In this day and age expansions are way more than just a few bells and whistles, and these are the top five expansions that really added some meat to their respective games.
5. Splatoon 2 - Octo Expansion / Nintendo EPD
It must be said that Nintendo doesn't tend to follow the examples of others, and their DLCs and expansions are no exception. Instead of releasing them soon after the main game, we're often made to wait a while, but it's often worth it.
This summer saw the launch of the Octo Expansion for Splatoon 2 nearly a year after the main game launched on Nintendo Switch. It added a new single-player campaign where you played as an Octoling providing players with new mechanics and lots of levels to conquer, and this was way more substantial than the existent offering that the original provided. It gave meaningful content to explore for those playing solo, and a lot more challenge as well, all of which was packed with flavour and variety.
4. Total War: Warhammer II - Multiple / Creative Assembly
The Creative Assembly has unleashed two excellent expansions for Total War: Warhammer II this year in shape of Rise of the Tomb Kings (January) and Curse of the Vampire Coast (November) and we thought we'd bunch them together as one entry as they both add meaningful high-quality content to what's already a very accomplished game.
Adding various new features and systems on top what's already there, a new race in Tomb Kings, and four Vampire lords in Vampire Coast, what's great is that not only do they provide new content, but they also update and make the main game more interesting - just how we like our expansions. The mechanics they introduce also change the way we play and understand the battlefield, for an added burst of freshness.
3. Prey Mooncrash / Arkane Studios
Announced with an excellent trailer at E3 accompanied by Dead or Alive's 'You Spin Me Round', Prey's DLC Mooncrash offers something quite rare in the world of AAA video games as it's a bit of a remix, a Roguelike remix, if you will, of many of the ingredients that went into the main game. While Prey wasn't a big hit commercially it is encouraging to see Bethesda and Arkane taking the time and effort to create a truly meaningful expansion.
What does it mean in terms of the gameplay then? Well, players take on the Typhon and try to piece together what happened from the perspective of a contractor experiencing simulations of the events. It's a neat set up for the fact that there's a procedural twist to the level as enemy placement and loot changes between runs. In many ways, Mooncrash is a full game experience in its own right and it offers plenty of new content, but most of all it provides a great challenge and an opportunity to test your skills if you've mastered the main game.