BATTLEFIELD 1 released its first DLC expansion today (Tuesday), introducing the French army into the fight along with four brand new maps, a game mode called Frontlines and numerous extra weapons and vehicles. EA’s First World War shooter has got a lot right since its release last October – but its attitude towards extra content is firmly rooted in the past. To play the maps from today, you will need to have bought the £39.99 season pass – covering all four future DLC releases.
This first expansion, called They Shall Not Pass, will be up for sale individually to non-season pass holders in two week’s time. Now, I have splashed out on the game as I have already put hundreds of hours in and know I’ll get my money’s worth. But some of my friends will wait two weeks to buy it individually, while others won’t spend any extra cash on a game they have already forked out £50 for.
Ultimately, this means the Battlefield 1 community becomes divided, with some players having access to new maps and others stuck on the old ones. There’s no fun storming the German trenches if my friends can’t come with me. The same situation happened with Battlefield 4, with DLC packs becoming a wasteland after the next one’s release. Other first-person shooters – such as Halo 5, Titanfall 2, Overwatch and Rainbow Six; Siege – have come up with ways of making money by selling cosmetic in-game items while keeping maps and game-modes free.
Shooters live and die on the strength of their online communities and keeping maps free seems the best way to ensure a game stays popular and accessible. Battlefield and Call of Duty are the behemoths of the genre and firmly sticking to their DLC model for now.
Hopefully they are fighting a losing battle.
BRITISH video games journalist Jim Sterling was the victim of fan-boy rage this week after having the audacity to only give The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a score of 7.
This review score saw the Nintendo Switch launch game drop from a 98 average on the review aggregate site Metacritic to a paltry 97.
As a result, his website – thejimquisition.com – was taken offline by hackers and his Twitter feed was bombarded with abuse by Zelda zealots. Tribalism in the world of games has always been a thing, since the days of kids arguing over the merits of the ZX Spectrum versus the Commodore 64. Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario had a rivalry to match The Blur and Oasis scraps of the 90’s. But once you have left primary school, being defensive – or in the case of some Zelda fans – aggressive about what you perceive as a slight on your favourite game is a little ridiculous. Many people, me included, would disagree with Jim Sterling’s Zelda review. But he backed up his score with reasoning and logic.
Other people’s opinions shouldn’t affect anyone’s enjoyment of a game. The fact it has on this occasion suggests some people need to become a little less fanatical about the games they love.
I SOLD my PS Vita last week, to offset the cost of my new Nintendo Switch.
The Sony handheld was released in 2011 with the promise of blockbuster gaming on the go. But after a few big-money releases such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Killzone: Mercenary, the Vita became a home for smaller, indie releases and quirky Japanese games in its later days. The Vita never quite took off – but the thought of a new machine with the power of the PS4 that you can carry in your pocket remains appealing.
I’m sure Sony is watching to see how the Switch sells before considering a return to the handheld market