DLC (AKA “downloadable content”) has been both a boon and a curse to modern gaming. Done well it can extend the life of a beloved game with new content. Done poorly it divides up an online player base into “have” and “have not” groups that can’t play with each other. In perhaps its worst possible expression, it becomes a cash grab where content that’s already on the disc requires a DLC purchase to be accessed. I’m no DLC hater, I *wish* new DLC were coming out for my favourite game (“Halo Wars”, in case anyone’s wondering), but it’s nonetheless the DLC sceptics that today’s review is geared towards: “DLC Quest”. Well, it’s also for fans of satire because the game is absolutely dripping in it (and it’s this latter element that drew me in).
Firstly, the game costs 80 Microsoft Points and there are no actual DLC purchases required within the game. It’s all virtual in-game money, spending coins you collect as you play. You start the game with the absolute minimum in content. Even the ability to move to the left requires an advanced “next-gen movement” pack. Ditto with double-jumping. You can’t even pause the game until you purchase the ability to do so.
The game has you exploring, earning achievements, and buying everything from vanity outfits to the inevitable horse armour (a reference to the infamous horse armour DLC pack for Bethesda’s “The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion”, often referred to as poorly thought out and priced DLC; it even costs 240 coins just as the actual horse armour cost 240 Microsoft Points).
The game comes from Going Loud Studios, which previously brought us “Lair of the Evildoer” (which I reviewed on the one year anniversary of Mass Deduction) and “Zombie Accountant” (which I have yet to review). “DLC Quest”‘s not especially long or especially hard, you’re really here for the humour and the satire. If that doesn’t appeal to you then you might not find it worth its meagre price of admission, but if that appeals to you at all then I suggest you embrace it with open arms as I did.
Here’s what the developer (“Going Loud Studios”) has to say about the game:
“What happens when DLC goes too far? Defeat the bad guy, save the world and get the girl! But first you’ll need to find coins to buy DLC to enable animation, sound and even pausing.”