Three editions of Darksiders II will arrive atop a pale horse to spread action, puzzles, and a healthy dose of destruction.
Videogames have made seem Death seem a lot less fearsome. In addition to whipping him into oblivion at least once per Castlevania, the personification of mortality appeared as a mere tutorial boss in Dante's Inferno. Intent on giving the Grim Reaper some of his luster back, THQ has announced that Darksiders II, in which players take the role of Joe Black himself, will come in three deadly varieties. While neophyte death-dealers will have to content themselves with the standard games, those who preorder it will receive some extra content, and anyone willing to dish out the extra cash can acquire a Collector's Edition.
The standard edition of the game will arrive in stores on June 26, 2012, but fans can pick up a few extra goodies by pre-ordering. THQ will bump up pre-orders of the regular game to a Limited Edition, which will come with Argul's Tomb, the game's first DLC. For those who have eagerly been awaiting Death's arrival (in-game, presumably), a $100 Collector's Edition will also be available. This will include all the standard trimmings: the Limited Edition DLC, a digital soundtrack, an art book, and some in-game weapons and armor. The Collector's Edition will also ship with a life-size replica of Death's mask from the game, giving a whole new meaning to the term "death's head."
While bundling DLC with a preorder or non-used copy of a game is pretty standard practice at this point, Collector's Editions tend to involve more of an investment on the publisher's part: replica masks and art books don't come free, after all. In spite of THQ's flagging sales, it seems to be banking a lot on the success of Darksiders II. If the tactic works, it could do a lot to stem THQ's losses; if not, the protagonist of the game could turn its attention on its parent company. Death is nothing if not fickle.