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). 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?


Comments

    You would get more use out of a map pack though.
    Singleplayer DLC you would play once and that's it.
    If you bought a map pack it's cause you play MP often and will likely use those maps many many times.

    Something like expanding firefight in halo would be good. It's MP but not competitive MP.

    Rather than focusing on DLC how about they make games which last longer than 5hrs on a single play-through. The latest victim of these ridiculously short games is Homefront. I don't care if they have dinosaurs shooting Nazis in multiplayers but that doesn't justify the full price for a 5hr game. If they're gonna go El Cheapo on Singleplayer they should charge a much lower price methinks. Like with back to the future.

    This is merely my opinion however..

    I've always bought single player DLC: GTA IV episodes, undead redemption, mass effect, oblivion.

    Only multi DLC I ever bought was BFBC2: Vietnam, which I think is the exception to the rule that multiplayer DLC is bad value.

    As I said in a comment the other day about Homefront, I think they need to start thinking about episodic content for story driven FPS games, I think that has real potential if they do the price right.

    Then again once games go fully digital I'd happily pay for games with multiplayer pulled out since I'm a dedicated single player gamer (or antisocial friendless loser, either describes me well)

      I'll be your friend
      now you have one

    Agree with Luke 95%. Except Assassins Creed II SP DLC which did feel cut from the main game from the start.

    As primarily a SP gamer I love what Bioware has done with Mass Effect 2 post release, Dragon Age Origins not so much, it's been hit and miss in terms of content quality.

    I think some developers and publishers need to remember an idea called an 'expansion pack' and I think this would be more suitable for the SP audience who want to sit back and play a new decent length adventure. Rockstar sort of remembered this with Lost and the Damned and Gay Tony. Maybe LA Noire will carry this tradition on adding new cases every few months.

    As for a FPS like Call of Duty or Halo getting SP focused DLC, not likely with everyone's focus being on MP even though the majority of titles really can't compete with a handful of games that suck up the audience for these types of shooters. Though I would definately welcome it. I think the return of a SP focused FPS would have to come first before SP FPS DLC. Half-Life 3 anyone?

    I understand the reasons behind DLC but I can't help but feel a bit ripped off every time I pay for one. Not that I do it often, but for things like Halo3 (where it became compulsory to own)or Bad Company 2 (where nobody even played Onslaught after I bought it) I feel like maybe they should just give it to you for free because it should've been part of the game to begin with.
    Paying for DLC as a whole is not something I appreciate. Most of the time it's easy to see how it could've been part of the retail game in eras past and I don't think we should be getting charged for this crap.

    I agree SP content needs more attention. Many games have done this quite successfully, so it's definitely possible.

    Call me antisocial, but I use multiplayer less and less these days. Online idiots and the go-fast mass produced feel of a lot of online games often leaves me feeling cold.

    The other two things that kill DLC is day one content (come on guys, seriously, charging us for a 100KB activation code, effectively - for content that in most cases is in the game already) is just plain insulting.

    Pricing. Example : I was looking forward to MvC3 character DLC for Jill Valentine and Shuma Gorath. I looked the other day on PSN and saw they'd been released, and I was excited. Then I saw the price tag. $8.45. EACH. They want me to pay $17 for two characters. For a game I spent $90 on a month ago. Sorry Capcom, I'll pass.

    Unfortunately, these sorts of DLCs are becoming very widely accepted. Many of the comments already posted support this. I myself agree with what Luke has said for the most part. I haven't bought a map pack ever and nor do I plan to.

    "Mass Effect"

    Enjoy ;)

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