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). 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 $US5-$US10 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?