by Joseph Leray
As expected, the first bit of post-campaign downloadable content for "Metro: Last Light," 4A Games' oppressive, first-person necky-stabby-sneaky-shooter, is live. This is, naturally, good or bad news depending on your affinity for "Metro"'s towering, disgusting Librarian enemies.
As its name suggests, the "Faction" pack lets players control members of "Metro"'s various rival gangs, from Polis Rangers to Redline snipers to Reich stormtroopers. If you listen closely, you'll hear that the Ranger need to explore a topside library (read: irradiated by nuclear fallout and lousy with mutant horrors) while the Redline and Reich duke it out over a key outpost.
On the one hand, I like the idea of DLC and expands our understanding of the people and politics of the titular Metro (and to revisit some areas from "Metro 2033'), but I just don't know how I comfortable I'll be stepping into the jackboot of the Reich. Creepy phrenology not withstanding, the very first thing Artyom sees in "Last Light" is the inside of a Reich prison. Given that Pavel is a great sidekick, though, I'll be more than happy to suit up as a Redline Communist for a mission or two.
I'm seeing more and more trailers being released by developers and publishers for DLC packages, which strikes me as a relatively new thing. This tells me that DLC is becoming a more important source of revenue for publishers -- trailers are designed to make people buy stuff, after all. Hopefully, it also heralds an era of better, more vibrant, and more vital DLC.
The "Minerva's Den" add-on for "BioShock 2" might be the first DLC I remember being widely praised, and games like "Dishonored," "Mass Effect 2," "Dragon Age: Origins," and "Borderlands 2" have released meaty, significant -- though not always worthwhile -- DLC with regularity. Here's hoping the days of no-count cosmetic changes and arbitrarily hidden levels are over.
But, back to the task at hand: the "Factions" pack for "Metro: Last Light" is currently available on Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and Steam, with three more DLC add-ons to follow later this summer.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter