Most of us have moved on from 2017, ready to embrace a whole new year of gaming, but January and February are traditionally quiet months. Maybe you’re chipping away on Monster Hunter World until Far Cry 5 releases, or are enjoying your time with Celeste. For anyone who isn’t interested in any of those games, why not give some of 2017’s best DLC a go? Get a little bit more out of some of your favorite experiences of the past few years, before 2018’s heavy hitters release.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Let’s start with the obvious choice. Uncharted 4 was undoubtedly one of the best games of 2016 and my personal game of year. Uncharted: Lost Legacy was originally announced as Uncharted 4 DLC, but eventually transitioned into being a fully-fledged Naughty Dog title. It doesn’t improve upon or adjust Uncharted 4’s gameplay, nor does it match the previous games scope or resonance. What do you expect with only a year or so of development and a fraction of the budget? To be frank, not much needed changing in my opinion anyway. What it does add however is a new set of protagonists. Chloe Fraser takes on the pressure of being the first Uncharted protagonist since Nathan Drake, and Nadine Ross is her partner. Lost Legacy’s story doesn’t have the same level of emotional impact as the series previous entry did, but in a mere 7 hours Lost Legacy’s leading ladies achieved an arguably better dynamic than Drake and any of his cohorts have. Which isn’t bad for a game that was once DLC.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Dishonored never really clicked for me as a series. I think it has an interesting premise, but unforgiving gameplay, hard to grasp plot lines, and almost too much freedom kept me from falling in love. Death of the outsider does away with many of the problems I had with the series. It removes the need to track down magical McGuffins in order to upgrade your powers and the consumable elixirs needed to use said powers. This gives the player much more freedom to experiment with their abilities naturally. The shorter, more focused campaign is an improvement rather than a blemish. It allows for a less convoluted and easier to digest narrative, which I enjoyed far more than those of the previous two Dishonored titles. Some might call it a lengthy expansion to Dishonored 2, while others would argue it is its own standalone experience. I fall somewhere in between these two view points and place it in the same category as Uncharted: Lost Legacy. So it makes the list, and with Dishonored 2’s poor sales numbers, it may be the closest we get to Dishonored 3.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands – Predator DLC
DLC doesn’t always have to be in the form of a sizable expansion. Sometimes it’s the small things that can make an average game great. I sunk 30 to 40 hours into Ghost Recon: Wildlands early last year. It’s a good game for sure, but repetitive missions, clunky controls and a jar head focused story stop it from being anything more. That should have been the end of it, but whether it be Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six: Siege, Ubisoft has done a marvelous job at after launch support for its titles. Speaking directly to Wildlands, numerous story and online expansions have been released. For players like myself who enjoyed the base game but felt no need to go back, Ubisoft has released a free piece of DLC called The Predator expansion. After downloading the most recent update for the game, a new mission will pop up on your map. You’ll have to hunt down the infamous 80’s icon, The Predator. It’s only a single mission, but it’s implemented perfectly. From the predators design and combat skill set, to the tell-tale environmental signs of the alien’s presence, to the soundtrack of the original Predator film overlaying the whole experience. It’s the perfect piece of content to bring lapsed players back to your game and so makes its way on to this list.
Hitman – Game of the Year Edition
It’s not uncommon to see a Game of the Year Edition 12 months or so after a games release. Developers/ Publishers sell the base game and all of its DLC content in one neat package, with the hope of reinvigorating sales and visibility around a game. Well you can’t get a better deal than Hitman: Game of the Year Edition. The base game in itself is a marvelous experience and one of my personal favorites from 2016. There are sprawling maps with environmental nuances and assassination opportunities around every corner. Hitman is arguably one of the best stealth experiences on modern consoles. The Game of the Year Edition sadly doesn’t include any new locations to explore, but it does add an entirely new campaign, two thirds the size of the base game. The Patient Zero story line adds new weapons, new targets and re-purposes each map in order to feel unique. Unlike many other Game of the Year Editions, if you already own the base game you can upgrade for only a small fee.
Horizon: Zero Dawn – The Frozen Wilds
We’ve looked at small add-ons, Game of the Year editions, and DLC turned into fully fledged standalone experiences, but let’s now look at the most common form of DLC. The Frozen Wilds is a traditional expansion to what many believe was a 2017 game of the year contender. It adds a new location connected to the base games map, a new story line and new content. Nearly 10 months after leaving Aloy behind, I headed north. I searched for the Banuk tribe and then began investigating the strange machine activity in the area. I’d leveled my character to the max, unlocked every item and explored every nook and cranny on the map, but now there were brand new enemies to challenge me, new locations to visit and weapons and armors to procure. I sunk around 35 hours into Horizon: Zero Dawn when it released, but soon after I found myself craving more of Horizon’s addictive gameplay. The Frozen Wilds, which released in November, provides exactly what players want from all DLC, more.
There you have it. Why go out and buy a new game when there is so much content being added to the games you already own and adore. Sure there were plenty of fantastic games released in 2017, but don’t forget the extra content that many developers put a lot of effort and love into.