Mar 1, 2012

Mass Effect 3: From Ashes DLC Pre-Launch Thoughts

There has been quite an uprising from gamers about the first piece of DLC from Mass Effect 3. The DLC is titled From Ashes and contains a Prothean character with it as well. It is included in the Collector's Edition of the game but not other copies of the game. Some people say that BioWare is taking from them content they rightfully deserve as consumers. DLC is a great way for a company to make profit and maintain profit for a long amount of time, instead of companies like GameStop getting a ton of profit for selling the exact same game (literally, same exact disc) over and over and over.

I bought the Collector's Edition, so I am getting the DLC included with my game. I have been waiting for this game for a long time, so getting the Collector's Edition was a no brainer. The DLC wasn't announced, it was leaked, so that sucks, but it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. DLC comes out for every single game under the sun now.

The fact that there is a Prothean squad member doesn't surprise me. Legion was a Geth, who was an enemy in Mass Effect 1. The Collector's were the enemies in Mass Effect 2, and in Mass Effect 2 you find out that the Collector's are actually built from Prothean DNA, so they are pretty much Prothean's. Based on a Geth becoming a party member in ME2, having a Prothean party member in ME3 isn't that shocking. Everyone says "This is going to suck because it is a huge plot point!", but unless they have actually played it you have no way to solidify that theory. What if the character is only around for that one mission. Or if it is a flashback mission where you play as a Prothean for the single mission, perhaps uploading to the spire Shepard activates at the beginning of Mass Effect 1? Mass Effect 2 had DLC that allowed you to add Liara to your party for just one mission. The simple truth is we don't know what this DLC is, we are just freaking out about it because it isn't on the disc like 'it should be'.

A lot of games do Day 1 DLC now because it is the world we live in. Car packs, weapon packs, etc. etc. The beauty of DLC is that it is OPTIONAL. No one is forcing people to buy it. "But I want the complete experience!!!" the consumer yells. Well, that requires you to buy the DLC. "But I want the complete experience without paying for it!" Well, that still requires you to buy the DLC. "But I don't want to pay $70 for a $60 game!" You aren't, you are paying $70 for a $60 game. You are paying $60 and then $10 for optional content. DLC is a norm in the industry now. DLC is built into production schedules. DLC is planned out years in advanced. It isn't like the game ships and then all the developers go "Hmmm what kind of DLC do we want to make now?". Why would developers waste their time waiting for the full product to ship before they started working on DLC? Why not get a head start on it? Is it wrong that I am already working on my final project for my history class because I haven't taken my midterm yet? It is called being productive and planning ahead. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it and I don't see people bitching about it in any other context outside from video game DLC.

Unless BioWare comes out and shows exact production schedule we are all just getting pissed for no reason. I don't see them doing that. I for one look forward to playing Mass Effect 3, regardless of this DLC debacle.