Downloadable content. Everyone hates it—but everyone buys it. Yes, even you in the comments, smart guy. Here's a look at the latest package of extensions and pre-order bonuses designed to crowbar the last dollar out of your wallet. Can you still respect yourself if you buy it?
Horse Vehicle Armor and 'Butt Kicker'
Available: Day-one DLC. (April 24)
Price: Free with pre-order
What You Get: Get the game from Best Buy and you get "Sgt. James Heller's Hardened Steel Vehicle Armor," which boosts the durability of military vehicles that the protagonist character uses. At GameStop, you get the "Bio-Bomb Butt Kicker," which is more or less a custom animation in which enemy soldiers present their asses for said punting.
Why It's Evil: Though free DLC, it's an unholy proposal from evil Activision to get you to patronize one evil retailer over another.
Evil Score: 3/5. The real evil here is that this is all Best Buy and GameStop got for kissing Activision's ring. However, what's being offered is so stupid I can't imagine Activision selling or distributing this later. So that does protect the value of your pre-order decision.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning—The Legend of Dead Kel
Available: March 20
Price: $10 or 800 Microsoft Points
What You Get: Pirates and new digs. Heroes get "Gravehal Keep," which is an estate for the player with quest-givers and perks built in. This is all located in Gallows End, a new region that is claimed to grow the explorable world of Amalur by 15 percent. Amalur is already fucking huge. Also, pirates.
Why It's Evil: First, they're giving us fucking pirates, everyone's favorite kind of NPC, as if to say "Oh, look, pirates! We gave you pirates, don't pay attention to the fact we built this DLC pre-release," which a studio is never ever never allowed to do ever, period. Pirates? I expect Amalur's next premium extension to be bacon. Also, do we really need 15 percent more explorable area in a game offering, what, a zillion hours of playable content?
Evil Score: 2/5. If 15 percent of a zillion is ... 0.15 zillion? you're still getting a lot of playing time out of this DLC, regardless of when it was made.