I really dislike retailer-exclusive content deals. For some gamers, knowing that there is content for a game they enjoy that they will never get to play because they didn't pre-order three or four copies of a game is a travesty. For now it's only useless character skins and half-baked DLC missions, but I fear the future might bring a gaming world in which entire games are split into pieces that are sold by individual retailers. As icky as the whole system feels, though, for now gamers will have to make a choice as to what pile of add-ons and schwag they will choose when pre-ordering a game.
Today, the U.S. pre-order exclusives for the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot have been revealed. Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy all have exclusives, and Walmart will announce theirs on some future date. Also, a collector's edition will be available, but details on that are "coming soon." Oh, and even more stuff will be added to each retailer's offer in December and January, so gamers might want to wait a bit before deciding which retailer to go with.
Pre-ordering Tomb Raider at GameStop will get players an exclusive DLC level called the Challenge Tomb. The marketing text reads: "An exclusive tomb for Lara to raid! In this new location, Lara will encounter all new environment puzzles that will test her abilities."
Pre-ordering from Best Buy will get players the "Aviatrix" skin for Lara, which gives her a bomber jacket and a "1930's adventurer" (read: Indiana Jones) look, minus the fedora. Also, Best Buy will give players a 48-page hardback comic book that "tells the story of how this ill-fated journey all began."
Amazon has managed to tie its pre-order to its Kindle Fire marketing, with players receiving the Director's Cut of the behind-the-scenes documentary made by Crystal Dynamics. Amazon has also thrown in the "Amazon Edition" of The Art of Tomb Raider art book and the "Hunter" skin for Lara, which makes her look a lot like how we've seen her in trailers - covered in mud.