With the lead-up to the release of a big sequel in any tent-pole franchise comes the inevitable and obligatory announcement of the various special editions that will come at an extra cost. For most of us, they're unnecessary, but then they're not really for most of us anyway. They're for the superfans, those who just can't live without cloth maps or plastic Spartan helmets or early access to multiplayer perks or what have you.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has today announced that Halo 4 will have its very own Special Edition, chock full of goodies for Master Chief enthusiasts the world over. The Special Edition, which will retail for $99.99, includes the following bonus content over the normal retail SKU:
- War Games Map Pack Access -- These nine maps will be spread across three different DLC releases, and purchasers of the SE will be able to download them for free as each pack is released.
- Specializations -- SE owners will be able to unlock six specializations earlier than other players. Specializations are something Microsoft and developer 343 Industries will be providing more details on at E3.
- USNC Infinity Briefing Packet -- This packet includes "a Spartan armor customization schematic, information about UNSC weapons, an introduction to the massive ship UNSC Infinity, and insight into what it means to be one of humanity’s finest warriors: The Spartan-IVs."
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Special Edition -- A 90 minute extended edition of the live-action digital series with additional featurettes, including a behind-the-scenes making of feature.
- Bonus Digital Content -- The remaining grab bag of stuff includes: a unique in-game Spartan-IV armor skin, a unique in-game weapon skin for the Assault Rifle, an exclusive in-game emblem, Xbox LIVE Avatar prop, and Xbox LIVE Avatar Spartan IV armor set.
Interestingly, Microsoft has opted to forego offering an additional Legendary edition this time around. So if you want special goodies in addition to the game, there's only one version you need to be looking at.