Bethesda Softworks has unveiled four separate Fallout: New Vegas pre-order bonus packs available from four separate retailers, which means that you, dear reader, have some decisions to make.
The pre-order is a well-established ritual among gamers. You pop into your favorite retailer, lay down your five bucks and in a few weeks (or a few months) you get a phone call telling you that your very own copy of the new hotness has arrived and is waiting to be picked up. To encourage patronage, some retailers would occasionally team up with publishers to offer pre-order bonuses ranging from crap like "spy listening devices" to unique in-game items, which has inevitably evolved into a practice of offering different bonuses through different retailers.
So it is that we now have four - yes, four - Fallout: New Vegas bonus packs available to gamers who pre-order from specific sellers: The Classic, Tribal, Caravan and Mercenary packs, each comprising a special combination of weapon, armor and miscellaneous items.
From GameStop: The Classic Pack, my personal favorite, featuring an armored Vault 13 suit, a Vault 13 canteen, a weathered 10mm pistol with some added punch and five stimpacks.
From Amazon: The Tribal Pack, which includes tribal raiding armor, a high-damage broad machete, five doses of "bleak venom," whatever that is, and ten throwing spears.
From Best Buy: The Mercenary Pack, with lightweight metal armor, a fast-loading mercenary grenade rifle, three "super stimpacks" and three doctors' bags.
I love pre-order bonuses - I have a treasured collection of the stuff - but I don't care for this retailer-specific business. First, because it's a violation of my hyper-anal completionist tendencies, and second, because I (and I would imagine a lot of other gamers) don't really have a choice. I like the Classic Pack but is it worth a two-hour drive to get it? I don't think so. Looks like it's Walmart, and the admittedly not-a-bad-second-choice Road Warrior chic Caravan collection, for me.
Fallout: New Vegas is scheduled to come out in October 2010 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.