DLCs (Downloadable Content) became a swearword in recent years thanks to greedy gaming companies (such as EA, Konami etc.), but also gamers themselves, because people are actually buying these dammed things. But there was a time where DLCs were something to look forward to and to some extent they still are. A thing where dedicated developers enhance the gameplay for the players and where the player after the DLC has the feeling of well-spent money. Of course I mean DLCs which don’t disturb the main story of the game and which make the game richer. Everything has a dark side and story DLCs no matter how good they are can be sometimes negative elements, for example: “A story DLC for a game with a bare-bone campaign.” In this case no matter how good the DLC is, it can not ultimately save the game, because the first impression counts the most, here the argument is: “The game is really bad, but with this certain DLC it is really great.” It has no value; it’s like paying the game twice. Fortunately, we aren’t here for those types of DLCs, my article is about some DLCs I personally own and I can highly recommend to anybody, here I would say: “The game is really great buy it now and be sure to buy this DLC too.”
1/ Mass Effect 3 – Citadel
Starting with the most controversial game that I have, Mass Effect 3, this game is such a mixed bag for me, it contains some of my favorite moments from the Mass Effect trilogy and on the other hand it has some of the worst characters I have ever seen in any game and of course the ending, I rather let my Sheppard (protagonist) die before he/she get to it. But if there’s anything this game excels at, it is Mass Effect 3 DLCs and mainly Mass Effect 3 – Citadel DLC (Leviathan is also quite good), you know what, this is the real ending of the Mass Effect trilogy, a true celebration of its characters and the relationship the players created with them. Yes, there is an action part of this DLC, but for me that is always secondary. Citadel has some of the best dialogues and character moments of the entire trilogy, because it is the main point of it, story follows Commander Shepard (protagonist in entire trilogy) and the crew of Normandy on their shore leave at Citadel (massive space station) and there is also a conspiracy and a new enemy, but I won’t spoil it. The new part of Citadel is beautifully crafted and there is also a bit self-referential humor. I would recommend to wait just before the final missions, when you finish all character quests, I assure you will not regret the waiting. At the end of Citadel DLC I have mixed emotions, it is a mixture of happiness, sadness, satisfaction and wanting more, unfortunately anything that comes after (usually final missions) that isn’t like this.
2/ Mass Effect 2 – Overlord
In case you haven’t noticed I love the Mass Effect trilogy, mainly Mass Effect 1 and 2, most of the DLCs for them are as good as the games they amend. Speaking about Mass Effect 2, I honestly can say that Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker (I get to it in the next part) are pretty much perfect DLCs and I consider standard of excellent DLC, which means complementing the main story and widen up the world.
The Overlord DLC is the last DLC for Mass Effect 2 I bought and I honestly have to say I should have bought it much sooner. While having a little impact on the main story-line, don’t be put off by it as I was, it has an amazing story, beautiful locations, an open world-like map and most surprisingly a creepy horror atmosphere. The story is relatively simple, Commander Shepard must stop an insane AI (Artifical Intelligence), but as you might guess not everything is as it seems. As always you have choices to make and the ending is something you definitely must see.
3/ Mass Effect 2 – Lair of the Shadow Broker
Yet another Mass Effect 2 DLC, but equally as good as Overlord, this time you are helping former teammate from the first game Liara to find and ultimately take down the mysterious and dangerous Shadow Broker, this is something of a must have-DLC, because Liara is returning as your teammate in Mass Effect 3.
Lair of the Shadow Broker provides a lot of interesting dialogues, locations, bosses and most importantly information about your teammates and other characters, like videos and dossiers, which make them more alive than ever.
4/ X-COM 2 – War of the Chosen
How I get to X-COM franchise is quite a funny story, I was once in a gaming shop doing basically nothing, just browsing and asked if they know any games similar to Mass Effect and they recommended me X-COM: Enemy Unknown and I fell in love with it. Yes, the game is hard, but I don’t care, I love it. I was looking forward to X-COM 2 and it was even better than the original, better story, better soldier customization, new alien enemies, maps and it was more cinematic. X-COM 2 quickly become one of my favorite games. So, how do you make great games even better? X-COM 2 – War of the Chosen isn’t just a DLC or expansion pack it is an overhaul redesign of the game, that takes from great to brilliant. It did everything to upgrade the game massively from resistance factions, new enemies and bosses, soldier bonds, new soldiers’ classes and I could continue to like this for a long time of what War of the Chosen improved. If you don’t own X-COM 2 – War of the Chosen, I would highly recommend purchasing it and do you know what buy some other X-COM DLCs, developers certainly deserve it.
5/ Total War: Attila – Age of Charlemagne
You want to know something? Total War DLCs are in general awful, they are nothing than just quick effortless reused assets, with same dialogues for units and generals, same buildings and maps, nothing new it is same things done over and over again and that’s not all multiple factions are mysteriously just not playable so you can just wait until Creative Assembly makes they playable you want finally play as them? Too bad prepare your credit card and these things aren’t cheap. Blood and gore in war? Pay. Special types of unit? Pay. Worst about all of this is that I can speak from personal experience I bought multiple of them (usually during sales), unfortunately they hold monopoly on RTS historical games. But enough of ranting, truth be told I actually really like Total War games, they always hold a special place in my heart and I pour hours into them, because I love history and strategic games. There aren’t many games that truly makes me feel like a general. Total War: Attila is a game that I really enjoy, moving your tribes to declining Western Roman Empire to found a new kingdom, or defend Rome from barbaric hordes. One of the final DLCs for this game was Age of Charlemagne, which made a lot of things I like about original game even better. Now you have kingdoms from a start and you try to make it bigger and build civilization. It features early knights, religion and the Pope; maybe it reminds me of Total War: Medieval II and maybe I just have nostalgic goggles. But if you have to own Total War DLCs this is the best one.
6/ Dragon Age: Origins – Witch Hunt
Controversial pick on my side, I agree, because there is a lot of people who don’t like Dragon Age: Origins – Witch Hunt DLC, but I think this is a fitting chapter for Dragon Age: Origins, final piece of the puzzle. Your main quest as The Warden (Hero of Ferelden) is to find Morrigan (one of the main companions of the main game), because she disappears after the climax of the main campaign and also she owns you some answers.
There is really nothing new, when it comes to maps or enemies (with exception of the final boss), but unlike with The Golems of Amgarrak, where it’s just a recycled map from the main campaign and Awakening expansion pack, in Witch Hunt it has a purpose of revisiting places you knew from the past of the main character. You finally get answers and one of the best games is finally finish with an interesting cliffhanger for the next installment. I wonder if the sequel to one of the best RPGs is as good as the origin… oh Jesus no… Dragon Age II…
So, here you have six DLCs that I actually liked and enjoyed. Not every paid content is necessarily negative, sometimes you find something really special. That being said this is just my opinion and everyone has different standards of great DLCs, maybe it is a cosmetic DLC or something small, if it makes you happy and you think you didn’t waste your money, who am I to tell you something else. I only wish that there were more DLCs like those six above and where I can sit down and say it was worth it and I am happy.