Welcome to What’s in the Box?! We’ve gotten our hands on another collector’s edition, and this time it’s the Call of Duty Black Ops II’s Care Package edition. Call of Duty has started to become known for its grand (and expensive) collector’s editions, and the Care Package is no different, with a flyable remote-controlled drone as the centerpiece. Let’s bust it open and check it out.
Unlike Halo 4’s awkward special edition packaging, the Black Ops II Care Package is a very sturdy container wrapped in a slipcase.
The front view of the container with the slipcase removed.
An angled shot. Again, this is nicer than any luggage we’ve ever owned. Admittedly, we shop at Wal*Mart, but still....
The innards of the container are two equally slick boxes, one housing the drone and the other holding the remote and batteries.
Behind the large box is the special edition game case and another case for the two challenge coins.
The limited edition “challenge coins” are one of those things that probably mean a lot more to the developer than any of the fans. While these extras exude the same quality as the rest of the package (maybe even more so), who is really going to put these to use?
The back of the game case has special Zombies artwork on it. That’s a pretty fair indicator that Zombies has really come into its own as a staple of the Call of Duty franchise. But the double-sided pamphlet contains all of the digital bonus content. Included are the Nuketown Zombies map, the Nuketown 2025 multiplayer map, exclusive male and female zombie costumes for your Xbox Live Avatar (way better than the other ones on the Marketplace), and an exclusive CLAW Avatar Prop. You can also download the original soundtrack online, composed by Jack Wall (Mass Effect 1 and 2) with a theme song by Trent Reznor.
The smaller box contains the remote control for the drone, a charger for the drone, a flat stand, and, thankfully, batteries are included.
And the grand finale: The MQ-27 Dragonfire Drone, as seen in the game. Aesthetically it looks infinitely better than the RC car included with the special edition of the original Black Ops, but the drone is made out of styrofoam, rendering it extremely vulnerable to damage from pretty much anything. Hell, even just trying to unplug the tiny charger cable almost ripped out the drone’s guts. So unless you never plan to actually fly it, the drone is doomed to have a very short lifespan.
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For nearly $200 (assuming you didn’t get suckered into spending way more on eBay), you’re essentially paying for the game and a slick-looking but ultimately flimsy remote-control toy that your cat can karate chop in half with its tail. While napping. If you just want to be ridiculously extravagant and place the giant Care Package next to your RC car and night vision goggles, this bundle rivals Borderlands 2’s Loot Chest for the most grandiose collector’s edition of 2012.
But if you’re just after a nice Black Ops II package that’s several steps above the standard retail package, the $80 Hardened Edition is the way to go. It includes all the same in-game and digital bonus content as the Care Package, plus the two challenge coins, sans the semi-crappy drone at a savings of $100. You could take that money and put it toward the vastly superior Parrot AR drone, which will definitely survive its first flight.
The lack of an art book and/or the Season Pass are disappointing, but it still has plenty of goodies included regardless of which special edition you go for.