Halo Wars is the first spin-off title in the Halo series. It replaces the first-person shooting gameplay of the mainline titles for real-time strategy. Halo Wars scored solidly with critics and sold incredibly sell due to the Halo brand strength.
Microsoft released their first premium DLC (short for downloadable content) for Halo Wars on May 19. The Halo Wars: Strategic Options Add-on Pack got immediate backlash, however. Here are a few reasons why many fans of the Xbox 360 title were disappointed with the DLC.
No New Content
The Halo Wars: Strategic Options Add-on Pack has no new units or maps added. For 800 Microsoft Points (the equivalent of $9.99), you will only get three game modes: Keepaway, Reinforcements and Tug of War. These new game types are common in the real-time strategy genre and should be included in the game in the first place. It doesn’t make any sense to charge for game modes.
Another big problem with the Halo Wars: Strategic Options Add-on Pack, as well as other multiplayer DLCs, is that it segments the online community. The new modes can only be played by Xbox 360 gamers who bought the DLC. Therefore, finding matches based on the Halo Wars: Strategic Options Add-on Pack DLC can be quite a problem. To further compound the problem, most the new modes require more than two players and thus making it harder to start a DLC match.
Small File Size
The file size for the Halo Wars: Strategic Options Add-on Pack is only 2 MB big. This caused some suspicion, especially with the steep price tag. The DLC is either already on the disc or in a patch. Basically, the file may be nothing more than a key to unlock content that is already in the game. Whatever the reason may be, the bottom line is that you are paying a hefty sum for so little content.
The complaints regarding Halo Wars: Strategic Options Add-on Pack would have lessened dramatically if Microsoft decided to price the DLC at the more affordable 400 Microsoft Points price point or even released it for free. Modes should come with the initial purchase, even if it is added in later as DLC. Having to pay additional costs is an insult for consumers who thought they were getting a full product when they bought the game initially.
The Halo Wars: Strategic Options Add-on Pack is just the latest controversy concerning the overpricing nature the Xbox Live Marketplace for the Xbox 360. Microsoft should start listening to their users before it is too late.