With an official release date set for the latest installment in the Dragon Age series (October 7 in the US & October 10 in Europe), BioWare has set about their standard formula of offering various pre-order bonuses. But at least unlike some publishers, it doesn’t look like they’re dividing the specials up between different retailers. For now, there are three editions available: regular, deluxe & collector.
The regular edition of the game is, naturally, just the standard game.
The Deluxe Edition includes a nice listing of special digital items to enhance your playing experience. The items listed are:
- Skyhold Throne: a special throne presumably in place in your stronghold
- Two unique mounts: the Red Hart Halla & the Bog Unicorn, likely suitable for good & evil characters respectively
- Digital soundtrack
- Flames of the Inquisition Gear: this includes a variety of unique weapons, suitable for all classes, the Flames of the Inquisitor Armor & an armored steed
It also states that there’s “bonus digital content — to be announced.” It’s unclear exactly what that means.
Then there’s the grand-daddy of all special offers: the Collector’s Edition. In addition to coming with a copy of the Deluxe Edition of the game, the Collector’s Edition includes a plethora of real-world goodies. This includes:
- Cloth map of Thedas
- Deck of Tarot cards (includes 72 cards with custom Dragon Age artwork)
- Ink & quill set
- Orlesian coins
- Inquisitor’s badges
- 6 piece lockpick set
- 4 map markers
- Inquisitor’s Journal
- Steel book to store your copy of the game
- All items stored in the Collector’s Edition case
The standard version of the game will be the standard price ($60), the Deluxe Edition is set at $70, but the Collector’s Edition is at a whopping $170. It’s also only available if you pre-order from GameStop. But if you’ve got the money, you’d better hurry & order. Although BioWare hasn’t announced when the promotion will end, they have stated that it’s for “a small run.”
As cool as the swag is, I don’t think I’ll be purchasing the Collector’s Edition. That’s just too much money, even with the in-game bonuses. I’m not even sure I’ll get the Deluxe Edition (which doesn’t seem to be a limited time offer kind of thing) unless the “additional content” is free access to future DLCs.
If you’re like me, BioWare’s announcement that Mass Effect 3 was being pushed back to March 6 made you want to scream. But likely in an attempt to belay our rage, BioWare also announced its N7 Collector’s Edition, available upon preorder.
BioWare is no stranger to including bonus content in their newly released games. New copies of Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age Origins & Dragon Age 2 all included free downloadable content as well as promotional items from some of the retailers. Although this is a good deal for consumers, because it saves you money, it also makes good business sense. By offering some extra content for free, it encourages consumers to purchase the games early, instead of waiting to buy used or reduced priced copies.
The N7 Collector’s Edition will top all of these offers. Not only does it include bonus in-game items, but more tangible bonuses as well.
In-game Content includes:
N7 Arsenal Pack: includes an N7 version of the pistol, sniper, shotgun & SMG. Although specifics haven’t been revealed about their capabilities, it can be assumed that these are stronger versions of the normal counterparts.
Robotic dog: this mechanical companion will apparently keep you company aboard the Normandy. It appears to be a more streamlined version of the Fenris mechs from ME2. No word yet if it will have any other function than decoration.
Squadmate Alternative Outfit Pack: alternative armor appearances for your squad. So far this has only been said to apply to Ashley, Kaiden, Liara & James Vega. Unsure if it will apply to other members.
N7 Hoodie: another clothing item for Shepard’s casual wear on the Normandy. I was a little bummed when I realized it wasn’t a real N7 hoodie.
Digital Soundtrack: ME has always had some pretty good music, so I’m sure ME3 will be no exception.
Normandy prop for your avatar: only available on XBox.
Tangible bonuses include:
Art book: a 70 page art book with illustrations from the Development Team
Dark Horse Comic Book: I’m not a big comic book person, so this is of little interest to me.
N7 fabric patch: to make your own N7 hoodie.
Lithograph print: a 4×6 print with one-of-a-kind art. I assume from the description each piece will be completely unique.
Case: entire pack comes in a metal case with both male & female Shepard artwork.
BioWare also states the collection will include a “collection of forum and social badges, avatars, and perks,” whatever that means.
The collection is priced at $79.99. Given the amount of content included, & the fact that the regular game is $59.99, twenty dollars extra is good price. They say there’s a limited number available, but I suspect it’s more a matter of limited time rather than amount. Regardless, I’ve already ordered my copy, but I still have to wait until next year. Curse you, BioWare, for getting us all worked up!