Another Square Enix-oriented news article, but in light of their recent announcements I felt this article was necessary, given that the franchises involved are somewhat popular. To hype their upcoming releases Hitman: Absolution and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance [3D], the prolific game developer and publisher has announced various pre-order bonuses that should interest fans…
#1 –Kingdom Hearts: 3D – Bonus AR Cards
Square Enix has announced a North American pre-order bonus of three AR [Augmented Reality] cards that can be used in conjunction with the game. According to their May 11th press release, using the cards with the 3DS’ camera will give players access to rare Dream Eaters, friend and foe NPCs in KH: 3D, as well as a 360 degree viewing stand to examine their collection.
The report specifies that the first of the three cards unlocks one of three uncommon Dream Eaters (Ursa Circus, Sudo Neku or Meowjesty), the second unlocks something referred to as “R&R Seal Dream Eater”, and the last of the trio unlocks the viewing stand. Certainly an intriguing offer, if nothing else.
#2 – Hitman: Absolution – Sniper Challenge Mode
Hitman‘s GameStop-exclusive pre-order bonus, on the other hand, is interesting because it adds a new mission to the experience. Dubbed Hitman: Sniper Challenge, this standalone single-player mission (not connected to the main story) has players take on the role of Agent 47 as he prepares to assassinate a difficult target. Set on a balcony overlooking a gathering party on a rooftop, players must carefully eliminate Stallion Armaments’ CEO, Richard Strong Jr. and his entire staff of well-trained bodyguards, taking advantage of score multipliers, hidden secrets, unlockable equipment upgrades and all the creative ways of disposing of corpses.
Please note: the below video is footage of the Sniper Challenge. It has been listed as Mature, and as such contains somewhat graphic content, so take that into account before you decide to watch.
The experience is not totally disconnected from the online community, though: the entire mission has been designed with an online leaderboard tracking one’s progress, with monthly prizes going to the most skilled players. Hitman developer IO Interactive has also promised the top sniper at launch a special prize: a trip for 2 to Copenhagen, where they will meet with the developers and have their likeness used in the next Hitman game.
To top off the cake, the Kazo TRG sniper rifle, a high-powered and extremely deadly weapon, can be carried over to the main game, with all of its upgrades and earned unlockables. This is exciting, to say the least, as it shows Square Enix and its various properties care very much about their fanbase and seek only to please.
These are definitely offers I will keep an eye on, and I urge you to do the same, as KH: 3D and Hitman: Absolution approach their respective July and November 2012 release dates. As always, though, it’s your decision to make. Keep reading, gamers.