As much as the idea of game developers enticing game pre-purchases, without really knowing if the game is going to be good, might make hardcore gamers uneasy, some pre-order bonuses are *queue Robert Palmer* simply irresistible.
That being said, other pre-purchase offers might not even elicit so much as a shrug, at best, and at worst they make the potential patron less likely to buy the game. After all, if I’m throwing down $60+ in advance of the game’s release date, I want more than an extra map or two. Here’s a look at the best pre-order offers for games that you should either PASS on or JUMP on.
The Last Minutes – If you’re going to get these, you better hurry.
Platform: Wii U
Release Date: Sept. 26
Pre-Order Bonus: Alternate costumes (varies by retailer)
Analysis: All current retailers are offering different skins upon pre-order, each from different Zelda games throughout history. Of course, this will be enticing to hardcore fans, but let’s face it: anyone who would pre-order this game for some extra costumes was already going to pre-order it anyway.
Verdict: I’d PASS on this one.
Release Date: Sept. 23
Pre-Purchase Offer: Digital Gauntlet comic by DC, exclusive weapon, exclusive helmet and exclusive robe.
Analysis: As far as last-minutes pre-purchase offers go, this one is a little better than Hyrule Warriors, since it appears to have some in-game functionality without being enough to break the game. The digital comic is cool for both fans of the series and for fans of comics, which a lot of gamers are, making it possibly more enticing than the in-game items.
Verdict: You might as well JUMP on this one, especially considering the $20 price tag for the whole game.
The “Why In The Hell Would I Buy That?”s – Seriously? You thought this would make me buy your game?
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Release Date: Oct. 14
Pre-Order bonus: The Shock, Drop Slaughter Pit challenge map.
Analysis: It’s a challenge map. It’s a challenge map. One. Uno. It’s something respectable games, such as Arkham: City, came pre-loaded with boat loads of. What is already a game that’s primed for a money squeeze, with it’s season pass offering, and obvious propensity for an “HD Remaster” given it’s lack of next-gen availability, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! is now asking you to buy the game blindly because they threw in an extra level?
Verdict: In the words of the great Leopold “Butters” Stotch: “Hmm. I’m gonna click on … decline.” PASS.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments
Platforms: PC, PS3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date: Sept. 29
Pre-purchase offer (Steam Only): A downloadable copy of The Testament of Sherlock Holmes
Analysis: But Frogwares, what if I already have that game, which is why I wanted the most recent installment in the series? “Don’t worry,” Frogwares says smugly. “You can bestow this amazing pre-order bonus upon a companion!” “Gee!” Of course this raises the question of why I would pre-order a game that gives me the ability to give a game to someone else? Sure if your relatively decent friend has a birthday coming up, you might as well. And a company giving away one of their games isn’t really a bad thing, by any means, so they’re not nearly as bad as the former in this category.
Verdict: Still though, PASS on this, unless the trailers for Crimes & Punishments has stoked a burning desire for this whole series. In which case, go nuts.
The “Yes, please!”s – How could you not throw down for this?
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date: Oct. 7
Pre-Purchase offer: The Nostromo Edition (Story mission where you get to play as a few members of the original crew of the first Alien movie, all voiced by the actual actors, Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt and Yaphet Kotto). Select retailers offer yet another Ellen Ripley mission, and Steam pre-orders get three Alien-Themed hats for Team Fortress 2.
Analysis: Though these story missions will reportedly be available at a “later date,” fans of Alien and fans of horror games might not be able to wait that long, and understandably so. This is one of those once-in-a-season pre-order bonuses unrivaled by any others.
Verdict: JUMP on this like you’re in a fucking bouncy castle.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: Feb. 24, 2015
Pre-Order Bonus (Steam): Ten percent off, additional 5 percent off if you own the enhanced edition of either predecessor. A digital version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Artbook, official game soundtrack, wallpapers and a digital map of the in-game world.
Analysis: Wha … ? Whaaaatt?! So the Witcher developers say “hey, you buy our game in advanced, and we’ll give you a discount, including a bonus discount if you’re already a fan of the series, plus a ton of cool shit to look at and listen to regardless of if you’re a fan or not.”
Verdict: JUMP around! JUMP around! JUMP JUMP JUMP JUMP!
The Far Offs – At least you have plenty of time to think about these.
Mortal Kombat X
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Pre-Order Bonus: Goro as a playable character
Analysis: This one could be interesting. In Goro’s challenge-tower-only appearance in Mortal Kombat (2011), he was ridiculously overpowered. Certainly, they will have to nerf him for competitive and even casual play, but then what is he really? Just another character they could have already included like Sheeva or Kintaro, whose down-scaled versions have appeared playable in many other MK games?
Verdict: Reluctantly, you should probably JUMP on this if you were planning on getting the game. Don’t want to be left behind on characters, but damn it if I won’t be upset about it!
Batman: Arkham Knight
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Pre-Order Bonus (Gamestop): Play as the Red Hood in a story pack, play as Harley Quinn in story pack, four additional challenge maps.
Analysis: Yes, only the Red Hood part is Gamestop exclusive, but that’s a rather suspect use of the world “only.” The Red Hood is an amazing character and challenging adversary to Batman. And pre-ordering from Gamestop gets you that AND the Harley Quinn story/challenge maps that all the other retailers have. The delay is disappointing, but these DLC packs are probably worth the wait.
Verdict: Did you see how Batman can JUMP out of the Batmobile mid-drive? Do that.
Go ahead and give these JUMPS a try. If we missed any, be sure to let us know in the comments section. Pre-purchasing can feel like a risky investment, but there are some worthwhile options if you know where to look.