It’s become so commonplace for big-name game releases to see expensive, limited-release Collector’s Edition bundles that publishers are now forced to think way, way outside the box when coming up with a list of cheaply-manufactured items that both tangentially relate to the game in question, and might fit snugly inside the inevitably oversized Collector’s Edition packaging. This must be the case, as otherwise we have no idea how to explain the inclusion of a legitimately functional remote controlled airplane in the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist Paladin Multi-Mission Aircraft Collector’s Edition release.
When Splinter Cell: Blacklist makes its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 debut on August 20, fans of the series will have an important decision to make: Do you spend $60 for the standard version of the game, or do you shell out $170 for the Splinter Cell: Blacklist Paladin Multi-Mission Aircraft Collector’s Edition? Simple math points to the former as the better option, but this list of extra bonuses included in the SC:BPMMACE complicates things:
The box will include a copy of the game, a copy of the 88-page Splinter Cell Echoes graphic novel, a poster, the “Billionaire’s Yacht” co-op map, the Upper Echelon Pack containing the “Dead Coast” co-op map as well as the Gold Sonar Goggles and Upper Echelon Suit in-game items, and a radio-controlled version of the Paladin airplane that hero Sam Fisher and his Fourth Echelon team use as their aerial base of operations. The Paladin is, according to Ubisoft, a “custom three-channel, dual-motor plane modeled after the in-game mobile headquarters.” Yes, it actually flies.
The graphic novel, poster, and DLC offerings are what we’d expect to see from a Collector’s Edition release, but that $170 price tag is the result of the functional plane packed into the game’s box.
There will also be a spate of pre-order offerings through select retailers that include some of the DLC, the poster, and a steel case, but you will miss out on the ecstasy that comes with flying your expensive gaming paraphernalia through the air, then the subsequent agony of watching Sam Fisher’s plane slam into the side of a tree. Oh the humanity.
(Update: This article has been altered to correct the release date of Splinter Cell: Blacklist. The game will release on August 20, not March 20 as previously stated.)