Festive Feature #3 - Top 5 Game Add-Ons of 2010
Written Wednesday, December 22, 2010 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Everyone loves DLC, right? No, well we do... and no-one asked you, okay? What do you mean, I just asked you? That was a rhetorical segue, of course, because that’s how I roll. Anyway, where was I? Oh, that’s right, in today’s Festive Feature, our focus turns to this year’s best pieces of DLC, or as Microsoft likes to call them, “Game Add-Ons”... Oooohhh, how fancy! It’s a straightforward top 5 this one, so we look for the best and disregard the rest. Simples.
We know that technically Dead Rising: Case Zero is an Xbox Live Arcade game, but Capcom isn’t fooling us, and because it’s our list and we make the rules, we definitely felt that Case Zero deserved its place in the top 5.
Taking place before the events in Dead Rising 2 – yes, it’s a prequel, which confirms our assertions that this is in fact a game add-on... although standalone – Case Zero not only introduces you to the game’s new character, Chuck Greene – who’s admittedly no Frank West – but it also gives the player some background to the story and even introduces the new combo weapon system. So essentially what Case Zero offers is the gameplay of the main game – which acts as a demo of sorts – with the added bonus of offering gameplay moments outside the confines of the main retail game. That, and zombies. Lots of zombies. Can’t be bad, huh?
Despite Borderlands’ Claptrap Revolution being released in the latter half of 2010, we firmly believe that The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is not only the better DLC episode of the two, but it’s also the best one that Gearbox has created for their 2009 smash hit. Actually, it’s one of the year’s best pieces of DLC in our eyes, especially since it gave us an excuse to re-enter the desolate wastelands of Pandora. That’s probably why it appears at number 4... go figure!
The Secret Armory of General Knoxx not only gave us new environments to explore with new vehicles, new missions to tackle and new enemies to kick the living daylights out of, but it also upped the level cap and gave us new loot and weapons to play around with. In other words, General Knoxx’s DLC played to the game’s strengths and nearly made up for the abomination that was Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot – the DLC that came before it... Man, that was a crap piece of DLC. A far cry from the impressive General Knoxx anyway.
What happens when you cross zombies with the Wild West? Easy, you get Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare... and when you get that, you know you’ve landed one of the year’s best pieces of downloadable content.
Undead Nightmare was released back in October and received a great response from critics, as fans of the 8 million selling behemoth finally had some single-player DLC to get down and dirty with. Heading back into the shoes of our best character of 2010, Undead Nightmare pits John Marston and a few select locals against a zombie pandemic and it’s up to the gruff-voiced ex-outlaw to save the day once again. It’s like Red Dead... but with zombies, which is exactly what the doctor ordered. Actually, I think you’ll find the doctor ordered a cure for this zombie outbreak, but we’ll leave that to our man John Marston... the great Victorian bloke. Wait... wrong product. Either way, Undead Nightmare also comes with a new co-op horde-style game mode, where you fight wave after wave of zombies, as well as another competitive multiplayer game mode too. Not bad for the low, low price of 800 Microsoft Points.
Bad Company 2’s Vietnam has only been out a day and it’s already made its way into a top 5 feature – that must be a world record! You’ll be more than aware though that we’ve had some amazing fun with this beasty little expansion for the past few weeks and considering we gave it a rather glowing review, Vietnam more than deserves its place on the podium.
Boasting 5 new maps – one of which is currently locked while the community rally together in a Battlefield 1943-esque challenge – and a brand new look and feel, punters might be mistaken in thinking that Bad Company 2: Vietnam is your traditional map pack, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. With 5 new ginormous maps, new weapon skins and new weapons, new vehicles, a new era, new licensed music and even new voice-overs, Bad Company 2: Vietnam is so much more than your traditional map pack. It’s ‘Nam baby!
Mass Effect’s DLC has often been criticised since the franchise graced our consoles and as an ardent supporter of the BioWare space epic, I’ll be the first one to say that most of it has, for want of a better word, sucked. Okay, sucked is a little harsh, but it’s been nowhere near the quality we expect for the franchise.
This year things have changed though and throughout the year the Mass Effect 2 DLC has got progressively better, culminating with the excellent Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. Not only does Lair of the Shadow Broker's story match the high levels set by the game’s boxed missions, but it also allows Mass Effect fans to bring the comic book story arc to a close, as well as tying up one of the main game’s loose ends. For Liara fans, it even allowed players to rekindle their relationship that they might have taken up in the original. Throw in a couple of boss battles, some new environments and an excellent hover car chase and what you have is this year’s best piece of DLC. Now if only BioWare could create more of it, we’d be a hell of a lot happier. Until then however, we’ll continue to cry into our pillows every night. At least the quality is on the rise, which we can at least be thankful for.
3 top 5s down, 2 to go, and tomorrow, we bring back the fan-favourite top 5 Easter eggs of the year as we dive behind enemy lines and dig out the best hidden gems in this year’s games.
If you’ve not checked out our top 5 video game characters or our top 5 game trailers of 2010, there’s still time.