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PaigeFTW: The Shelf Life of DLC

In this age of day-one patches and data installations, there’s no such thing as just “starting” a new game. I had the idea that I would finally get around to Rise of the Tomb Raider — at least until a 2 GB patch persuaded me otherwise.

So in the interim, I resolved to clear some space on my PS4’s hard drive by finally getting through the big Assassin’s Creed Syndicate DLC, Jack the Ripper.

It is here in my writing that I pause. This DLC came out a full two years ago. Does anyone care? Is anyone really still out there set on experiencing everything Syndicate has to offer when Origins is on the cusp of release?

By nature, DLC is ephemeral. The windows of its viability are rigid: six months within the original title’s release date. Interest tapers quickly in the gaming world — consumers move on rapidly and cannot be counted on to return to long-abandoned titles and buy DLC unless it is discounted or packaged in a “Game of the Year”-type option.

It doesn’t help that for every Blood & Wine (The Witcher 3’s magnificent final expansion) you have about 10 … well, Jack the Rippers: uninspired, dull dreck that capitalizes on an already built system with as little investment of creativity as possible.

So here I tell you, just in case you wanted to be the one man in a hundred who defies the norm: don’t do it.

The plot is ostensibly that the legendary serial killer was a rogue Assassin out for vengeance against the Brotherhood, and you (as Evie Frye) have to bring him down, 20 or so years after the events of Syndicate.

So right there, we have a waste of history — what a generic plot to shove all these characters into. A few new gameplay mechanics merely add more machinations to an already overstuffed UI, and new side quests pad the running time without much meaningful gameplay.

The moral of the story: Don’t buy the season pass before the reviews come out.