The lights are on
This year set a new bar for elaborate and over-the-top special editions of video games. Take a look back at the best collector's editions of the year, plus some cool bundles that are still to come.
To keep things simple, the collector's editions are listed chronologically by their release date. Check out the grand total at the end to see how much a year's worth of awesome collector's editions would set you back.
LittleBigPlanet 2 Collector's EditionFormat: PS3Price: $79.99Release: January 18
LittleBigPlanet fans got even more charm than they bargained
for with the collector's edition of LBP 2, which featured LBP-themed bookends,
their own personal Sackboy, and a bunch of DLC costumes from Disney movies and
other Sony franchises. Who would have thought that a character named Sackboy could be so adorable?
Dead Space 2 Collector's EditionFormat: PS3, 360, PCPrice: $79.99Release: January 25
The Dead Space 2 collector's edition sounded great, until I
realized that the included plasma cutter is just a replica, and not actually
capable of melting off limbs. Then I found out that plasma cutters like the one
in Dead Space don't even exist in real life! Looks like it's back to the
workshop for me -- at least now I have a blueprint for what the final product
should look like.
Two Worlds II Royal EditionFormat: PS3, 360Price: $99.99Release: Feb 04
The Royal Edition of Two Worlds II contained extras to keep
players busy while they weren't playing the game as well. In addition to a
figurine and map of Antaloor, this collector's edition comes with a 72-page art
book, a mouse pad, and a deck of Two Worlds II-themed playing cards.
Killzone 3 Helghast EditionFormat: PS3Price: $129.99Release: February 22
Killzone 3's special edition put the enemy center stage with
a DC Unlimited figurine, plus a model head of the Helghast Helmet and mask. You
can't actually wear it, but it should scare off nosy co-workers.
Crysis 2 Nano EditionFormat: PS3, 360, PCPrice: $149.99Release: March 22
You know how sometimes people have ironic nicknames? Like
when you call a fat guy "Slim," or a short guy "Stretch," or a fat, short guy
"Slimmy-Stretch?" That must be what Crytek was going for when they named this
oversized Crysis 2 collection the Nano Edition. It contains a full-sized backpack
capable of carrying around a console in, along with the usual assortment of
Mortal Kombat Kollector's EditionFormat: PS3, 360Price: $99.99Release: April 19
The Scorpion and Sub-Zero bookends in this "Kollector's"
edition are so cool that we're willing to overlook NetherRealm's incessant need
to misspell every word that's supposed to start with a "C." At least they
picked the right two fighters - it wouldn't have been nearly as cool if it was
someone krappy like Stryker. Ah, krap - now they've got me doing it!
Infamous 2 Hero EditionFormat: PS3Price: $99.99Release: June 07
I always thought it was lame how Cole continued carrying
around a messenger bag after he got his super powers, but I guess some gamers
must have liked it, because it was a bonus item for Infamous 2's Hero Edition. I'd
rather have that giant cattle prod that Cole bludgeons people with, but that's
Duke Nukem Forever: Balls of Steel EditionFormat: PS3, 360, PCPrice: $99.99Release: June 14
You'd think that this collector's edition would contain some
pretty highbrow stuff, based on the fact that it has the word "balls" in the
title. But while the contents of this Balls of Steel edition might not impress
the ladies in your mother's book club, they'd be at home in any sleazy casino,
which is where you'd probably find Duke anyway.
Catherine "Love is Over" Deluxe EditionFormat: PS3, 360Price: $79.99Release: July 26
In case you didn't know this game was for perverts, the
"Love is Over" edition comes with a sexy pillowcase and a pair of men's
underwear. Alright, I know the game isn't actually just for perverts, but
there's no denying an overlapping interest in the bonus items.
Gears of War 3: Epic EditionFormat: 360Price: $149.99Release: September 20
Not only can fans admire the Marcus Fenix statue included in
the Epic edition of Gears of War 3, they can practically steal his father's
identity. In addition to the usual art stuff, the pack contains Adam Fenix's
Octus award medal, COG flag, and personal effects, including his Last Will and Testament.
Batman: Arkham City Collector's EditionFormat: PS3, 360, PCPrice: $99.99Release: October 21
Warner Bros. is packing in a statue of Batman in Arkham City's
collector's edition, which is cool and all, but if you ask me the company is
missing a big opportunity. After packing in a batarang with Arkham Asylum, the
publisher could've upped the ante with an explosive gel gun that sprays shaving
cream. With a shaving cream canister that cool, I'd shave my face every day. Or
at least use it to prank my sleeping friends.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Collector's EditionFormat: PS3Price: $99.99Release: November 01
In addition to your own personal Nathan Drake statue, the
collector's edition for Uncharted 3 gives you the accessories you need to finish
off your cosplay outfit. Just remember to keep half your shirt untucked,
because that's how the coolest treasure hunters do it.
Lord of the Rings: The War in the North Collector's EditionFormat: PS3, 360, PCPrice: $129.99Release: November 01
War in the North's collector's edition lets you pretend to
be an elf. If that's your bag, more power to you.
Saints Row The Third Platinum PackFormat: PS3, 360Price: $99.99Release: November 15
The Platinum Pack comes with a custom pair of headphones
that have a built-in vocoder that will auto-tune your voice like the in-game
character, Zimos the pimp. Unfortunately the headphones can't be used for
online play, but if it makes me sound anything like Pimpbot 5000, I'm totally
Star Wars: The Old Republic Limited Collector's EditionFormat: PCPrice: $149.99Release: TBA
We're still not sure that BioWare's Star Wars MMO will come
out this year, but the limited collector's edition will keep you busy until
2012 anyway. The best additions come in the form of in-game items, including a
stone that lets you change your lightsaber color, a droid to act as your adventure
companion, and your own personal holographic dancer - things are getting freaky
in the Star Wars universe.
The Unknowns:That does it for the best collector's editions that have
already been announced or released, but there are a trio of games we expect --
or at least hope -- will pack some extra goodness when they're released later
this year. Keep reading to see what they are, and what your final bill is for all of the featured collector's editions.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.