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How NOT to do DLC

Brad Gallaway's picture

Recently I wrote about Overlord for the Xbox 360 getting a new downloadable expansion for the singleplayer campaign called Raising Hell.

I didn’t think the game itself was any great shakes, but it was basically all right.

My wife enjoyed it quite a bit though, so I figured investing a few bucks and seeing what else the developers had to offer would be a good idea, especially since I’m pretty interested in downloadable content (DLC) enhancing games that would otherwise sit on a shelf and gather dust.

After giving Microsoft my money and downloading the file to my 360, I inserted the Overlord disk and went through the motions. Update, activate new content, yadda yadda yadda.

I started the game just to make sure that things were going to run fine and I was greeted by one of the main characters telling me to go investigate some resurgence of evil in the first level.

Everything good so far, I attempted to leave the main castle where the game usually boots up, I found that I could not exit.

I looked around the immediate rooms and saw nothing out of the ordinary and no information in any of the menus telling me what to do. I wandered around for a few moments before realizing that I was completely stuck.

Taking it to be a glitch, I restarted the console and went to the same steps only to arrive at the same problem—I had absolutely no idea how to access the new content I had just paid for, and to top it off, it seemed as though I was absolutely stuck unless I restarted and deactivated the download.

I could find no information on the developer’s website and I wasn’t going to register just to poke around in a futile attempt for a piece of relevant information that probably wasn’t there among the ads for their software and various other bits of info-clutter.

Skipping over to GameFAQs, some clever person had posted a thread about how to actually use the new DLC and scanning further on, I saw more than a handful of threads asking the very same question. I clearly wasn’t the only person who was confused about what exactly was going on with this.

It turns out that for some reason after installing the DLC, the game does not recognize whether the final boss has already been defeated, and requires the player to go back and re-defeat him before gaining access to the material that’s already been paid for.

This might not have been a big deal except for two things:

1> Fighting the boss is a pain in the ass, and if I’ve already earned the achievements for beating the game and watched the credits roll, it shouldn’t be a difficult thing to detect whether or not I’ve already done so.

2> If the developers knew that re-defeating a boss that I didn’t even know was made active again was going to be required to actually use the new content they sold me, why the hell didn’t they bother to tell me how to get to the new bits in the first place?



Codemasters, if you’re reading this… you cocked your DLC up, royally. I shouldn’t have to repeat parts of the game I’ve already finished to get to something I’ve just paid for. Furthermore, I shouldn’t have to go to GameFAQs to actually figure out how the content works or where it went when I downloaded it.

Get it straight, people. This isn’t rocket science. If you're going to sell me a product, I expect that it will come with the necessary instructions on its use, at the very least. What you did with this Overlord DLC was exactly the wrong way to do it, and you’ve turned what should have been a quick and enjoyable fee-for-goods exchange into a headache and an annoyance.

Good show.

Read more at Drinking Coffeecola blog.

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