Blog 751: XcellentCOM2: Tactical Legacy

I didn’t need a free bonus pack to remind me that XCOM2 is a brilliant game. And yet, here we are!

It’s always nice when something goes from zero to released in the space of about a week. No sooner had XCOM2 announced it was getting a bonus pack of mini-campaigns than it had dropped into our laps. Swag!

Conveniently, I had just finished playing Divinity: Original Sin 2 when the downloadgates opened…

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Blog 594: The DLC Effect 3 (Part 2)

I’m never quite sure how to feel about scattered little DLC packs as opposed to monolithic expansions; I always get the feeling I’m paying more money for less content. Then again, expansion packs like Warcraft III‘s The Frozen Throne are ultimately more valuable than the base game, making the total infinitely greater than the sum of its parts. Maybe expansions have just been underpriced all along?

Either way, I laid down my wonga for all the Mass Effect 3 story DLC packs. Last time From Ashes was good and Omega was unremarkable — so let’s see what I have to say about the other two packs, Leviathan and Citadel…

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Blog 593: The DLC Effect 3 (Part 1)

Yep, I splurged on all the story DLC for Mass Effect 3. No horse armour, just companions and mission packs here. Having said that, all four cost me a total just shy of what I paid for the whole game on release day… And all these packs are from 2012.

Digital economies suck.

My self-restraint sucks too. Herein lies a report on the first two packs, From Ashes and Omega.

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Blog 587: Dragonblog

They always say “never meet your heroes”, but I get the impression they should also say “never attempt to rebuild your heroes” because it invariably doesn’t work. I might gripe about bits and pieces of Skyrim but overall I enjoy it, though after 50-odd hours it gets a bit samey. The answer to such saminess? Why, an expansion pack!

The Dragonborn DLC is more than a year old now, but fuelled by a desire for just a bit more variety and not yet ready to drop this unhealthy but oh-so-addictive game, I was enticed to pick up this pack because it’s set on Solstheim, that same snowy place first brought to us in the Morrowind expansion pack Bloodmoon. A pack of which I enjoyed many elements, sure, though (guess what?) I found the frigid landscape just a teensy bit monotonous.

Oh well, that’s what disposable income is for. Let’s see if a little bit of mechanically-recovered Morrrowind magic can liven up the drab chill of Skyrim

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Blog 580: Continuing Through the Borderlands 2

These days, the final boss is never the end of the line. If it’s not a hilariously blatant multi-sequel hook, it’s a post-game side quest that can only be completed in co-op with four level 50 characters. (I’ll never be able to finish that, you bastards.)

And then there are four chunky DLC mission packs to get through. As if 35-odd hours of grinding the main game wasn’t enough…

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Blog 576: DLChonored

Life just wouldn’t be worth living with expansion packs. Except now expansion packs are, instead of monolithic brain-meltingly brilliant additions like Age of Empires II‘s The Conquerors or Warcraft III‘s The Frozen Throne, little bite-sized portion-controlled microtransacted chunks. (Not convinced that the sum total of the bonus content here is as big or strong as either of those, but at the time it probably sold for as much, if not more.)

Which is the main reason I wait for GOTYEs these days. No fuss, just a disc full of everything. Buying a complete game — fancy that!

So now it’s time to delve into Dishonored‘s extra appendages.

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Blog 531: New Vegas Episodes

Expansion packs, DLC, call them what you will — these slabs of additional content can as often hamper a game as enhance it. Take the brutal assassins of Morrowind‘s Tribunal expansion, who will attack a hopeless level one adventurer the first time he sleeps under the moon and stars. Take the hideously difficult bonus dungeons of Baldur’s Gate‘s Tales of the Sword Coast, which a party of The Friendly Arm’s finest can barely touch until they’re at the base game’s level cap of 7.

So Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition came with four mission packs. Herein lie some of the thoughts these triggered in me…

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Blog 504: Re-Ending

Yes, sweet readers, Mass Effect 3‘s “Final Cut” DLC is finally here.

I thought the original ending was a bit floppy and unsatisfying, but that’s life. I wasn’t going to go marching to BioWare to demand blood, I just moved on. Narratives are allowed to shoot themselves in all of their feet if that’s what they want (hell, I’m sure I’ve conked out at many a finale in my own projects). But everyone else bayed for blood, and now that baying has been answered by free — free — DLC.

This post is spoiler central, and won’t make any sense unless you’ve already completed the game.

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