Hey, I'm Jake, an interactive media student at Newcastle college in the U.K, I like to write about video games in my spare time and have just recently started posting on the Dtoid community blogs. If you like any of the stories or opinions I post feel free to comment and get some good gaming discussion going!
Last week we took a look at critically acclaimed jungle shooter Far Cry 3 and what came inside the Insane edition, combining parts 2 and 3 this week will feature not one, nor two but three games of 2012 which took the term "Special edition" up a notch.
Borderlands 2 had a lot going for it on release, fans of the previous game wanted more cell shaded goodness and expectations were sky high for this over the top FPS/RPG hybrid. The Ultimate Loot Chest seemed a perfect fit to match the game's fairly bonkers approach.
The game itself is contained in a nice red Steel-book case, with custom art to make it stand out in a stack, alongside that are some borderlands themed Post cards (again with custom art) these are nice touch and are designed to look like an actual post cards promoting Pandora. Next up are Stickers, mostly logos to slap on to anything you feel needs a bit of a Borderlands touch, you may want to place on your Creatures of Pandora chart, a large pullout showing the scale of all the enemies you will face, similar to those dinosaur books you used to have as a kid. Moving on to the larger items is a old style Cloth map of Pandora, hang it up with the rest of your memorabilia or actually use it to navigate the world. If you still can't get enough of the cell-shaded art style in the game, take a peek in the "Inside the Vault" art book for the best of the concept art and character designs. One book not enough? The loot chest also contains a journal of Field notes from Sir Hammerlock, a friendly cyborg NPC you meet early in the game resembling an olden-day big game hunter. The undoubted main attractions in the box are; the Marcus Bobble-head, the arms dealer featured in both games of the franchise, neatly packed in his own Marcus Munitions vending machine style box, and the unmistakable Replica Loot Chest to store all your goodies in, complete with official Certificate of authenticity.
After you've recovered from all of that there are some digital goodies included. A Borderlands 2 comic book download code, Gearbox Gun Pack (yes, more guns!), Golden Key, Vault Hunter's Relic and highly anticipated Mechromancer class DLC.
This special edition has to be one of the best of this generation, any way you look at it you get a lot of bang for your buck, and a lot of "Gear in your Box" (get it? Gear....box)
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Care Package
Surely one of the world's best selling game franchises had to come out with killer special edition in 2012, and that they did with another crate of goodies.
Whether you're a Call of Duty fan or not this edition came with some pretty special kit. Starting with the game itself contained in Steel-book armour with custom artwork on both sides, alongside the game you receive Two Collectors Coins featuring logos and designs from the game. The bulk of the crate is taken up by the main event, a Replica Dragonfire Drone Quadrocopter which you can actually fly! The drone is a fair size and features the same digital camo design as the in-game Score-Streak, remote and batteries are also bundled so you can get flying right away. Run out of charge and you can place it proudly on show with the included display stand. It's worth noting that the card packaging inside the crate is really well done with a solid technical look that fits with the rest of the design. Everything fits neatly into a Care-Package Replica big enough for functional storage use and sure to get fans of the series excited, just no dropping this one out of helicopters...
On the digital side you get a copy of the Official Soundtrack to the game by Jack Wall and Trent Reznor, Nuketown 2025 map (now replaced by the Bonus playlist in game) Nuketown Zombies map, exclusive weapon camo and exclusive player card backgrounds for bragging rights. Platform specific content such as Xbox Live avatar items and Playstation themes are also included depending on the respective version.
All in all there is a lot of great stuff in the box and surely will appeal to fans, the functional inclusions of the crate and quadrocopter are also great, making this one of the best collectors editions of 2012.
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
Dark Souls certainly grabbed the attention of console players in 2011, leaving the PC crowd wanting. Fortunately a petition was started for a port to be released in 2012. This much talked about event gained the interest of over 90,000 PC gamers and From Software themselves, agreeing to make a port to Windows. True to their word Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition was released August 24th. This is a smaller special edition than the others on the list but still included just for sheer value, only 2 days after launch I managed to pick this up for only £19 rather than the usual £40 price point for new games in the U.K.
Starting off you get The game itself, boxed in new artwork designed for this edition, alongside this you get two more discs of content in the form of a Making of DVD and the Original soundtrack on physical CD. The inclusion of a physical soundtrack is a nice touch as most special editions now just contain a digital copy. Now I hope you like artwork because you get a lot of it, featured on a set of Five exclusive post cards, giant Dark Souls poster and finally a Hardback art book. The art for this game is truly great, it's certainly worth looking through the entire book for all the different environments, armours, weapons, enemies and the famous Dark Souls bosses who'll you grow to hate as you progress.
Digitally you get the previously exclusive Artorias of the Abyss DLC adding new areas, enemies and bosses to fight and get angry at all over again. The PC version was hit with a disappointing port, featuring a lowly 1024x720 resolution and 30FPS limit, not to mention unplayable keyboard and mouse control (really it is that bad), however a user by the name of Durante released a mod which fixed issues and overall improved the game dramatically. The mod allowed the user to go beyond 1080p, adjust the HUD and add or remove more visual effects. Using a controller with the game makes this the definitive version in the end and just shows what the community can do with Dark Souls in their hands.
2013 looks set already to offer some interesting editions with Bioshock infinite's Ultimate Songbird edition and The Last of us with multiple variants of collectibles. Other titles such as GTA V, although no special editions are confirmed, are sure to offer some special goodies.