It goes without saying that DLC is a controversial topic. Although it’s clear that some developers and publishers have a tendency to go a bit overboard in terms of pricing, offerings, and season passes, we were blessed with some pretty great add-ons this year. Drama aside—and there was plenty of that—2015 gave us some great content that definitely warranted a second look at games that released earlier this year.
With the holiday season here, we thought we’d do a quick rundown of some of 2015’s best DLC/expansions, just in case you were looking for something to play during the long break.
When Destiny launched back in 2014, one of the main criticisms was that it was severely lacking in the story department. Sure, it featured great co-operative multiplayer, but even that was mired with issues—mostly stemming from annoying “fixes” imparted by Bungie. Remember the loot cave, and the multitude of ways to cheese the “Vault of Glass” raid bosses? Do you also remember how they were then removed from the game upon one of its updates? It has definitely been an interesting road.
While some of these issues have yet to be fixed, Destiny’s big fall expansion, The Taken King, did bring with it some much needed change. For starters, there’s actually a—gasp—story. Though it doesn’t really boast the deepest plot, I was actually interested and entertained while I was playing the campaign. On top of that, there were a bunch new strikes, multiplayer maps, gear, and a fantastic raid mode (which I’d compare to the “Vault of Glass” in terms of quality) added to the game. Plus, Peter Dinklage’s Ghost dialogue has been completely re-recorded by Nolan North (a.k.a. Nathan Drake).
To put it simply, The Taken King is the experience we always hoped Destiny would be. Bungie breathed new life into the title, and continues to update it with stuff that is actually pretty useful. If you were on the fence about picking it up when it originally launched, or if you grew tired of it and were thinking of hopping back into it, we urge you to go download it, hit up your friends, and play.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
We’ve been blessed with a ton of great new games this year—Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, just to name a few—but Bloodborne still takes the number one spot for me. Aside from a few issues here and there, the gothic title was pretty near perfect. It took some of the best elements from Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls II, and threw in new mechanics to make the gameplay feel fresh and exciting.
With the November release of The Old Hunters (you can check out my review here), we got our hands on hours of even more fantastic content. Not only were new enemies, bosses, and items all added to the game, but we also got a deeper look into Yharnam’s rich lore. Even more excitingly, the selection of weapons available in the game almost doubled in size. To give you a little perspective, the base game featured around 15 trick weapons, while the new expansion introduced 12 unique trick weapons, four firearms, and a shield. So, if you were disappointed in your options before, you’ll be more than happy with the content.
The Old Hunters is another great example of an add-on that will make it worthwhile to experience Bloodline for the first time or go back for seconds. With it, FromSoftware continues to prove why its title is one of the best games available on the PS4 this year.
If there’s one game that took off this year, it was The Witcher 3. As much as I adored Fallout 4 and Bloodborne, I didn’t struggle to see why CD Projekt Red’s latest title took home Game of the Year (and a bunch of other accolades) at The Game Awards in 2015. Though the plot wasn’t necessarily anything to write home about, the massive world was a true delight to explore, and the characters were well-developed and interesting. Combat was another great aspect of the game, operating as both fun and responsive.
Following launch, developer CD Projekt Red made a statement by releasing a series of free DLC in accordance with the game. While this served as a great comment about some of the shady DLC practices that have plagued the industry recently, the developer did release its first paid DLC, Hearts of Stone towards the end of the year, and it was well worth the wait. The expansion—which is made available at the beginning of the game but is intended for level 30 characters—brings a twisted horror/romance/fairytale vibe to the table. The best part is that over 10 hours of gameplay have been added, making for a serious amount of new content.
Although you will be perfectly fine just sticking with the base game, Hearts of Stone adds a bunch of material to the game that is more than worth the $20 price tag. With the (deserved) hype surrounding the game, I’m sure people will begin jumping on board and picking up the game. Grabbing the DLC on the side will further enhance the experience, and keep the fun going for a satisfying chunk of time.
Do any of these sound worth diving into for you? What are you planning on playing this holiday? Let us know in the comments below.