Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mass Effect 2: Buy New, Shepard!

When Mass Effect 2 came out I had a Gamefly subscription, so I rented the game on the 360 and had a grand old time with it. I didn't have as grand a time as some of my friends did, though, because of a new publishing gimmick that's started to catch on: enclosing activation codes for content in new copies of games. This seems to have started life as the 'pre-order bonus' - back in the day you signed up at a Gamestop or an E.B. for a game, put some money down, and when the game came out you'd be notified that the game was in and you should come down to the store to pick it up, along with your limited edition art book or your five-song Chrono Cross soundtrack or whatever. Maybe it was the stacks and stacks of leftover Spartan helmets in the wake of the Halo 3: Legendary Edition, but preorder bonuses seem to be much less tangible these days, and more likely to be DLC.

'We've got two hundred more in the back!'
But now companies want to go on the offensive against the Used Games market, and one way they're doing that is to put these codes in new copies of games that let you access some form of content, and if your copy of the game ends up back in the Used market, whoever purchases it will need to do without that content or pony up the cash to the publisher in order to get it. In Gears of War 2 it was the Flashback Map Pack, a collection of multiplayer maps from the first game. In Mass Effect 2 it's the Cerberus Network, a loose collection of DLC that came out in staggered fashion after the launch of the game. It was an incentive to buy New, and it was also an incentive to not sell your copy; you wanted to see what the next Cerberus Network DLC would be.

So I missed out on a bunch of free DLC for Mass Effect 2 by renting the game from Gamefly, but now that the Super-Awesome-Edition (with not just the Cerberus Network, but also everything else, like Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker) is available for PS3, I've picked it up and will be playing through all of it. Next time: without the Cerberus Network, what exactly had I been missing out on?

Also: this bold thing the first time I mention a game in a post? Useful? Stupid?

No comments:

Post a Comment