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Revolutionary Rant: Preorder Penalties

Posted on Friday, February 25 @ 00:34:22 Eastern by
On the radar tracking games due in the next few months, few titles light up as much as LA Noire. Rockstar and Team BONDI's 1940s marriage of Grand Theft Auto and Phoenix Wright seems to hit on all cylinders.

Rockstar's penchant for amazing games is unstoppable, no matter how many wives you throw at it. Team BONDI is an unknown, but pairing up with a legacy house like Rockstar only means fresh talent with great ideas. As a bonus, there's an awesome piece of new technology backing up the fantastic RAGE engine. We gamers love new tech.

Continuing their slow drip marketing plan, Rockstar and Team BONDI have announced the preorder incentives for retailers across America. The line up includes all the usual suspects:

Pre-Order with GameStop to get 'The Naked City' Vice Case & Badge Pursuit Challenge (Also available via Game in the UK, and GameStop in Canada)

‘The Naked City’ Vice Case
In this bonus case from L.A. Noire’s Vice Desk, detective Cole Phelps investigates the supposed suicide of a stunning fashion model. Can you help Cole unravel the truth in a city blighted by drugs, corruption and greed, where the death of a beautiful woman is never as straightforward as it seems?

The Badge Pursuit Challenge
Hidden around L.A. Noire’s beautiful recreation of 1947 Los Angeles are 20 police badges to find and collect. If you can find all 20 of these badges, the dapper Button Man suit will be unlocked which provides extra ammo for all weapons. Each badge also provides 5 additional XP which will help further unlock Intuition Points – special credits that can be used to give Phelps a key investigative insight when you need it most.

Pre-Order with Amazon to get 'The Broderick' Detective Suit
(Also available via Amazon in the UK, and Amazon in Canada)

This unlockable detective suit boosts your fist-fighting capabilities and resilience to damage. Throughout L.A. Noire while working cases, you’ll encounter quite a few suspects and persons of interest who prove to be resistant to arrest. Your hand-to-hand fighting skills will be called into action on these cases – the Broderick suit with its enhanced fighting abilities may be that edge in helping make that collar.

Pre-Order or purchase at launch (while supplies last) with Wal-Mart to get the ‘A Slip of the Tongue’ Traffic Case
(Also available via Play in the UK, and Wal-Mart in Canada)

“A Slip of the Tongue” is a bonus case from the Traffic Desk in which a seemingly run of the mill car theft ends up sparking an explosive investigation into the largest auto fraud racket the city has ever seen. With the stolen cars piling up and questionable characters at every turn, can you help Cole Phelps crack the biggest case so far in his career?

Pre-Order or purchase at launch (while supplies last) with Best Buy to get 'The Sharpshooter' Detective Suit
(Also available via Zavvi in the UK, and Best Buy in Canada)

The Sharpshooter unlockable detective suit enhances your aim with rifles and pistols. Always a worst case scenario for any detective working a case, there are of course those occasions for Cole Phelps when pursuing a suspect escalates to gunfire. In these tense shootouts, the Sharpshooter suit provides that extra aiming precision to take the criminal down.

Also:
Everyone in North America who pre-orders their copy through the Rockstar Warehouse will receive an official L.A. Noire tee-shirt.
Everyone who pre-orders with Target will receive a $5 Gift Card, and get a free Rockstar Games t-shirt if purchasing the game in-store during launch week. All incentive offers are limited in quantity and available while supplies last.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not objecting to extra content. Anything that means more gameplay guarantees my money. Buying used copies of Bioware games now automatically brands you as a complete moron. As happy as "bonus missions" or "extra challenges" makes me, I've got an issue with Rockstar.

You've taken your game, chopped off little tiny pieces, and thrown them around like sand. You've lowered the consumers to the status of dogs. You're the asshole pet-owner who breaks up a treat into several pieces and demands a different trick for every pitiful morsel.

Ubisoft surprised me last year. At Gamestop they offered Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood buyers a Harlequin multiplayer skin. At Best Buy they gave a different multiplayer skin to consumers. I was disappointed. Forced to choose between bonuses, I bought a copy at Gamestop.

When I got home and finally input the key code from my Collector's Edition of Brotherhood, I was surprised! The code unlocked ALL preorder bonuses, regardless of the retailer. If this was detailed in some prerelease marketing materials, I missed it.

It was a gamble. One I'm not willing to make with every single game. I afford myself one absurd special edition of a game each year. I can't have piles of plastic shit everywhere. That would be stupid. I'm not willing to roll the dice with LA Noire. No special edition has been detailed, and I'm not about to buy multiple copies for preorder bonuses.

How cruel you publishers have gotten! Gamers obsess. We covet our games. Achievements and trophies pray directly on our completionist natures. You assholes give us nervous breakdowns with these marketing campaigns.

More than anything else, these preorder bonuses don't accomplish anything for the consumers or the developers and publishers. They line the pockets of retailers with cash. Gamestop's collective executive board already bathes in gold debloons.

Developers, publishers: stop playing mind games with the retailers. You're only hurting us. Fuck those guys. I may be overlooking the fact that they're probably all paying you for these bonuses, but that really shouldn't matter. If you can't keep yourselves from the preorder bonuses, at least pack them all in together like Ubisoft, but tell us about it! If it's all about the dough, take a page from Capcom's playbook and offer the far and away best edition at your online store. Make it easy on us. God forbid we start voting with our dollars.

The Revolutionary Rant turns a cynical eye to the gaming industry. Every Thursday (the angriest day of the week) you can find Game Revolution's take on any particularly outrageous event, news item, or person in the gaming industry. Got a bone to pick with gaming? Leave a comment or send an e-mail suggesting a rant-worthy topic to daniel@gamerevolution.com.


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