The Master Chief and Cortana are back, and Microsoft is planning to make this its biggest game launch ever. Previous Halo collector’s editions have included some interesting prizes, such as a not-so-life-sized replica of Master Chief’s helmet. Has Microsoft and developer 343 Industries rolled out the red carpet for the Halo 4 Limited Edition? Not quite, sadly.
The Limited Edition comes shrink-wrapped, which is good because the set's design isn't very sturdy.
The "special" case is partially housed by cheap cardboard, which would seem like a low-quality piece even on a standard retail product let alone something costing nearly twice as much.
Behold! The various packets within the case. No, none of these are dehydrated food packs for space people.
The red UNSC packet holds all the good stuff. The exclusive digital content includes an in-game armor skin, assault rifle skin, special emblem, and all three upcoming DLC map packs (nine new maps in total). You can also access six specializations instead of unlocking them one-by-one, but you'll need to reach level 50 in the multiplayer first.
Also included are male and female Spartan armors for your Xbox Live Avatar, a Cryotube Avatar prop, and a 14-day Gold trial to Xbox Live.
The Spartan armor guide details some of the various kits in the game. This is more of a world-building lore guide for hardcore fans.
A mish-mash of slightly cool or useful weapon guides and totally pointless fictional War Games summaries. There's also a throwaway note from tertiary supporting characters that I'd be surprised if anyone actually took the time to read.
Finally, the game case itself. A slick, white case houses the game discs.
Halo 4 comes on two discs. You'll need to install the contents of Disc 2 on to your hard drive before you can play the multiplayer.
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The $100 Halo 4 Limited Edition is a fairly lame and somewhat flimsy package by any standard, but especially for one heralding the return of one of video gaming’s most successful franchises. Aside from some decent digital content (most notably the three future map packs), the set is stuffed with dull world-building letters and emails. There’s no soundtrack or art book, and there’s no figure. With all the noise made about Master Chief’s more agile redesign and ability to use jetpacks, a figure by Weta would have made for an awesome collector’s set. Or, with the heavy emphasis on Cortana in Halo 4′s story campaign, perhaps a glowing Cortana figure? It’s not like they haven’t made one before, and this set is lacking any sort of main attraction.
Either way, the Limited Edition seems like a poorly planned, uninspired, and overpriced way to welcome Master Chief back.