Pre-order exclusive content is the bane of my gaming existence. Things on this front have really gotten out of hand. Case in point: Rockstar’s upcoming 40’s film noir extravaganza L.A. Noire.
I would like to buy your game, Rockstar. I am more than happy to pony up 70 bucks to immerse myself in your dark, sinister Los Angeles of the 1940’s. I want to exchange legal tender for your years of hard work. I know what I want. I want your game. What I do NOT want, is to have to figure out WHERE to get your game, because different retailers offer different in-game incentives if you pre-order with them. Look at this rap sheet of tawdry streetwalkers:
Gamestop – get “The Naked City” vise case, and a badge pursuit challenge
Amazon – unlocks “The Broderick” detective suit, which increases your fist-fighting abilities and lowers the damage you take fighting.
Wal-Mart – get “A Slip of the Tongue” traffic case
Best-Buy – get “The Sharpshooter” detective suit, increasing your abilities with rifles and pistols.
But wait, don’t pre-order yet! Look what else you get! If you pre-order directly from Rockstar, you get an official L.A. Noire t-shirt. Or perhaps you’ll go to Target and get a $5 dollar gift card and a free Rockstar Games t-shirt by pre-ordering with them.
This is nuts. All I want to do is buy the goddamn game and get the goddamn game. The whole thing, without wondering what I might be missing out on because I didn’t go with another retailer. Sure, all this swag is probably in there anyway or will be patched in later. But they never tell you that before hand, as the heavy beads of sweat pour down your forehead in the harsh interrogative glare of approaching release date. So you’re never quite sure. I recommend anyone feeling the same way I do shoot Rockstar a tweet and demand that all this extra content be eventually available to everyone, regardless of where they bought the game.
Retail-based pre-order bonuses. It’s a mug’s game. And I don’t want to play it.