PETER HOSKIN: Everything old is new again, with these tasty supplements for the gamers in your life

PETER HOSKIN: Everything old is new again, with these delicious supplements for the gamers in your life

I wish I could say that DLC means something charming and festive, like ‘Doggies Love Christmas’, but it doesn’t. Actually, it stands for the distinctly charmless and unfestive phrase “downloadable content.”

That’s also what it is: content that people can download to complement the games they already own. And that means it has potential as a last-minute Christmas gift: buy some DLC for that major player in your life, plug it in digitally this weekend, and pretend you knew what you were doing all along.

But beware. DLC can be terrible or wonderful. At worst, it’s a horrible cash grab, designed to make people part with handfuls of money for silly things, like shiny new costumes for themselves in the game, that might have been included in the game in the first place. place.

At its best, it can revive a game you might have otherwise moved on from, with new levels, characters, and game modes. Sometimes it’s even free.

Holiday Express: Runaway Elf

Holiday Express: Runaway Elf

Recently, I’ve been going back to some of the best games of the year and enjoying them again with DLC. No egregious cash grabs here, thankfully.

Starting with the Holiday Express: Runaway Elf DLC (£7.99) for Train Sim World 3. It’s absolutely in season for this one, as instead of having to navigate signs between Rotherham and London, it puts you on a toy express train in the floor of a cozy Chistmassy room, redistributing the gifts that a dastardly elf has scattered. tremendous fun.

Then back to the cartoony, compulsive skateboarding of OlliOlli World and its Finding the Flowzone DLC (£7.99). This adds to the base game in a very literal sense, with more stages for those who master what was already there.

The settings themselves are full of inventions, but even better, they allow for dazzling new ways to play.

Meanwhile, the Space Academy DLC (£8.99) for Two Point Campus is incredibly generous. It has everything the original game had: humor, wonderful animations, university constructions, but this time, it’s in space. I loved raising a generation of hapless would-be Captain Kirks.

Find the flow zone

Find the flow zone

Most impressive of all, though, is the Immortal Empires update to the Total War: Warhammer trilogy, which is free for those who own all three games in the series.

This isn’t so much DLC as it is a massive all-new game that unites the campaigns of the individual titles into one titanic fantasy epic. God, the ambition! But also: OMG, the achievement! Strategy games have rarely been this good.

So DLC can be great. But it can also be stupid, or rather, I can be. I parted with some good money (er, £16.99) just so I could zoom in like Top Gun’s Maverick, with Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone pumping in the background, in Ace Combat 7. And yet, presumably like all those people. who pay for shiny new costumes, I regret nothing.