Wednesday, August 5, 2009

L4D DLC Announced; or, Hey Valve! 'Sup wit you these days?

The other possible title for this post was "God DAMMIT, PC Users!"

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.


Kara said...

It is what it is and there's honestly nothing that can be done about it so I really see no need for anyone to complain.

This has always been the case in the PC vs. console battle. Due to the fact that all it takes is a computer and the internet, the options are endless for multiplayer games if you are using a PC. With a console, all that software must go through Microsoft because it's the ones that created the console. The glory of a PC is the fact that it consist of a multitude of components from a multitude of's sort of a patch work system in comparison to a console which is created by one company and therefore all content must go through said company.

Honestly, I see this as pointless and worthless complaining (not specifically by you, but by the console community in general). If people have such an issue with it, then I highly suggest they get the PC version of the game (which in cheaper, btw) and reap the benefits. Nothing is stopping anybody from doing that. The option is there and it's not like L4D is so graphic intensive that it would take a massive computer to play it.

These are the benefits of being a PC gamer and these will always be the benefits of being a PC gamer. The community has the ability to create their own content due to the internet and ones ability to do whatever they want on it. A console just doesn't have these advantages and that is probably the single biggest disadvantage to being a console gamer.

Kara said...

Also, this has absolutely nothing to do with Valve and is solely an issue with Microsoft...unless, of course you want to blame Valve for making any sort of promises...but in my opinion, this is Valve who consistently makes quality games and does their very best to give the community and gamers what they want. They got Microsoft to make the first DLC pack free, which is saying a lot.

Honestly, people should just be happy with what they get given the circumstances. I'm really tired of hearing people whine about such trivial things.

Matt said...

You say all that as if it's the easiest thing in the world to just go out and buy a computer for the purpose of playing one videogame. Just because something "is what it is" doesn't make it fair, and it doesn't mean we have to just sit by and accept it.

Kara said...

Do you know what's unfair? The fact that consoles get exclusive games. It's unfair that popular games get released for the PC 6 months after they get released for consoles. It's unfair that the PC gaming community gets snubbed a good portion of the time when it comes to video games because it's the less popular method. I can built a PC that can play decent games for $500. It's not as expensive as it used it be.

It is the way it is and it's not going to change because the PC utilized the internet. It goes through a multitude of different companies. It's not using a system that is solely in the hands of one company. If there was a mod community for the 360, I guarantee that Microsoft would charge for it. There are advantages and disadvantages to being a PC gamer and this is one of the advantages. It's stupid to complain about something that can't be changed.

So many gamers feel that they are so entitled to things like free content when 80% of the video game industry does not give it out. People should be happy and pleased that Valve magically got Microsoft to hand out their first DLC for free. Valve doesn't have to deal with anyone but themselves to get DLC out for the PC. They have to deal with Microsoft when releasing games for the 360. Microsoft wants the $$$. That is the issue and those are the reasons the PC gets free DLC and a large modding community. It has nothing to do with Valve and it doesn't even really have anything to do with Microsoft other then the cost aspect. You just don't have the open ended world available to you on a console as you do on a PC due to the access to the internet. Any average joe can create a map pack for L4D, TF2, or whatever and post it on the internet for all the world to enjoy.

Kara said...

The PC community has constantly gotten snubbed again and again, so it's difficult for me to feel truly sympathetic to console gamers on this issue because for once the PC has an advantage over a console.