Game add-ons we wouldn't mind paying for, but are totally free

Game add-ons we wouldn't mind paying for, particularly when done right.

After a hectic, roller-coaster thrill ride, Steam finally gave paid mods the axe. There’s been a lot of controversial talk over whether or not Steam made the right choice - and while most can agree that the time may not be right for paid mods, there are at least a few add-ons that could be seen as a pretty incredible value for the entertainment they provide.

Whether it’s overhauls to game content or a feature that makes a game experience that much better, mods and add-ons can become invaluable to our enjoyment of a game.  So in the wake of all this confusion, here’s a short list of a few things that really wouldn’t be too bad to pay for, particularly when done right.

Graphical Overhauls

Sometimes it’s nice to go back to a classic title, but the sight of low-rez polygons makes it hard to really get into the action.  The Grand Theft Auto series gets notable mention for its small legion of fans dedicated to making the PC experience stay as fresh as possible over the years.

To this day, GTA IV has a dedicated fanbase still tweaking what’s under the hood - and to be honest, that’s something worth paying for.  If you need another example, just look no further than Half-Life’s Black Mesa, which gives the original classic a ridiculously impressive overhaul.

Going back to an older game with a fresh coat of paint is offensive at a full retail price, but who wouldn’t pay $10-$15 to give an old favorite a new start?

Content Overhauls

Day Z, DOTA, and Killing Floor are just a few examples of mods that have taken game engines to an entirely new level.  These alterations have elevated themselves to be entirely new titles, but content overhauls don’t need to come in such a massive game-changing format.

New quests, NPCs, weapons, and items are the core content additions for games like Skyrim and Minecraft, and countless other titles have seen alterations to gameplay that change everything from the tone to difficulty. The value of these changes? That’s a question better answered on a case-by-case basis, but we certainly owe the modders that go above and beyond the call of duty quite a bit of our time and maybe even a few dollars.

Added Multiplayer

Most single-player games are designed with a specific vision in mind.  A world where players can build relationships or crush them, molded by their individual actions. Oftentimes, that vision doesn’t include a world where players work together to cause as much unmitigated chaos as possible - which is why modders exist.

A successful example of this is Just Cause 2, an already insane third-person shooter that becomes pure anarchy when another player is tossed into the mix. Sure, if you purchased Just Cause 2 you may not be the kind of player that wanted shoot other players with grappling hooks in a 1000 man free-for-all. But you have to appreciate the scale of such a vision, and for those of you who do, why not support it?

Reliable, Integrated Voice Chat

If you’re already paying for a VOIP service, then this point may not come across quite as strongly, but in multiplayer gaming communication is king.  Not only that, but in recent years VOIP services have become a little more complex and involved in the gaming process than they used to be.  Having the ability to move from game to game and automatically communicate with its players would be a godsend in a lot of ways, and that’s just not something that's universally supported right now.

There are alternatives, of course.  Due to services like Curse being tied into most major multiplayer games, Curse Voice slaps on a high-quality band-aid for anyone looking to get a similar experience in games like LoL - but since everyone needs to have Curse Voice in order for this to work, it’s really an imperfect situation.  

Either way, more developer support on connecting players is welcome. It would be great to see a dev diary where the team rattles on about more integrated voice support rather than hear about DLC that’s to come for a full retail game we’ve already paid for.

What add-on or modding features would you be willing to pay for? Would you be willing to pay for any at all? Let me know in the comments!

Published Sep. 19th 2015
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