Pre-order bonuses for video games have become commonplace. Instead of waiting to read reviews before deciding whether or not a game deserves your money, publishers and developers attempt to attract gamers by offering them pre-order exclusives - such as, new character skins, missions, and weapons. These extras are usually available to everyone as purchasable downloadable content at some point, but the objective remains: get gamers to shell out money in advance for additional content. It's not a tactic everyone agrees with - in fact, many video gamers dislike it and would much rather have that content already in the game and available to everyone - but currently, it's the status quo.
Now, the numerous pre-order bonuses and release date has been revealed for Eidos Montreal and Square Enix's Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, an action/RPG, first and third-person shooter which takes place in a cyberpunk world. Meanwhile, the special editions and release date of Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, a third-person action-adventure, has also been revealed.
For the especially passionate Uncharted fans with some extra room in their budget, there will be two limited edition versions of Nathan Drake's latest story: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Special Edition and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Libertalia Collector's Edition. Per PlayStation, Special Edition costs $79.99 (USD) and has an emphasis on revealing the game's development, provides some collectibles, and allows the player to unlock more multiplayer options. Here's the rundown:
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Blu-ray Disc
- Collectible Steelbook case designed by Alexander “That Kid Who Draws” Iaccarino
- 48-page hardcover art book by Dark Horse and Naughty Dog
- Naughty Dog & Pirate Sigil sticker sheet
- Naughty Dog Points: A pack of in-game currency to unlock various multiplayer content
The Libertalia Collector's Edition, which costs $119.99 (USD) offers everything in the Special Edition, as well as more content in the game and 12" tall Nathan Drake statue:
- A 12″ premium Nathan Drake statue by Gentle Giant
- Three multiplayer outfits: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Heist Drake, and Desert Drake outfits
- Two custom weapon skins: Golden Weapon Skin and Desert Weapon Skin
- Henry Avery Sigil ball cap
- Madagascar Sidekick outfits
There's also a Digital Deluxe Edition. That's priced at $79.99 (USD) and will be available in the PlayStation Store "later this week." The incentive here is there's more single-player and multiplayer content:
- A digital copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
- Uncharted 4 Triple Pack: Includes future access to the first-ever, single-player story add-on for the Uncharted series and two multiplayer packs that will unlock new, rare and legendary multiplayer items
- Instant unlock of two multiplayer customization items
As expected, the triple pack - which adds new gameplay and items - can be purchased separately. For those pre-ordering without shelling out more than the regular cost of the game ($59.99 USD), there will be different bonuses from different retailers:
- Pre-order at GameStop to receive the Multiplayer Booster Pack to instantly unlock a variety of one-time use multiplayer boosts, and The Phurba Dagger Taunt based on the iconic symbol from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
- Pre-order at Amazon to receive the Snow Camo weapon customization and the Desert Drake outfit multiplayer customization.
- Pre-order via PlayStation Store to receive the Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Dynamic Theme and the Desert Weapon customization.
Given the franchise's history - adventures that are widely praised for having superb storytelling, strong performances, and fun gameplay - it's safe to say Uncharted 4 is a game that, to many, will be more than worthy of a pre-order. Even if it isn't as good as the previous entries, the odds are still pretty good that it'll be an entertaining adventure - assuming you like the previous games, obviously. The Drake statue sure would look good on a desk, but dropping over $100 on a single game is a decision that many fans probably won't take lightly, even if the franchise has such a great history.
Uncharted 4's special editions aren't anything out of the ordinary, but Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is taking a completely different approach to pre-order bonuses - one which draws a strong parallel to crowdfunding campaigns. The more pre-orders Deus Ex receives, the more bonuses gamers will receive. Per PlayStation, the campaign is called "Augment Your Pre-Order" and it's broken into five tiers ( a video explaining this can be viewed above, too):
TIER 1 – ONE ITEM PER PRE-ORDER (UNLOCKED FOR EVERYONE ON AUG. 31)Choose between three Starter Packs that cater to stealth, aggressive or nostalgic players.
- Intruder Pack - Provides a custom-skinned version of Adam Jensen's trench coat and pistol with a silencer, laser sight, recoil and accuracy upgrades. Other bonuses include two EMP grenades, five packs of 10MM pistol ammo, 1000 credits and a Praxis point for early augmentations.
- Enforcer Pack - Includes a custom-skinned version of Adam Jensen's combat armor and combat rifle with a holosight, reload and capacity upgrades. Players will also receive two HE grenades, five packs of 5.56MM combat rifle ammo, 1000 credits and a Praxis Point for early augmentations
- Classic Pack - Grants access to Adam Jensen's iconic combat armor, trench coat and revolver from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Players will also receive an extra pack of revolver Ammo.
TIER 2 – ONE ITEM PER PRE-ORDERPick between one of two bonuses that further immerse players into the game world – a digital art book that shows the aesthetic of the game, or a digital OST sampler with six tracks from award winning composer Michael McCann.
TIER 3 – AVAILABLE FOR EVERYONEUnlock the “Desperate Measures” pre-order mission in which Adam returns to the epicenter of the Ruzicka Train Station explosion and must rely on his augmentations and covert operative skills to unveil the true culprit responsible for the bombing.
TIER 4 – ONE ITEM PER PRE-ORDERGet an in-depth look at the Deus Ex universe with a digital comic book that dives deeper into the game’s global conspiracies, or with a novella that follows iconic characters from Deus Ex: Human Revolution with new and unknown details on their lives.
TIER 5 – AVAILABLE FOR EVERYONEFor the first time in the franchise’s history, if players meet this tier, the game will release four days before the official release date.
There will also be a Collector's Edition, and the bonuses for that option were chosen by fan voting. In addition to including all of the campaign's bonuses, this version will also include a 48-page art book, a 9" Adam Jensen figurine, and a steelbook. No word yet on how much that'll cost.
Even to those excited about the upcoming chapter of the Deus Ex franchise (which includes us), this campaign can feel off-putting. Instead of rewarding fans who are willing to spend money on the game before reading a single review, this approach makes it feel like they may not have the opportunity to get all of the content and bonuses. Now, the campaign's goal could be met - there's no word on what the pre-order figure needs to be to reach tier 5, and one would assume they'd feel the need to reward their loyal fans as the release date approaches - but this comes off feeling primarily like a way to get more people to buy the game (before they're able to research the final product, mind you) instead of a campaign that exists to, first and foremost, satisfy Deus Ex fans. Basically, it comes off as greedy, not rewarding.
Yes, having the game released early would be a very nice treat for many fans - and that Adam Jensen figurine sure is cool, but that has no part in the campaign. However, the early release will apparently only happen when fans spread the word and attempt to convince others to buy the game with just the promise of it probably being worth the cash. Thankfully, it's looking like Mankind Divided has potential to be great and appears to avoid the mistake Deus Ex: Human Revolution made (i.e. needing to engage bosses in a shootout, even if the player focuses on stealth), but this pre-order campaign certainly isn't going to win over many players.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will be available for the PlayStation 4 on March 18, 2016.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 23, 2016.