By Adrenaline 1 Comments
We ain't gonna stop this DLC thing.
Assassin's Creed 2: Battle of Forli - Assassin's Creed 2 was a lot of fun, so I was excited when I heard they were extending its life with a couple of cheap add-ons. They were made up of content that had to be cut from the original release for time, but I was still interested in seeing those gaps get filled in. Unfortunately, both packs had a few issues that made me see why they might not have charged a ton for them. Battle of Forli adds a repeatable mission that lets you play with Da Vinci's flying machine if you want some more of that, and a little more of the story in Forli, a city that you passed through in the regular game but didn't spend much time in. I liked seeing some new details of what happened during that missing period, but ultimately the missions themselves weren't that fun. A couple were fine, but too many eschewed the normal stealthy, acrobatic gameplay for awkward, uninteresting battles between groups of soldiers. It's not that mixing it up is bad, but the game just isn't made to handle it well, and the chapter seemed pretty anticlimactic in general.
Assassin's Creed 2: Bonfire of the Vanities - Vanities cost a bit more and I was hopeful about it, since it unlocks an entire section of Florence that was missing. And it started off fine, giving you a bunch of small assassinations to take care of. Unfortunately, some of them are designed to be arbitrarily difficult with no justification for the ridiculous conditions they set, creating an uneven, sometimes frustrating experience. Most of the problems come from a few missions deciding that you can't be spotted by any guards before intercepting your target, which would be fine if there was any reason for it and if you didn't have to run away from all of the now fully aware guards in the area once you pull it off. It would also help if it was just a bit clearer about what did and what didn't get you seen. There was a more expensive version that also unlocked a few tombs that were exclusive to a special edition of the game, and they were pretty fun, though maybe not worth the five bucks. I don't really regret playing these, although they really didn't add much to the game in the end.
Heavy Rain: The Taxidermist - I don't think this is publicly available yet, but if you preordered the game like me you got a free download code for it. It's pretty much Heavy Rain in a nutshell. You're investigating a possible killer's house, and after a certain amount of time investigating the guy's extremely creepy house he shows up unexpectedly and you have to try to escape. There's a lot of different ways you can go about it, and at least five different ways it can end, some good and some bad. It's completely inessential to the main game's story, but if you had fun with it and want another little piece with the same strong presentation and tense gameplay, it's certainly worth checking out.
LittleBigPlanet: Pirates of the Caribbean Level Kit - I was lucky enough to play this for free thanks to a code from a friend. It's similar to the Metal Gear Solid pack, adding some new gameplay mechanics, pieces to make stuff with, and a set of five levels themed after something famous. I think they only cover the first two movies, which happen to be the ones I've seen, having you escape from some pirates, find a ship, and take on the Kraken. The water system certainly adds more to the game than the paint gun, and the levels are full of the stuff, letting you swim around and solve some new puzzles with some things that float and some things that don't. I'm not sure how I feel about all these premium level packs relying on other properties to sell themselves, but I can't say they aren't fun ways to extend the game's life and inspire players to create more interesting levels. Really, they could keep doing this instead of of releasing a sequel and I'd be fine with it.