There was a time, not so very long ago, when video games actually arrived fully-formed on hefty cartridges (or disks). There was no prospect of releasing patches or fixes after the fact, and the released title was the final product. Because it had to be.
Today, the industry is rather different. It’s rare to find a AAA title that doesn’t launch with a day one patch, require bug-squashing updates or see a DLC expansion down the line. It’s certainly a positive that issues can be found and (relatively) easily fixed after the fact, but this also opens the door to microtransactions and the like.
The ease of adding content to established titles means more money-making opportunities for developers and publishers. While a lovingly crafted and substantial slice of DLC is often very eagerly received by fans of a given game, some of the sillier uses of the concept have not been.
Here are some of the most absurd things players have had to pay real money for.
10. Metro: Last Light: Ranger Mode - A Difficulty Setting As Paid DLC
Light is an experience quite unlike any other. While gritty and gory FPS games
aren’t exactly thin on the ground, this 2013 sequel to Metro 2033 expanded on the
original’s success and dialled up its oppressive atmosphere even further still.
The Metro titles balance visceral shooting action with tense survival horror elements, and an extra mode is available in the second game to emphasize this to the fullest: Ranger Mode, in which the focus in on realism. In hardcore Ranger Mode, no HUD of any sort is available, the player is restricted with the amount of weapons they can carry, and a single hit will kill both the protagonist and his enemies.
This is an excellent addition, of course; the ultimate challenge for experts who want to truly test themselves. The only issue is, Ranger Mode released as a paid DLC, costing £3.99.