I've Had It Up To Here With Map Packs!

I have a dream. That when a big shooter is released, at least some of its downloadable content caters to the crowd that prefers to game alone.

Think about it. Despite being games that are defined in many ways by their singleplayer campaigns and heroes (Master Chief! Captain Price!), series like Halo and Call of Duty are prolonged not by more singleplayer content, but by multiplayer map packs. Boring.

Can't one series, one day, stump up the time and cash to do a little singleplayer DLC instead?


It'll never happen, of course (well, it usually never happens). There are two reasons big shooters get maps packs (or zombie packs) as downloadable content: they're catering to the large multiplayer fanbase shooters develop, and they're relatively cheap and easy to make.

Singleplayer add-ons require scripting. Level design. New voice-acting. Rigorous play-testing. In other words, lots of work for DLC that, post-release, may not appeal to as many fans as additions to the game's multiplayer mix.

But can't someone take the risk? Mass Effect 2's latest (and last) piece of DLC was revealed a few days ago, and that game's offerings must surely rank amongst the most popular and well-executed of the DLC era (though Assassin's Creed deserves credit in this regard as well, as does Gears of War 2). They've become increasingly coherent and enjoyable, and have helped keep a game released in January 2010 relevant well into 2011.


Yes, Mass Effect 2 is solely a singleplayer experience. But could the premise of its DLC not be easily used for a shooter as well? Take a character (either the hero or a supporting type for a fresh set of eyes) and design a few short levels around them. Use those levels to either tell a new story or expand on one told in the main game. Some new environments, some new lines of dialogue, around 30-60 minutes of game time should do it.


I know I'd be happy enough to pay $5-10 for something like that, provided of course that the content was unique enough to feel like something new (as in, not cut from the main game) and lengthy enough to make it worth the money.

What about you guys? Rather than yet another lifeless map pack, would you like to see a big shooter try and add a little more meat to its story? Like, actually tell the story of the two poor souls in the clip above, instead of just using them as a marketing gimmick?


Or is that just stupid stupid, and if you're still playing a shooter a couple of months after release you only care about multiplayer anyway?

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laser beams

i generally don't buy DLC ever. be it singleplayer or multiplayer. i don't like what has become of DLC and i don't want to contribute to the current trend of publishers releasing fractured and incomplete games so that they can make even more money off of me by selling me additional DLC content on day one.

unless i have already invested many, many hours into a game or have enjoyed it enough to have beaten it multiple times, and even then, if the content costs more than $5- i generally just pass on on buying DLC altogether. When Mass Effect 2 came out last year- i waited until the end of March to pick up a new copy when Amazon sold it at a discounted rate of $25. When i started it up, i waited for it to slowly load into the EA servers and waited for it to update itself and finally downloaded all the free Cerberus content. when i finally played the game- i was pretty upset at how lame that "bonus" content was. i was glad that i got it for free but i felt sad for anyone who paid $15 for that garbage. not worth it. i decided to pass on any future DLC from Bioware and i have no regrets.

i'm just saying that even though i admire the idea of catering to gamers who prefer to play alone (indeed- i am one such person, myself), i still don't want to be sold overpriced and insubstantial content for my games unless they are extremely inexpensive and offer a massive amount of additional content. otherwise, no thank you.