Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Speaking of Endings

Ok this is the last time I'm going to talk about this, I promise.  Although it's definitely a topic I'll be coming back to later.

One last (for now) reason DLC packs tend to bore me is because they're too easy.  This is strictly from a gameplay perspective rather than a story one.  By the time I beat the game and start on the DLC, especially any game with RPG elements or a leveling system, I'm so much more powerful than the expected difficulty that there is no longer a challenge.  I've usually reached a point where I can walk through fights that would have slaughtered me earlier.

I think I can get away with saying that the reason we, anyone really, play video games is for the challenge.  Beating that boss or solving that puzzle is rewarding because we worked for it God Dammit!  If the fight is too easy or resolved with little effort on our end, Quick Time Events but again that's a topic for another day, then we don't feel anywhere near as satisfied.  In some cases we feel cheated, or at least

By the time I hit most DLC packs there is no longer a challenge for me.  Even if I haven't found the ultimate items or the best weapons I can still waltz through situations that would have required careful planning and tactics even just a short time ago.  I've gone from playing the game, to going through the motions.  Even when the game tries to up the challenge usually it's done just by throwing out more enemies.

Guys, giving me more mooks to shotgun in the face doesn't raise the challenge.  It just makes me waste more ammo.

Why do developers do this?  Is it because they're expecting people to do the DLC packs before finishing the main game?  How does that makes sense?  For one thing, people who buy the game at launch will have beaten it (several times in most cases) long before the DLC starts getting released.  And for those like me who wait before buying game, at least in my case I'm too OCD to play DLC before beating the main game.

To wrap up my three days of rambling on about this topic, there are two things that need to happen for a DLC pack to keep my interest.  For starters the story, whether it continues from the game or has it's own self-contained story, needs to be engaging.  That's not too hard provided the people making it know how to set up a basic story structure.  And equally important is that the gameplay needs to be challenging.  Knowing nothing about video game development I'll acknowledge that this one is probably trickier to pull off.  But I don't believe it's impossible.  You know what?  This could be a good Friday Five topic for when I run out of things to say about zombies.

Yeah like that'll ever happen.

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