By now you've certainly heard the good news. Valve has announced some brand new DLC for Left 4 Dead! Remember when we all thought Left 4 Dead would be neglected now that they're working heavily on Left 4 Dead 2 with plans to release it within a years time of the original? We were clearly wrong! Hahaha, silly us! Check out the press release:
Entitled "Crash Course," the latest DLC delivers new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay to both platforms. Targeted for release in September, "Crash Course" bridges the gap between the end of the "No Mercy" campaign and the beginning of "Death Toll" in the original game, expanding the game universe with new locations, new dialogue from the original cast, and an explosive finale
While containing both Survival maps and a Co-operative Campaign, the primary goal of "Crash" is to deliver a complete Versus mode experience in just 30 minutes, resulting in a streamlined version of the game's existing Versus campaigns. A recharge timer for infected teammates has also been added, and item spawn behavior has changed for more balanced gameplay.
That sounds good to me. You can be sure that I'll be downloading this for free, just like the Survival Mode and 2 new Versus modes they gave us a while ago.
Wait. Hold on. I didn't finish reading the press release:
Left 4 Dead: Crash Course is targeted for release in September and will be available free of charge on the PC and for 560 Gamer points on Xbox Live.
Alright, let's cut to the chase: I'm the resident cynic and I realize this. I'm the one that points out the flaws over everything else. But let's be real here for a minute. The reason people love Valve is because they are constantly giving back to the fans that support all their crazy schemes. Since the release of the Orange Box, they've improved Team Fortress 2 ten-fold with new weapons, additions to characters, map updates, new achievements, and all of it has been free. All of it has only been on the PC as well. The 360 gamer sees nothing of this, and it looks like we never will (despite my reporting on it a while ago). Then, Valve decides to rush out Left 4 Dead 2 because it's "too big for DLC." That may be so, but it's still a slap in the face to those of us who can't pay $59.99 every time you decide to put out a new game a year (I'm looking at you, every sports game ever). And now, after giving us the Survival pack (which, all things considered, was a BIG update) for free, us folk with a 360 have to now pay for this new campaign, and the PC kids don't? How is this fair?
The answer is probably pretty simple: a while ago, Valve stated that the reason the XBOX 360 users weren't getting any TF2 updates is because Microsoft wouldn't allow them to give out such a large amount of additional content for free. Valve said, "Ok, fine, then we'll wait until we have something big to unload on the console so, if they have to pay, at least they're getting bang for their buck!" Thanks guys. It's appreciated, really. If I have to be aggressive towards someone, I at least like to know who I'm being aggressive to: Microsoft! Those cheeky devils. I would call Microsoft out on this if this weren't a system they had been doing consistently for years. Microsoft almost ALWAYS charges for it's new DLC. It doesn't matter if it's TF2, Halo Wars, Gears of War 2, you name it. You want it, you buy it. I see this as perfectly fair. And since Valve is an independent company now, they can do whatever they like when it comes to the internet. If they want to give away a Sandvich for free, they'll give that Sandvich away for less than free! So that's the logistics of it: Microsoft has rules and Valve has to comply (and I knew that without having to ask Valve for an explanation).
But is it fair? No. Not in the slightest. Look, I will still be cross at Valve for Left 4 Dead 2 because I don't see it as worth $59.99 and nothing I've read has changed my opinion on that (and I've stated my opinion as such on multiple occassions). I'll pay the $7 for a new level and other tweaked updates because I see it as worth that price, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. It is entirely unfair that one medium will get free updates and the rest of us either don't get the updates or pay for the few we do get. We don't get anything, really. As far as a community goes, the 360 is screwed. Do we get to play L4D in the Winchester? No. How about the Mall from Dawn of the Dead? If you want that, go buy Dead Rising and have someone sit next to you in order to fake a multiplayer experience. Let's face it - we're getting the raw end of the stick, and it sucks. As good as L4D is, and as fun as it is to run around and shoot zombies, the fact is we have 5 maps (soon to be 6) and all we can do is play them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and you see where I'm going with this, right? While you can't really fault Valve here (who swear they love us but can't do anything about it) or Microsoft (because it's not like this is a weird change for them and we all knew what we were getting into when we bought a 360), we still get less than half the experience that a PC user gets.
And that, my friends, is what Penn and Teller would decree as bullshit.