A while ago Infinity Ward announced new DLC for Modern Warfare 2 called the stimulus package. Don’t get excited, Obama, this is not going to help the economy, all it is is a map pack. “The Stimulus Package delivers 5 additional action-packed multiplayer maps featuring a variety of locations: “Bailout,” a multi-level apartment complex; “Storm,” an open industrial park littered with heavy machinery; “Salvage,” a snowy junkyard fortified by stacked debris and crushed cars. Two legendary fan-favorites from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare return, including “Crash,” … a war-torn urban environment; and “Overgrown,” which features a massive dry creek bed.” Says the DLC’s page on Xbox Marketplace. Although the map pack for COD4 was only $10, this one will be priced a little higher at 1200 ms points or $15. The DLC will arrive March 30 on the Xbox 360 [PS3 and PC dates TBA].
The second and final piece of DLC for Assassin’s Creed 2 has just been released this Thursday on the Xbox Live marketplace and PSN. However two versions are up for purchase: The standard version that comes with the 10 memories or the deluxe version that includes 3 secret templar locations, previously only available in the special Black edition of Assassin’s Creed 2. The normal version is priced at $4 or about £3 and the deluxe version at $6.50 or about £5. Both versions include 10 new memories, a new area of Florence and a new move, the spring-jump. This chapter is all about trying to get back the piece of Eden stolen by the monk Savonaralo who is now using it to control Florence. I bought the deluxe edition simply because I loved the interior/Assassin’s Tomb sections in AC2 and wanted more for, what I though was, a reasonable price.
As I said before this DLC is about mainly about taking down Savonaralo. So you meet with your friend Machiavelli who fills you in on the situation; Savonaralo is using the piece of Eden to take control of various figures of mild power and influence to take control of the rest of the citizens for Florence. He’s then got all of them to get all the books and paintings and burn them in large bonfires, hence the name. You then get round to plotting, Savonaralo is too powerful to get so you decide to go after his lieutenants, 9 in total. With them dead he should lose influence and the disgruntled citizens should do the rest. Cue 9 assassination missions. Now when this first popped up I sighed, my bad experience with the assassination missions in AC2 had left a bitter taste in my mouth but I was pleasantly surprised. I expected 9 very repetitive, unexciting and overall short lived missions but what I got was quite the contrary. The 9 assassinations missions come in a variety of forms: some you can just charge in while other have to be done without being spotted. There were two especially fun missions. One was a stealth mission, your target was on a boat and you had to swim around and pull people off the sides without the others spotting you. I required timing and skill but was very fun. The other one was the polar opposite. You start the mission in a closed off square, your target spots you and sends down his guards. once you kill them you climb a ladder to the roof of a church and have a massive sword fight on the roof, before killing your target. All I can say was, apart from being incredibly fun, it also looked epic, like something straight from Hollywood. The other 7 missions are good too, but these were my personal favourites. Once you have killed all 9 men the citizens rebel and send Savonaralo to a fiery death. That leaves you free to grab the piece of Eden before heading off on your mission to Rome.
Now game also unlocks the southern district of Florence, separated by the river Arno. It roughly half the size of Florence but is interesting enough. The DLC also features a new move the “spring-jump”. I was actually quite excited about this. I, like many others, had hoped it would be some new type of assassination move, where you spring across a plaza and stab your target in the face before you can say “renaissance”! The move, unfortunately, is basically a jump. Only it’s a jump that propels you slightly further (<—sarcasm)! It’s very underwhelming, and that’s only added to by the fact it can only be done from certain flag polls that only appear in the southern district of Florence. So it’s an unexciting move that can’t be used in about 90% of the games, very disappointing.
I’m now going to go into the 3 secret locations you get with deluxe version of the DLC. The first is the Palazzo Medici, the home of the Medici family which has been invaded by Templars. Your mission is to rescue Lorenzo Medici from his treasure room (it’s a hard life) before the Templars get to him. This level is great fun, balancing platforming and combat perfectly. The second is the Santa Maria de Frarii, a church in Venice. It’s a level built entirely around climbing around the churches masonry in order to find yet another treasure room. This level is again good fun but does get a little repetitive especially after playing through some of the other Assassin’s tomb missions in ACII. The final mission is in the dry docks of Venice, called the Arsenal Shipyard. This is again a balance of platforming and combat as you make your way through drains and over half built ships. This was again a really fun mission, if not for the fairly good free running then for the enviroment. Over all I’d say these 3 locations are worth the extra £2 or $2.50. While they don’t add that much gameplay time the level are incredibly fun to play and are at some points quite a challenge. Even if the goal, the treasure rooms, do get very boring.
Overall quite good, it adds a good chunk of story and the assassination missions are some of the best in the game. It will keep you entertained for at least 2-3 hours and for any of you that have cold feet about the last DLC pack, do not fear, I’d recommend at least getting the basic version and if you enjoyed the Assassin’s tomb mission get the deluxe version.
The next batch of DLC for the RPS, Borderlands, has been announced. The new DLC pack will be called The Secret Armory of General Knoxx and will include a big enviornment, more guns, vehicles, and enemies, as well raising the level cap from 50 to…well, it hasn’t been announced yet. This expansion does not have a specific release date yet, but I’m guessing somewhere around or before spring.
It looks like the exclusive licence of the two GTA DLC packs: The Lost and the Damned and the Ballad of Gay Tony have expired as it has been announced that both packs will be coming to the PS3 and PC. You will be able to buy them both separately on the Playstation store or from Game for Windows – Live. Or you can pick up the retail version that will feature both of them as Episodes from Liberty City. They will be available from the 30th of March and are expected to cost the same price as they did when released for the Xbox 360, $20.00 each. Keep Reading (You know you want to)
The issues that come with the dawn of digital distribution have split the consumer crowd on whether we’re ready for it. Issues like region specific content i.e countries like Canada, Japan or the Arab nations being left out, the lack of total ownership of games with services such as OnLive, it being an extreme hassle for those with slow Internet or non at all at a daily basis etc. Stuff deal breakers are made of.
All that aside though, I think we can all agree that the current wave of downloadable content is quite arguably the best setup for both sides.They’re cheap, they’re elongate the experience and best of all they’re easily ignored. It’s rare that you see a developer pack a major plot point in DLC. Unless we’re talking about Half Life, which is already taking it further than any of the mentioned content.
Plus developers can use DLC as feedback sponges. With each new expansions you see a game changing glitch or hinderance elegantly removed and fan favourites expanded and built upon. Makes the fanboy in me smile with glee.
Yet it also makes the googler in me cringe with frustration as DLC often fall under the radar within days of its announcement. We here at G.I.N have compiled as list to help you weed through some of the upcoming downloadable goodies :
Update: The links have been removed by Microsoft.
Someone screwed up big time over at Microsoft. All 9 Gamestop exclusive Mass Effect 2 Dlc is up for FREE on the official Marketplace website. Who knows how long this will last. Better hurry!
Edit: The downloads no longer work.
Naughty Dog has announced some DLC for Uncharted 2, one of our GOTY nominees. The DLC will include some new character models such as: Sev and a Hellghast soldier from Killzone 2, Nathan Hale and a Chimera from Resistance 2, and Cole (good and evil) and Zeke from inFAMOUS. Expect it Thursday, January 28th for $4.99 in the U.S.