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Several questions were left unanswered by Tango Gameworks in the main campaign for horror game The Evil Within. Many of them pertained to the secrets one of the supporting characters, Julie Kidman, and her dealings with a secret organization. The second half of Kidman’s story, The Consequence, doesn’t offer up all the answers you might be looking for, in fact it creates a couple more, but it does a good job of shaking up the gameplay and creating a tense horror experience. Beware, if you haven’t played the main campaign from The Evil Within, there may be some spoilers ahead in this review.
Knots instantly formed in my stomach the first time I read the words “downloadable content” in relation to Nintendo. My younger self was screaming about robbing the world of the joys of unlocking content by playing the game instead of whipping out your credit card. Doomsday theories started forming in my mind about the terrible sort of DLC exploitation I might see down the line. It’s been quite a while since that moment and none of those fears have come to pass. Frankly, I feel like they’ve done a good job of approaching the situation in a positive way that has thus far benefitted customers.
The perfect formula for DLC is a particularly hard one to nail down. Diving back into the main story of the game is difficult if it’s already been wrapped up, but creating something completely new may not feel true enough to the original game. This balance, though difficult to achieve, is not impossible and can result in a great way to revisit the worlds of our favorite games for a short time. Naughty Dog hit the bullseye with their DLC The Last of US: Left Behind by taking us back and providing a bit more context for some things described during the main story. Please make sure you’ve played The Last of Us before reading this review as there will be spoilers for the main campaign ahead.
Having recently discussed at length the issues of micro-transactions in video game nowadays, it seems to me the most disturbing thing about it all is that the line of what is DLC and what is a micro-transaction is already becoming blurred. In that light, let me go right ahead and shine as bright a light on the difference between the two so we can know what is okay and what is trying to ruin gaming. Before I go into detail let me just provide what I think is a pretty solid line between the two: DLC is content not originally in a game that is permanently unlocked by a one-time payment; a micro-transaction is when money is payed to either to speed up the process of unlocking content or to obtain items/currency that can be used up.
Earlier this week, the follow-up DLC for Dead Space 3 was released. In spite of finishing the game, and thoroughly enjoying my experience, I am currently abstaining from downloading this new content. My choice is not the result of the add-on looking unappealing, quite the contrary, it has more to do with the content within the pack. There’s a disturbing trend amongst DLC that some games have been releasing where the add-on contains story beats within the main plot of the game. While the argument can be made that without the extra development time that DLC allows for, these extra bits wouldn’t even exist, if it comes out one month after release, then it was clearly planned from the beginning and should be a part of the main game.