A little while back, when Creative Assembly announced a launch date for Total War: Warhammer, it, for want of a better word, pissed off a heck of a lot of fans with the announcement of the Chaos race being a pre-order exclusive. For Warhammer Fantasy fans, Chaos are a massive deal. It’s like making a Star Wars game and throwing in the Jedi as pre-order DLC.
Suffice to say, the outrage was real. But, the Chaos DLC isn’t going to cost anyone anything, directly at least. All you have to do is pre-order your copy of Total War: Warhammer and you’ll net access to the playable race. What that does mean, however, is laying down £50 on a totally unknown quantity, with few previews and no reviews from which to base your decision. Total War: Warhammer could be terrible, and then you find yourself down £50 because you wanted to guarantee that Chaos content.
Now I’m not saying this is anything new. This has become an epidemic which has spread across gaming. Perhaps in some cases by force, due to rising development costs, but other times through greed. The more gamers a publisher can lock down to paying full price on day one, the better. They’re not interested in people waiting for an 85% off deal on Steam.
What we have no though is crazy situations like we had with Watch Dogs, where a total of nine different versions were available to pre-order, each offering different additional content. There aren’t all that many games these days that don’t have pre-order DLC, or at least the biggest games. Fallout 4 was a bit of an anomaly on that front, but it’s a neat touch.
However the developers and publishers dress it up, you can’t shake the feeling you’re not getting the complete game. Whatever way pre-order DLC gets chopped up, you typically need to commit to a purchase while still unsure of its quality, or buy the DLC separately when it’s available further down the line.
From my experience with pre-order DLC, it’s usually the odds and ends that get slapped in, usually nothing of real quality. Take a look at any PS4-exclusive content in third-party games for example, like Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, Destiny or Watch Dogs, and it’s far worse content than the main game. That definitely looks set to change with Chaos pre-order DLC though. This looks to be a major component of Total War: Warhammer, and it’s all too easy see why fans might be riled.
Where do you stand on pre-order DLC? Is it a necessary evil? Or does it put you off picking up a game entirely? Let us know what you think!