This is, I submit, what downloadable content (DLC) should be all about:
Being an Ultima fan, I’ve always measured add-on content — DLC included — against the metric established by the two expansions to the Ultima 7 games: Forge of Virtue and The Silver Seed. And really, the standard set by either expansion really is the one that I think most would agree that modern DLC should adhere to: you get new locales, new missions, new items, new characters, and a substantial amount of additional gameplay time relative to the length of the original game’s narrative.
Giving Thane Krios sunglasses? That’s not really worthwhile, as DLC goes. And to be equally fair, none of the DLC that has been pushed out for Mass Effect 2 thus far has really hit the mark for me. Neither of the two new characters, nor the Project Firewalkerexpansion pack, seemed to measure up, and I’ve yet to play Overlord. (Bring Down the Sky, for the original Mass Effect, came closest.)
But Lair of the Shadow Broker looks like it might just meet the standards, which would be a good thing and a fine bar for BioWare to set as far as DLC is concerned. I’ve no problem, at the level of principle, with the idea of downloadable add-on content for games; the Internet is today’s means of transmitting content that would, in a previous generation, have shipped out on 3.5″ diskettes. It’s really just a question of the quality of the content getting pushed. Thus far, it hasn’t seemed to measure up…but that might be about to change.