The Terrifying Future Of Online Pass Codes
Nowadays it seems like you can't start a game without first typing in a code to unlock some major component of your new purchase. Many titles use pass codes to lock away online multiplayer modes, but some games like Batman: Arkham City cut out entire playable characters and segments of the story. What's next? Join us as we dust off our crystal ball and take a shocking look into the future to see how developers will utilize these codes in your favorite series.
The following feature is only meant for laughs. Publishers will (hopefully) not be implementing these dastardly schemes in their future games.
In Darksiders II, you will play as Death, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Unless you don't have the "Unlock Despair" code – then you're just a man of the apocalypse. Input this code to unlock Death's mighty steed Despair, who in addition to looking like a total bad*ss, will prevent you from having to walk around the Underworld like a chump.
"Hey, Alfred? It's Bruce, again. Can you come pick me up?"
Batman: Arkham Nation
Fans cried foul when Rocksteady cut Catwoman's story arc out of Arkham City for those who didn't have a code. For the sequel, the developer is taking it one step further. Inputting the "I'm The G****** Batman" code will unlock the caped crusader and all of his gadgets for his next adventure. Otherwise, you'll be stuck as Bruce Wayne the whole time, whose only gadget is a cell phone that lets him call Alfred for help.
The LittleBigPlanet series is no stranger to offering players multiple DLC packs after release. For LBP 3, Media Molecule will take things a step further, requiring a one-time use code to download a user-made level. In the game's spirit of sharing, however, the developer will include 100 codes in each new copy of the game, which should keep players busy for quite a while. By the time you finish typing in a code for a new level, the download will already be done!
The next installment of FromSoftware's notoriously difficult RPG series will provide frustrated gamers with exactly what they need: an easy mode. For an extra $9.99, easy mode will give you unlimited Estus flasks, all of the game's best armor and weapons from the beginning, a glowing trail to follow to your next objective, and an invincible ally named Spanky, who will one-hit kill all of the game's gigantic boss monsters for you.
Players can also purchase this awesome "Levitating Sleep" DLC pack
The Elder Scrolls VI
Most gamers are still waist-deep in Skyrim, but that doesn't mean Bethesda isn't making plans for the next installment of The Elder Scrolls. In addition to the iconic fabric map, new copies of TES VI will come with a "Patch Unlock" code, which will enable players to download all future patches for the game. Trust us; this is one code you'll want to use.
Madden fans have been able to download mid-season roster changes for online play for a while. For the first time in the series, however, EA will soon offer players a code to enable a full roster update for following year's season as well. The code will cost $59.99 and will be available at all major video game stores in boxes labeled Madden 14.
Gears of War 4
The Gears of War series has been lambasted by critics for its meathead writing, but there's no denying that the machismo dialogue appeals to a certain segment of the franchise's fan base. For Gears of War 4, Epic hopes to appeal to both camps with the "Better Story" pass. This optional code will add more exposition from the main characters, along with insightful dialogue.
With the "Better Story" pass:
Marcus: "Have you ever stopped to think that our fanatical hatred and savage treatment of the Locust lowers us to the level of the very enemy we're so desperate to defeat?"
Carmine: "Indeed, Marcus. My biggest fear is that the toll this continual brutality has on our humanity will render any success a pyrrhic victory."
Without the "Better Story" pass:
Marcus: "Suck on this, nuggnuts!"
Carmine: "Another headshot for my boomstick!"
Marcus: "That's what she said!"
"Thanks for stating the obvious, Navi."
The Legend of Zelda: Four Spirit Swords of Time
So far Nintendo has been one of the few companies to shy away from pass codes, but expect that to change with the next Legend of Zelda. New copies of Link's next adventure will come with a one-time use code to unlock Navi. Lest you think you can keep the fairy silent by not activating the code, refusing to enter it will result in Navi stopping you every few minutes with the following message: "Hey! Don't forget to input your code to unlock my helpful hints and tips!"
"So, uh, about that night with Tali..."
Mass Effect 3
When Liara gave Shepard the cold shoulder in Mass Effect 2 unless players purchased additional DLC, many gamers pursued a new romance option, not realizing she would be back in Mass Effect 3. Fear not: For an extra $4.99 players can download the "Liara's Back" DLC, which allows Shepard to explain away the new tryst as a drunken mistake. This will allow Shepard to pursue another romance with Liara, though a second, "Seal The Deal" pack will be required to consummate the relationship. As a bonus, this pack will also unlock your Asari offspring as a powerful new crew member – as anyone who's read the extended ME fiction knows, Asari babies are the most ferocious warriors in the galaxy.
Street Fighter V
Capcom has a habit of releasing multiple of versions each new Street Fighter installment. With Street Fighter V, the developer will sell several codes to download brand new adjectives to the game's title. Options include Super-Duper Street Fighter V ($2.99), Ultimate Super-Duper Street Fighter V ($4.99), and Ultimate Super-Duper Street Fighter V x2 ($9.99).
"Give me that ammo clip so I can shoot those enemies for you!"
Modern Warfare 4
Tired of feeling like modern military shooters could play themselves? Then you'll definitely want to purchase Modern Warfare 4's "No, Follow ME" code, which allows players to stop blindly hanging on the coattails of NPCs and play the d*** game the way they want to. On the multiplayer front, MW 4 will offer players a "Silence Is Golden" pass, which automatically mutes any player with an IQ below 60.
Beyond Good 2
Fans of Ubisoft's action/adventure series will have to register for a Uplay account and input their one-time use code to add the "& Evil" of Beyond Good & Evil 2, which will unlock the game's shadowy conspiracy that Jade must uncover. Those without the code will be forced to play Beyond Good 2, which tasks Jade with taking pictures of people's babies and weddings to pay the bills at the orphanage.