guys can't. Whatever, fire up that simulation chamber and let's get to it. I was really surprised at the size and variety of the simulation, which starts off with you making a covert strike to destroy the Reds artillery, then goes to set you up making strikes against key tactical holdings. These were my favorite parts, as the system for recruiting you strike force is interesting and needs a little bit of a strategic plan to get the job done. But, the massive battles do still get a little crazy as this is not a solid, Halo-type, FPS and you tend to run out of AP rather quickly, leading you to blind fire at the entrenched defense of your targets. Although, this maybe frustrating to some players, I found that it gave the action a bit of a chaotic feeling like you would find in a real battlefield.

What I really like about both of these DLCs is the fact that the breathe new life into the games, making me want to play them even more then I have. This is a great boon to gamers in this current economic crisis as we have to pick a chose which games we can afford to play right now. Be able to pay $10 to revitalize a game already sitting on you shelf is a good option to paying $60 for a brand new game. Now I just wish Valve would release some DLC for Team Fortress 2 on the X-Box 360 already.