Back in the day, video game nerds complained about the lack of Collector’s Editions for games compared to Japan. Across the Pacific, video games regularly came out with all kinds of crazy bonuses. Street Fighter came with controllers, Cyber-bots came with action figures. The closest we ever came to that kind of zaniness was when Earthbound came packed with a strategy guide with scratch and sniff pages.
Those days are long gone. Now big publisher’s games aren’t considered proper unless they’re released in five different editions with decorative swords, statues, making-of art books, and deeds to small plots of land that recreate the bad guy’s secret lair. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 set the standard for ostentatious collector’s editions when it included functional night vision goggles. Well done, Activision. Call of Duty players are precisely who I want capable of seeing me in the dark.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’s various editions comes cooked with the usual ingredients. The “Hardened Edition” comes with Nuketown 2025 and Nuketown Zombies bonus maps, a special case for the game, a download voucher for the soundtrack, some Xbox Avatar goodies for 360 owners, and some XBM themes for PS3 owners in addition to the sexual innuendo of the name. PC owners that download the game get all the digital goods from that version as well as a download code for another of Treyarch’s games, Call of Duty: World at War. Both versions are $80.
Then there’s the creepily named $180 “Care Package” version. It’s got all that other stuff an actual flying remote controlled drone. Yes, that’s right: A replica of the soulless MQ-27 Dragonfire drone death machines from the game! You too can fly around a drone in your own home, chasing your cat and pretending to anonymously gun down civilians.
Don’t do that if your cat has one of those helmets that came with the collector’s edition of Halo 3 though. His Spartan training might kick in.
No a remote controlled military drone from what’s essentially a fantasy game isn’t as troubling—or as fun really—as a pair of functioning night vision goggles. It’s pretty neat actually. It’s still troubling though. No matter how you cut it, a flying remote controlled drone is a toy and it’s going to make kids want the game even more they already do. What’s the point of slapping an “M” rating on the game when it’s going to be marketed, however subtly, to children?